Easy Tips on Making Small Talks

Many people dread and sweat the small talk. However, it is am important way to meet new people and engage with them in a meaningful way. Check out these tips (summarized in an infographic) to engage in small talks:

【 Related Reading: 7 Best Books on Communication Skills

1. Choose Topics:

Good Topics: Weather, sports, hobbies, media (e.g., movie, TV, books), travel

Topics to Avoid: Religion, politics, finance, relationship, death, age, personal gossip

  • Find common interests with others.
  • Be sensitive to each other’s cultures.

2. Start a Conversation

  • Start with a simple natural opener, such as “Hi, I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Joe.” “Good morning. How are you?”
  • Another way is to start with a genuine compliment on something other than the person’s look, e.g., bag, book, dog, poster.

3. Ask Questions

  • Ask people questions about themselves.
  • Avoid questions that may make people feel awkward.
  • Ask more open-ended questions.

4. Be a Good Listener

  • Listen for cues to keep the conversation going
  • Show the other person you are listening through: a. body language (e.g., eye contact, nodding, smile); b. verbal cues (e.g., “I see,” “Right,” “Mm-hm”)

5. Share Something about Yourself

  • Elaborate and say something a bit personal.
  • Bring up your meaningful experience to build connection.
  • Keep the conversation light and positive.

6. Make a Graceful Exit

Say goodbye nicely and make the person feel important.

Examples:

“Nice talking to you. Enjoy the rest of the evening.”

“It has been a pleasure talking with you. I’ll see you later.”

 

Additional Tips:

Learn the person’s name and repeat it once or twice.

Small talk can get better with practice. Practice through chatting with your waiter, bartender, and cashier.

【 Related Reading: 7 Best Books on Communication Skills

Tips On Making Small talk