Thursday, January 10, 2013

There is Nothing Small About Small Talk

First of all, I know that I promised a recruitment guide post tonight, and while this may not look like it, this post holds the key to surviving recruitment.
The key to surviving recruitment is not making sure your teeth are perfectly whitened or your hair is perfectly curled.  The girl talking to you is not going to be thinking that you should have worn the blue sweater instead of the green one.  The sisters talking to you want to know what you can bring to the sorority.  If you look cute, you will be fine.  Dress well but don't sweat it because if your personality is as shiny as a sack of potatoes, they are not going to care that you spent 6 hours scouring the mall for the perfect cocktail dress.  
Small talk holds the key to surviving recruitment.  If you can hold a conversation with the sisters and when it comes time to bump, you are both sad that it has to end, you are doing something right.  
The sisters only get a couple of minutes to talk to you and get to know you.  They have to gauge whether or not you are a good match for their sisterhood in a short conversation and the best thing that you can do is to be upbeat and fun to talk to. I know small talk is not easy for everyone, but it never goes away.  People have to small talk all the time so you might as well master it now.  Honestly, I believe that the ability to small talk and relate to people you have never really met is the reason that Greeks do so well in the real world.  The other day I saw some statistics about Greeks in politics and how dominant they are and it makes sense, they can small talk and be personable, qualities necessary in a politician (a good one at least).

Cheat Sheet: Tips for Recruitment Conversations:
-eye contact is key
-DO NOT keep asking them to repeat themselves, eventually pretend you heard it and move on
-DO be happy and outgoing, make them want you
-be prepared: have answers to questions like "how was your break/what did you do?" ready
-make sure the conversation is not one-sided (both ways, don't talk to much and don't make them do all the talking)
-DO NOT talk about boys or alcohol. seriously, even family, it is about the sisterhood, focus on that
-DO talk about your break: you can easily prepare something on this, think of one cool thing you did over break and run with it
-DO ask questions: express your interest in their sorority
-gum is a bad idea, suck on a mint between houses for fresh breath
-if they offer food (recruitment at my school has food for some rounds), do not take things that can make a mess or spill on you. I know it is tempting to take all the food that looks good, but quite frankly, it gets messy and you want to focus on the conversation. Go for little snacks that you can take a little nibble or two on while in the house. Basically, if you want a real snack, bring a granola bar to eat between rounds. Oh, and avoid foods with distinct smells, like peanuts in a trail mix, or mini pepperonis, etc.
-DO talk about fashion: talk about what you're wearing, what she's wearing, shoes, purses, designers, whatever (chill out, I stand by what I said earlier about not freaking about your outfits) it can be a great conversation starter

Okay, that was a lot on small talk. I don't want to freak anyone out because I know that you will do wonderfully if you just calm down and believe in yourself. Also, keep this in mind, it will come in handy when you sit there wondering who liked you. The girls in the sororities want to impress you just as badly, if not more so, than you want to impress them. They desperately want you to fall in love with their sorority as much as they have. All sisters think their sorority is the best and we want you to believe it too. And who knows, you might meet some wonderful sisters during rush who love you just as much.
Fun Fact: I met my big and grandbig during the second round of recruitment and I knew right then that I loved Chi Omega.

If you have ANY questions about recruitment comment on this please and I would love to help. I will post outfits for each round as I start (from the other side) on Saturday. In the mean time, practice talking to the barista at starbucks, your dog, the mailman, your brother, anyone who will listen and you will coast through recruitment.


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