Conversations at Fourth of July Picnics

This week many of us will have the opportunity to talk with friends and family at 4th of July Picnics. Do you dread this idea? At Colonel Ledyard Toastmasters, we focus on all aspects of conversation. From the boardroom to the summer picnic, from the park through the one-on-one business meeting, we teach you the tools to be a great conversationalist.

If the idea of talking at picnic scares you, think of a few topics you love to talk about with others. Have some thoughts ready and bring them up at the picnic. This puts you in charge of the conversation. What if you can’t seem to find anyone who is interested? Expand your horizons, talk about someone else’s topic and they will be more likely to stick around and talk with you.

If you have been unemployed, this is a great opportunity to test out your “elevator speech” on others. You will have plenty of opportunity when you answer that dreaded question, “What are you doing now?”

If you are tired of talking about work, only answer questions about life outside of work. You can politely decline conversation by changing the subject. For example:

So, Sally, what are you doing these days?

My family and I are currently taking a tour of the playground at Central Park. It is exciting to see the little one’s faces light up when they are on the different pieces of equipment.

Are you still working?

I am focusing on my family and work is only a part of my life. I prefer to leave my work life at the office. The little ones are growing up so quickly. How about your family, Marie? Do you have any fun trips planned this summer?

By changing the topic, you politely let the other person know that what they were asking about or discussing was not important to you or was a topic you did not want to talk about. Picnics are a time for fun and games, not fear of public speaking and conversations.

What is your least favorite picnic conversation?