How to Instantly Become Better at Talking with Guest Families

There's a brand new family standing in front of you.  Maybe they just walked up on their own, another family in the church brought them, or an usher or greeter brought them to you.

After you say, " glad you're here...let me help you get checked in," what do you say next?  Unless you are a natural extrovert, it can be awkward at times.  Especially as you are walking them to the classroom.  If you're not prepared to talk with them and know what questions you're going to ask, the walk to the classroom can seem like an eternity.

And it's not an eternity you want to spend in silence.  It's too big an opportunity to connect with them on a personal level.

Here's a simple plan you and your team can use to instantly become better at talking with guests.  It's called  F. I. S. H.  It's easy to memorize and follow.

  • Ask their names.
  • Ask the kids how old they are.
  • Ask if they are new to the area.  Where are they from originally?  Where do they live?
  • Ask if they have grandparents or other relatives in the area.
  • Ask the kids what video games, toys, etc. they like.
  • Ask if the kids if they have any pets.  Names?  Kind?  
  • Ask the parents about their work.
  • Ask about their favorite sport's team.
  • Ask the kids what grade they are in.
  • Ask what school they go to.
  • Ask what their favorite subject is?
  • Ask what they like to do for fun?
  • Ask if they have any special hobbies they enjoy?
  • Ask what their favorite movie is?
The F.I.S.H. talking strategy is easy to memorize.  Of course, the questions may be asked in a different order depending on the family and the situation.  And the number of questions you ask will depend on how much time you have. 

Since they are guests, they are probably a little nervous and apprehensive.  The main thing is to make the conversation as relaxed and natural as possible.  Set them at ease.  Make them feel at home.  Smile as you talk with them.  

Many times, the first conversation you have with guest families will determine if they return or not.

Okay.  Your turn.  What is your strategy for small talk with guests?  Share your ideas with us in the comment section below.