Making business small talk

Networking with other small businesses, attending breakfast meetings, exhibitions and seminars – they’re all essential activities for any business these days. But when you’re constantly meeting new people – or even familiar faces – over a business table, how do you get the conversation flowing? There’s always the weather of course, but if you’re trying to present yourself as an interesting, thoughtful, informed and intelligent person (aren’t we all?) you could swot up beforehand. The BBC’s 10 things we didn’t know last week feed is a great source of random information that can’t fail to stimulate conversation. Here’s an example from 25 July.


  1. Having fat friends increases your risk of obesity.

  2. The temperature of outer space is -270C (-454F).

  3. There are about 50 species of ants in the UK.

  4. Drumming is as energetic as playing professional football.

  5. The average Brit's savings would last 52 days if they found themselves out of work.

  6. Scrabble is huge in Senegal.

  7. The actress who played Brian's girlfriend in Life of Brian is now the mayor of Aberystwyth (and could end a local ban on showing her own film).

  8. Faking one's death is known as pseudocide.

  9. Mothers can change the ‘flavour’ of their breast milk by what they eat.

  10. The next named number up from a trillion is a quadrillion.

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