Our last post of the year will be short and sweet. It's about the art of making small talk at business events, which can be quite mortifying for many introverted translators. Try the following approach.
|We prefer networking with food. Photo by Judy.|
Ask a question. Instead of immediately talking about yourself, which most people will do, ask the person you are speaking to a question about herself or himself. Most people will be happy to talk about themselves, especially in the US, and you will get the conversation started without having to "sell" yourself, which is what so many translators are afraid of. Now, the question doesn't have to be personal at all, and can be rather general, along the lines of the quality of the food offered at the event, whether the person has been there before, a compliment about their dress (works best if the person is of the same gender), a comment about the person's profession (if it's obvious), etc. Trust us: asking questions is usually a good thing. And the best question of all is: May I buy you a drink/coffee/sandwich? We have yet to meet someone who has declined that offer.
With that, we would like to wish all a very happy and successful 2014! Here is to much successful networking!