How to connect through small talk

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A networking event is one of the best places to make connections, but how can meaningful connections occur outside of those parameters?

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and storytelling consultant Megan Finnerty says that so long as you have a story, you can connect with anyone whether you are waiting in line at the coffee shop or sharing a ride through UberPool.

When it comes to telling the story of what you do and who you are, the best way to make a connection is being vulnerable by opening about your "why." It’s easier said than done, especially when talking with a stranger. To help these aspects flow seemingly, Megan laid out three components that can help you turn any small talk into something powerful.

  1. Talking about what you do

In many industries, job titles don’t hold as much insight as to what the day-to-day responsibilities of a job looks like. If your job title isn’t self-explanatory, like surgeon or math teacher, then don’t say it. Instead, explain what you do by talking about the actions you do at work and the results you give to your clients.

  1. Why are you passionate about it?

Everybody has a why. Why they get up in the morning and do what they do. Why they continue to deliver successful work. For some it’s charitable efforts, others a little more personal. Whatever the motivation behind your why, share it! Not only does this offer connection points, it gives your listener a feel for your values which may align with their own values.

  1. When you are best at your job, what do you create for your clients?

If the person you are connecting with isn’t an ideal client for you, chances are they know somebody who is. Talking about the solutions you create or how you give your clients ease of mind while on the job everyday shows that you are good at your job and that you care about your job.

What are your best practices in putting your brand’s best foot forward?


Marissa Baker
Marissa Baker
Native to Phoenix, Marissa has recently moved back to continue her career in communication. On the weekends you can find her in the first row at a concert, or exploring hiking trails.

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