Lunch and Learn session: The Fine Art of Small Talk
  • Maud Vanhoutte

Lunch and Learn session: The Fine Art of Small Talk


First Lunch and Learn session with The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust Head Office Team


On Tuesday, New Reflections had the great pleasure to run a Lunch & Learn workshop for the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust. They welcomed us to their premises at Lunchtime and they invited their head office team members to come along with us.

It was an amazing workshop with a very friendly atmosphere and a great level of engagement. The team really enjoyed this interactive and participative workshop.

For the first session, the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust selected ‘The Art of Small Talk’.

The program for this practical workshop was:

  • How to approach others: Ice breakers and conversation starters

  • Easy topic points to develop

  • How to keep building conversation

  • How to make the best exit

+ Practice!


“Small talk is where it all begins”…

We use small talk all day long with almost everyone from coworkers to friends, family and even strangers.

Small talk is the informal conversation that can precede a deeper and more important conversation.

In addition, it is a way to connect with new people as well as reinforcing existing relationships. When we meet someone for the first time it is important to master the art of small talk in order to send a positive and good first impression.

Within the professional environment, it is beneficial for business and in the personal environment it can lead to long-lasting personal relationships.


Ice Breaker, Conversation starter


One of the main small talk challenges is to approach someone and engage them and yourself into the conversation. What should we say? How to ‘break the ice’?

The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust learned easy icebreakers and conversation starters to use in any situation.

When intending to start a conversation, it is essential to be approachable and be able to keep the other person comfortable.

Maud, New Reflections’ Learning & Development Expert, gave the team easy-to-use tools to face different kind of situations.

Topics to develop


The art of small talk does not stop now; once we manage to break the ice, what can we talk about?

Weather, sport, travel, family…

Choose the topics you enjoy talking about and show interest in your interlocutor’s answers.

This is how you will manage to keep building the conversation.


Keep building the conversation


Once we manage to engage into the conversation, although it might seem challenging, we should keep building it. If we want to avoid awkward silences we have to be ready for this step.

To keep building the conversation, we need to listen, observe, ask questions and remember the answers.

Maud shared all the tools to keep building conversation with the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust.


One of the easy tools to do it is the A.R.E. method.

The A.R.E. method explains how to balance your conversation.

First you need an Anchor, find common grounds with the person you are talking to.

Then Reveal, reveal information about yourself, share a bit.

Finally, Encourage, encourage the person to share; follow up with questions!


Make an exit


Making an exit can be as challenging as it is to start a conversation! Sometimes it can be uneasy to conclude a discussion and exit politely.

The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust now knows the best way to make ‘the best exit’.

The participants were very receptive and took part in the different practical exercises with a lot of enthusiasm.

They enjoyed the team-building opportunity and learned a lot about the fine art of small talk.

They will remember the importance of listening to names as well as how to politely join a group that has already been formed. They will also keep in mind conversation starters as well as how to introduce themselves. Finally, they will focus on finding common grounds and thinking about what they want to communicate about!


The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust feedback for this training was very positive. Participants “Enjoyed it” and found it “Great! Not too long or short. Just enough practical time for benefit from”. They find Maud “very informative”, “friendly” and “easy to relate to”.

We definitely look forward to work with them again in July!


As the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust did, invite New Reflections monthly or every 2 months for Lunch and Learn or Latte and Learn sessions!

Contact us:

+61 (0)2 9569 6906

contact@newreflection.com.au

www.newreflection.com.au

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