Many people feel they have trouble making “small talk” when networking. One tip is to be sure to show interest in the other person by asking questions. An easy question is to ask is, “What trends are affecting your business?” This gives the other person a chance to speak a bit about themselves and should lead to a longer discussion. Be sure to listen carefully and follow up with “why?” if the person does not automatically offer some further information. If applicable you can counter with your own observations and whether those trends are having any impact on your business. If the issue is totally unrelated to yours, hopefully the other person will counter with a similar inquiry. Otherwise if the conversation stalls you can just counter as though the question has been asked of you.