Sis, you place me in front of an audience, I will have no problem speaking. Matter of fact when I took speech in college my teacher told us to write a 5 minute speech about someone or something we cared about. I’m not even sure what I wrote on the card, but when my name was called, I tore the card up and looked at my classmates(first day in the class) and said, “Forget the card, I’m going to talk to you about my dad. ” I spent the next 5 minutes taking my classmates on a journey of me and my father’s relationship. They laughed with me and they cried with me. My speech teacher told me that was one of the best speeches he had ever heard. He also told me, I had a lot to learn and I was willing to learn. I’m not boasting by any means. God has given me a gift to speak, but no one told me I was going to have to speak to the person I saw in the store.
You see sis, it’s easy for me to talk to a crowd, because it’s not one-on-one. Small talk has been one of the toughest things for me to conquer. Like no one told me what to do when I saw someone I knew in the store. Do I go up to them? Do I wave? Do they even remember me? Is it hot in here or is it just me? Why is my upper lip sweating? I will act like I didn’t see them so I won’t have to talk to them. I mean, sis what do I even say? This is exhausting. Why am I thinking about this so much?
Tell me something about yourself sis..
Are you an extrovert or an introvert?
I’m an introvert. Are there extrovert characteristics about me? Yes. Like I’m so introvert, I could sit next to you and not say anything. I’m just that awkward. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just my mouth freezes. I don’t have a script. What if I say something dumb? I’m so introvert I would rather you text me then call me. My sister in Christ steady tries me with the phone calls. Sis, I will purposely miss the call and then back. Like I have to work myself up to be on the phone. WHAT IS LIFE? Tell me to lead a Bible study, I got you. Tell me to walk into a store and see someone I know and go up to talk to them, World War III.
Just go up to her and say hi…
This is what my husband told me at Chick-fil-a when I saw a girl I use to go to middle school with. Of course he’d say that all nonchalant. If the Olympics had “small talk” as a game, he’d win gold. Sis, the girl was sitting right across from me. She saw me. I saw her. I grinned. Like Britt, are you kidding me? A grin? We finished our meal and I grinned again and walked away. She actually positioned herself where I could speak so I asked, “hey, how are you?” Seriously, that was like running a marathon to get that out. Sis, she didn’t hear me and walk away. *places head in hands* All of that, and she didn’t even hear me. Lol. Let me tell you some backstory about this girl. She had a tough upbringing from what I remember and when I saw her, she didn’t look good. I beat myself up, because I could have prayed for her. I could have caught up with her. Maybe she didn’t need me, but maybe she needed God. I couldn’t push past myself and that bothered me.
You make it look so easy…
I called my sister in Christ who is gifted at small talk and connecting with people on a personal level. I called her crying, because I was so defeated that I didn’t speak to my old friend. I asked her how do you do it? You make it look so easy. Give me something! Side note- someone will always be better than you in an area. It’s okay. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t know how to pray, ask. If you don’t know how to do public speaking, ask. If you don’t know how to date, ask. Sis, it’s okay to not know how to do something. Don’t be ashamed.
My sister gave me F.O.R.D. (Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams)
Mind blown. Now I have script!
- Family– Do you live near your family? How is your family doing? Do you have siblings?
- Occupation– Where do you work? Do you love it? What are you learning right now?
- Recreation– What do you do for fun? On the weekends? Do you attend church?
- Dreams– What are your dreams?
Sis, maybe for public speaking I don’t need a note card, but for every day small talk it’s very necessary. This is a great start for those who are struggling to engage in every day conversation like myself. I’m getting better, but I still miss opportunities. Don’t miss an opportunity to speak to someone. Don’t miss the opportunity to speak life into someone. People are so important to God. Sis, you got this. Here, you can use my notecard.
I’ll see you in the store.