How to Make Small Talk and Keep the Conversation Flowing

Making Small TalkWhile many people are quite comfortable talking to others, even strangers, some people struggle with so much as small talk.

Most all social situations begin with small talk, which will engage a conversation and help it flow in another direction. However, if you are one of those persons who have no idea where to begin with small talk, the following tips may help.

Talk About Your Surroundings

Keep in mind that whatever you are doing, the other person is in the same location as you. Thus, this may offer you something to talk about. Look around at your surroundings. Even if your are simply waiting in line at a fast food restaurant, you can comment on how long the line is or how good their fries are. Strive for a pleasant and casual attitude.

When you begin a conversation like this, others will more than likely say something back. Chances are, the other person will offer a casual comment as well, and a conversation has begun. It gets much easier after this. If the other person simply smiles, but does not offer a comment, do not get frustrated. Smile back and move on to another individual.

Ask About Personal Interests

Ask yourself what you would like to know about the other person. While you should, in no way, ask too much on an initial conversation, pick one general topic to ask them about. Ask them where they work or what they like to do in their spare time. If you notice a wedding ring on the person’s finger, ask if they have any children. All of these things can get a conversation started.

Ask About Their Day

Most everybody appreciates it when others ask about them in a friendly tone. Thus, you can always ask them how they are doing or how their day has been. For example, you can ask a cashier whether or not they have been very busy today. This is a great ice-breaker, and the other person will usually say something, even if it is just a small comment.

Additionally, you will find that when you use this tactic to make small talk, the other person will often smile. This is because you have made them feel like you truly care about their welfare. When people feel good like this during an initial comment, it is often much easier to keep the conversation going.

Comment About Recent Events

Many people are interested in the news, and they like to keep up with what is going on in the world at the moment. With that said, you may wish to ask them something like “Did your read in the papers about so and so?” Another good starter question is “Did you see the news this morning?” Either one of these will typically start up a great conversation.

Keep in mind though, when using this method to begin small talk, to steer away from talking about issues that may offend someone. However, if you have chatted with the same person before and know that certain issues will not bother them, then feel free to chat away. Sometimes controversial issues can be great ice-breakers, but just be sure that the other person has the same views as you.

When you follow these useful tips, you will find that making small talk can be quite easy and even enjoyable. Try practicing some of these methods on a few of your close friends, and you will soon discover that starting conversations with small talk is much easier than you thought.

Useful Resources
Forbes. Com – Six Reasons Small Talk Is Very Important—And How To Get Better At It 
The Washington Post – The Rich Resonance of Small Talk

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