Many people have difficulty with starting conversations and engaging in small talk in unfamiliar social situations. They do not have much to say when introduced to new people at parties, meetings or formal gatherings. As a host or fellow-attendee, you can help.
Say you are presenting people to one another. In addition to stating each person’s name, add a snippet of information about a topic of common interest. Do not elaborate. This will help them connect and pursue a conversation.
Here is an example: “Hey Charlie. This is Sarah, my colleague from work. [Pause for pleasantries.] Sarah’s daughter just returned from Spain after a semester of the ‘Study Abroad’ program. Charlie, wasn’t your daughter thinking of enrolling in the program?”
In a future blog article, I will write about the protocol for introducing people to one another in gatherings.