Tips for Thought

How to Make Small Talk

Small talk is a casual conversation people use when getting to know someone. Whether it’s for networking or social reasons, learning how to make small talk can expand your social network.

How do I make small talk?

  1. Ask open-ended questions.

Close-ended questions require “yes” or “no” answers, leaving little room to expand the conversation. Open-ended questions, on the other hand, allow the other person to explain their point of view. Open-ended questions can also help you build up the conversation’s flow.

  1. Practice active listening.

Communication requires both speaking and listening. Practicing active listening involves remembering critical details about the other person and expanding the conversation accordingly. When people learn to listen, it gives the impression that they care what the other person is saying.

  1. Be sincere in getting to know the other person.

Showing your genuine interest in the other person makes them feel valued and seen. During this step, try to get to know them without being too invasive. Stick to safe topics like their work, hobbies, and favorite shows or movies.

  1. Keep your focus on them.

Avoid glancing around while the other person is talking. If you have to excuse yourself, do it appropriately and let them know you’re interested in picking the conversation back once you return.

What are some topics for small talk?

These are some of the safest topics to talk about with someone:

  • Hobbies;
  • Food;
  • Professional interests and responsibilities;
  • Sports;
  • Travel;
  • Pets;
  • Movies and shows;
  • Books; and
  • Their hometown

Some additional tips to make small talk:

  • Use social cues to see when you should approach someone.
  • Avoid interrupting them when they’re speaking.
  • Build up on their answers to keep the conversation going.
  • Keep the conversation light and casual.
  • Avoid the four sensitive topics if you don’t know the person very well: Money, politics, religion, and sex.

Small talk doesn’t have to be complicated. While it may be more challenging for some, it helps to keep calm before approaching someone for a conversation. Once you master the art of making light, casual conversation, you’ll find yourself slowly expanding your social circle.


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Copyright 2022 | All Rights Reserved.

Tips for Thoughts

Copyright 2022 | All Rights Reserved.