The Art of Making Small TalkMay 13, 2022
Have you ever wished you knew how to make small talk with people? It can be daunting, but it's a vital skill. Small talk can lead to more significant conversations, and it can be the start of something truly extraordinary. This blog post will discuss some tips for making small talk with ease and grace.
A casual conversation can bring something significant.
When it comes to conversations with people, we don't always have to discuss heavy topics like politics, philosophy, or religion to have a meaningful discussion. Having casual conversations or small talk is a way to break the ice and talk about something fun or exciting in a lighter tone. You may think that you will lose substance and credibility for making small talk, but that will only happen if it's what you talk about all the time.
Small talk serves as the appetizer of conversation before getting to the main course of discussion. It helps us start conversations with someone and breaks the ice when the topic of the discussion gets too heavy. In addition, small talk allows us to connect with other people, which can develop into long-term relationships, which can be handy in business when creating a social network. Finally, on a personal level, we can make more friends and get to know others better through our small-talk skills.
Making small talk may seem like an easy task, but it can be challenging for some. However, there are certain things to remember when trying to make small talk, and applying them will polish our conversation skills.
1. Be knowledgeable about things
It's challenging to start a conversation with someone when you don't know what to talk about with them. So an excellent way to overcome this is to be more knowledgeable about many things and be in the loop. Good conversation starters are current events, commenting about the current place or situation you are in, sporting events, and the good old weather (Nice weather we're having, aren't we?). Being knowledgeable about certain hobbies can also spark a conversation if the person you talk to has the same hobby as yours. Whatever topic you choose as a starting point, make it light and straightforward, as suddenly introducing a heavy topic like politics may trigger some sensitive issues to the other person and make them not want to talk.
2. Build up your confidence
No matter how many things you know that can spark a conversation, and if you don't dare to speak up and approach another person, you won't be able to make small talk with someone. Therefore, it's essential to have the self-confidence to talk with someone, especially if it's somebody you don't know and only happens to be in the same situation or vicinity as you. For extroverts and friendly people, engaging in small talk is a no-brainer. However, it's not the case for some. Thankfully, there are ways to build one's confidence over time, and getting out of your comfort zone can be a key.
3. Immerse yourself more in social situations
To make speaking with others more comfortable, one can train by immersing more in cases that involve socializing with people. Social anxiety can be challenging to overcome, but by gradually engaging yourself in social gatherings, one can overcome the hurdle of starting a conversation with other people. The idea with small talk is that you don't only speak when needed or somebody asks you a question. One should also learn how to start a conversation by themselves.
4. Master the craft of giving and taking during conversations
There's an aspect of giving and taking between two people talking to each other during a conversation. Each person should take turns speaking and listening to the other person. The idea is to keep the conversation going. Asking open-ended questions is an excellent way to do this. While talking to each other, don't hog the conversation to yourself, such as always talking about yourself. Also, don't act like an interrogator by being the only one who keeps asking the other person. Don't ask for private or personal information unless you have a close relationship with the other person. It's essential to balance letting the other person speak and listening to you while you also do the same.
5. Be a good listener
When talking to somebody, it's essential to be respectful, and paying attention to what the other person says is vital. When you listen intently to somebody speaking, you are interested in talking with them. Body language is also essential, so maintaining eye contact and not fidgeting too much helps. If you happen to have a chance to speak again with a person you had a conversation with before, asking follow-up questions about what they told you back will create an impression to the other person that you are listening well to what they say. It can spark a deeper level of connection between the two of you, which can be crucial when forming meaningful relationships with other people.
Small talk may not be so small after all.
Conversations can have varying degrees of weight regarding the topics discussed. A good conversationalist will know how to juggle conversation topics depending on the mood and how another person speaks toward you. There's a time for serious discussion and another time for making some light talks with others. When meeting new people and trying to make friends or contact other people, small talks have the power to make an initial impression and build rapport with them. Things that can pique the interest or have something to relate to with another person can be good small-talk topics. Learning how to make small talk improves your communication skills and can be handy when finding new opportunities, such as jobs that require good conversational skills. The art of small talk can also help you open up more about yourself and get to know others better, leading to a more fulfilling social life.