“How are you?” is pretty much the standard opening line to every conversation at networking events. I don’t know about you, but it’s always a conundrum for me whenever I’m asked this question.
Should I reply, “I’m fine, thank you, how about you?” at the risk of sounding like an autopilot cog in a wheel of acceptable social etiquettes? Or should I say, “Actually, I’ve been stressed to the point where even drinking five shots of espresso doesn’t work out anymore and so I’ve just downed my six shot for the day and not only do I wish that was tequila, but also I’m wondering if six shots will be sufficient enough to keep me awake, and so on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say I’m like a 4 right now. What about you?”
Neither answers work out, for the first will inevitably lead to conversations about the weather after I receive the classic “I’m fine too” reply, while the latter will lead to an awkward silence and my conversation partner discreetly taking a few steps away,
My point is – how many times have you heard anyone offering an answer that will lead into meaningful conversation? So, if you’re hoping to become better at small talk, we’ve devised some alternatives to “how are you?” that will hopefully get the conversation going.