Connecting With People – 4.74 degrees of separation?

The news from Facebook and the University of Milan research is that the famous “six degrees of separation” is now down to 4.47 or even less.
That is fine on the internet where connections are obvious but what does that mean for real life?

We believe it is only by talking to people that you can find out about those connections. This is  a good reason for more small talk – call it “connecting talk”.

Here are our guidelines for great small talk that leads to bigger things.

1. Before you meet new people come up with 2 or 3 three things to talk about as well as 3 general questions that will get others talking. Try to remember things about the people you have met before.
2. Be the first to say “Hello.” If you’re not sure the other person will remember you, offer your name first to make things smoother. For example, “Dan? David Green — good to see you again.”
3. Make an extra effort to remember names.
4. Watch your body language. People who look ill at ease make others uncomfortable. Act confident and comfortable, even when you’re not.
5. Get the other person talking by leading with a statement regarding the event or location and then asking a related open-ended question. For example, “Attendance looks higher than last year, how long have you been coming to these conferences?”
6. Stay focused on your conversational partner by actively listening and giving feedback. Maintain eye contact. Never glance around the room while they are talking to you. To be seen looking for someone   “better “ to talk to is very insulting.
7. Stay away from negative or controversial topics .
8. Have something interesting to contribute. Keep up an interest in (non-controversial) news and start conversations based on that.   You could start with
“What do you think of …?”       “Have you heard …?”      ”What is your view on …?”
9. Before joining another group or entering into a conversation that’s already in progress, observe and listen. You don’t want to interrupt the dynamic or butt in.
10. Do not tell long-winded stories or give a lot of detail in casual conversation.
11. Have a few exit lines ready so that you can both gracefully move on.
For example, “I need to check in with a colleague over there,” or “ Well, enjoy the evening” or  you can offer to refresh their drink.


How Culture Influences Us At Work 4: People Interacting

The roles of men and how they should behave.

The roles of women and how they should behave.

The importance of harmony.

The importance of competition.

Social class system.

Hierarchy in business relationships.

The use of a third party.

Interaction between strangers.

How to interact with people in authority.

Crowd or audience behaviour.

The amount of socialising.

The role of the individual.

How decisions are taken.

Basic Skills 2 : Virtual Presentation

Virtual Presentation Checklist

Web meetings, Webinars, Virtual Training…..

You are presenting to people all over the world who are not in the same room as you.

The purpose of this checklist is have a systematic look at the techniques that make virtual presentations more interesting.  As you examine each factor, give it a score from 0 to 3 to indicate how much you use this technique.

0 = not true for me at all
1 = slightly true
2 = moderately true
3 = definitely true.

Attention Factors


The format of the presentation changes frequently.

0   1   2   3

There are exciting ideas described.

0   1   2   3

Audience is called upon to respond or act frequently – this is made clear at the beginning.

0   1   2   3

My slides are simple & visually interesting.

0   1   2   3

Challenge Factors


I think a lot about how complex the ideas I am presenting are.

0   1   2   3

I make sure the content does not contain too many facts. There is not a lot to keep track of and remember.

0   1   2   3

The content is not too abstract. It is not too hard to get a handle on the topic.

0   1   2   3

I think a lot how to tie the presentation to the audience’s interests or past experience or future goals.

0   1   2   3

Interpersonal Factors


I set the rules for expected behavior at the beginning ( I will be asking you for your opinions during this meeting, I will need to hear your views etc).

0   1   2   3

I manage to get a good “connect” with the audience.

0   1   2   3

I provide lots of opportunity for the audience to interact with each other.

0   1   2   3