Making small talk
The mention of small talk can terrify most people. Whether it is for personal affairs or for business, making small talk is an important skill everyone should be equipped with. While talking to people we know can be easy, engaging a stranger in a conversation can be difficult. Not only must we know how to tactfully start the conversation, we must also be able to keep the flow going and be engaged with the other person.
You might be wondering why this is all necessary. Why put ourselves in potentially uncomfortable and awkward situations when we can blissfully pretend to be busy on our phones? The answer of course, is because to make connections. When we make an effort to connect with others, it automatically makes us slightly more likeable. It is also never a bad thing to expand our connections, as you will never know where it might lead you; small talk opens the door to potentials and career opportunities. Besides that, social interaction can also improve certain skills, such as reading body language, and stimulate the mind through the exchange of ideas.
Now the next step is to know HOW to make small talk.
All conversations start with a “Hello”.
Speak less and listen more. A conversation is a two-way process and being a good listener is also key for a good conversation.
Find common grounds such as interests and hobbies.
Ask questions to help keep the conversation going.
Keep the conversation upbeat and add humour when appropriate.
Making small talk does not have to be awkward. It may be daunting the first few times, but like every other skill, it can be improved with practice, so go forth and talk!