The Gift of Gab: The Role of Small Talk in Business Networking

For many business professionals, the gift of gab doesn’t always come so naturally. In fact, for many, small talk is much harder than crunching numbers, but in the business world, you can’t deny the fact that the art of talking is just as important as business operations itself.  

When networking in any professional setting, whether someone is trying to find a job or gain new clients, it’s important to know which topics to discuss and which ones to avoid. Many find themselves in situations, especially in business, where they have to interact with clients from all over the world. With that, it is important to be able to carry on a conversation with them outside the topic of business to build a good rapport with potential clients. It is due to this fact that fishing can be used as a topic of conversation amongst varied cultural groups that might lack anything in common to discuss. 

This doesn’t have to just apply to foreign clients. A lot of introverts are not natural small talkers. However when forced into such situations, they tend to rely on topics such as sports. They consider these topics safe and not likely to get them into any uncomfortable topics of discussion. 

Even though you may be meeting with clients within the United States, it doesn’t mean that they share the same love of particular sports that you do. There is a wide genre of what is considered sports in this country. There are the classics like baseball, football, basketball, hockey, etc. Then there are the outdoor sports like biking, fishing, hunting, etc. Depending on what part of the country you are from, your favorite sport might highly differ from others. 

So if a large part of what you do in your business life is socializing with prospective clients from all over the world, then you would want to be as well-rounded as possible in the basic topics of sports. Even if the specific client you are having a conversation with doesn’t carry a passion for fishing, it is quite probable that he has a passion for something. Most successful businessmen do. The conversation can easily morph from fishing into passions. 

It does not mean that you have to become an experienced angler to be good at networking. However, there are certain basics that you should become well versed in so that you can engage in conversation no matter what situation you are in. Here we will look at some tips that will make you qualified to talk confidently about fishing. 

  • Learn Terminology

The most embarrassing thing you could do is mispronounce or not understand basic fishing terminology. You cannot carry on a conversation effectively if you do not know what you are talking about. It would be the easiest way for someone to discover that you are feeding them complete falsehoods and there goes your connection to them with a snap. All because you didn’t do a little research or spend time talking with someone who knows about fishing.

  • Experience Fishing

The best way to truly understand anything is to be hands-on. That most certainly applies to sports. It doesn’t mean that you have to spend an extended period of time becoming fisherman of the year. It just means that you should have real experience to speak about. 

Anyone who spends time fishing will be able to tell if you have ever held a rod in your hand. Plus, what better way to spice up a conversation if you could tell a real story with details and emotions. Also, what if you find yourself in a situation where a client wants to take you fishing. What if you had no idea what you were doing? Then you would not only be humiliated, but you would probably lose out on an amazing opportunity to build a lasting relationship with a client. 

  • Know Different Styles

Did you know that there are different styles of fishing? It is important that you do. Most anglers have particular styles that they favor, but are aware of the other styles as well. So in order to remain relevant in the conversation, it would behoove you to be knowledgeable in the varying styles as well

There are five basic methods: 

  1. Bait fishing 
  2. Fly-fishing
  3. Baitcasting
  4. Spinning
  5. Trolling

You don’t have to be an expert at all of them so if you were to focus on one, it could be bait fishing. It is the oldest and most universally used method. There are different techniques that you need to be aware of depending on where you fish. Trout fishing is a universal favorite and learning how to trout fish will take you very far in conversation. 

They can be fished for in a lake, river, or stream. However, depending on which locale you are fishing for them in will determine your technique and lures. Knowledge of these differences will allow you to be able to handle yourself despite the conversation or situation. 

While the topic of fishing can be beneficial to your networking abilities, the practical application can be beneficial in many other ways as well. Time outdoors with your friends, family, or just yourself, is good for your health. Many find it to be extremely relaxing and good for your state of mind. Using these tips will hopefully make you appear to be a knowledgeable angler, and just might spark your desire to truly become one. 

About Ambika Taylor

Myself Ambika Taylor. I am admin of For any business query, you can contact me at [email protected]