Session 1 of the Dale Carnegie course was very much as I expected. There were about a dozen attendees, one instructor, and one assistant. We talked about different personality types and different things we can do to help us get along better with other people. We covered techniques for making conversation, remembering names, and making small talk. I’d heard most of the material before (probably from reading Carnegie or something similar), but I was very glad to have a venue for practice.
I learned one technique for small talk that I’ve since used with some success. You can remember it via the acronym FORM: Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Message. Almost anyone likes to talk about their family, their work, and their hobbies (Family, Occupation, Recreation). The Message is just the subject at hand – why are you both here.
If you find yourself at a loss for what to say to someone, remember FORM.