HERE on Small Talk.
This person has to attend many gatherings, parties and such like as part of the job. They don't like small talk when people approach them and talk about nothing ... this and that ... just to pass the time. They asked for some advice or tips on how to handle such situations.
First of all, if you're at a party minding your own business and someone approaches you with meaningless conversation you must own the situation straight-away. Be masterful, confident and direct. You do not have to be an expert on the subject but you can appear to be by learning a few catch phrases or words. Here are a couple of examples:
Someone makes a bee line towards you and to be pleasant says, "We had a few nice days recently, warm weather." This is a typical opening line in the UK when we want to say nothing in particular.
You should immediately take over the subject and show him you know more than him. Just say, "Oh yes ... this is due to the warm front which arrived from the South carrying with it the rising temperatures from Africa, (South America, Australia, Asia or whatever), and it met the baromatic pressures from the North which quickly dissipated and vaporised".
Now this is all nonsense of course. But if you say it with confidence, looking the other person straight in the eye, holding on to your cigar, or pipe, (a pipe is better because it makes you look intellectual), then it will intimidate the other person. If you're a lady who does not smoke a pipe, then just pick up your cell-phone and pretend to punch a few facts whilst talking. That will show you know more than him.
If by some misfortune the other person is a weather expert, or presents the weather forecast on TV, cut the conversation short by saying, "Oh ... it's Helen over there. Must circulate. Nice to have met you!" And make a hasty retreat.
You see ... you won the small talk encounter and went on to fight another day.
Like for instance when someone approaches you with something topical in the news; like the cost of living. Just say, "The rise in inflation is due to the upwards pressure on the currency against a scenario whereby the market is saturated with an excess of demand and a shortage of supply in essential commodities. Oh ... is that apple pie? My favourite. You will excuse me before it is all finished!"
Again ... a load of nonsense spoken with confidence and a quick retreat towards the apple pie, or whatever is your favourite snack. Just learn a few buzz words and use them.
Cars - "I definitely like front wheel drive because it gives me more control on tight cornering and sudden breaking. Good fuel consumption too."
Gardening - "I so prefer ethical and planet-friendly fertilisers than chemical ones which could so easily harm the environment and the wildlife." It's a load of BS of course, but goes down well with almost everyone. I say "almost". Once I was talking to a farmer about strawberries and I said I spread horse manure on mine. He said he prefers fresh cream or ice cream on his strawberries.
Heavy traffic - "Yes, I understand this is due to road works on the junction between Fourth Avenue and Acacia Boulevard which has caused a long tailback not helped by an accident between a taxi and a cyclist in Nonsense Gardens."
Science - "According to Einstein light travels faster at night because it 's dark and there's less light so the travelling light does not get caught in heavy traffic."
Just be confident. Learn some buzz words. Speak quickly and with authority.
Pretty soon everyone will avoid you as a buzzy body know-it-all and you will be free for ever from those boring small talk situations.