Bearing in mind small talk as pointless would definitely be a blunder. It is because mastering this art can not only provide you with personal gains but even with professional benefits.
So, read this complete article to know everything about the ignored but undoubtedly extremely significant ‘small talk.’
You enter a novel place and look around for known faces. But you realize that there are not any! Consequently, try avoiding the entire situation and wish for a secret escape.
Loitering around the table or moving in and out of the washroom are few of the potential ways that you are following to avoid engaging in chit-chat. But as per the experts, there is nothing pointless about the small talk conversation.
Mastering the fine art of small talk can help you avoid falling into an awkward social situation, or a small event or other instances where you are a stranger.
Small talks skills are easy ways to build connections with other people. It is about sustaining, starting and finishing a dialogue with acquaintances or strangers.
Small Talk Meaning:
Small talk is a technique of initiating a conversation. Making small talk is a way to contact and connect with people and intends to offer you contacts with friends, business associates, colleagues and others that last for a longer time period.
You may refine the things, which you wish to say in the small-talk and soon you will find out that it is an effective and useful way to develop and extend your networks.
Some evergreen small talk topics could be the weather, movies, culture, books, and headlines in the news, career, and more others.
Why is Small Talk so Important?
Just try and recall. How did you make a non-familiar relationship, a familiar one? The answer to this might be ‘small talk.’ Using a small talk constructively alongside can make your everyday life success-oriented and easier. You never knew whom you will meet next.
Whenever you meet an acquaintance, then these talks help you build an impressive structure for your communication. It also offers you adequate space to present your ideas in a pleasing manner. Besides these, the other major reasons that support the importance of small talk are:
1. It makes you smarter:
As per experts, such talks boost the problem-solving skills of a person. Few social interactions can induce people to think the other way and look to a problem with a different perspective and with a different solution.
2. It is spontaneous:
The best thing about these talks is that you never know where it will reach, and the other great thing is that it does not involve any risk of involvement. Sometimes these talks turn out to be so positive that they result in a pleasant encounter or even signing of the business contract.
3. It opens your eyes:
Undoubtedly, these talks inform you everything about the present. As a result, you become more attentive and pay attention to everything that is going around you. You might be limited only to the smartphone, but this communication can help you gain knowledge from other intelligent minds in the simplest way.
4. It can help you become an admirer:
If you wish to make new friends and want to influence people then it is essential that you are liked by all of them. Individuals like people who are confident enough and are generous to engage them. You must remember that small talk is not only a way of entertaining and exchanging information. It is also a gentle gesture of respect that most individuals appreciate.
5. It makes you feel better about what you are:
Maybe you are not a great personality, but definitely every person has some unique traits that make them different from others. You might be even not aware of the unique skills that make you different from others, but these are within yourself and can help you present them to others.
6. Inevitably, everyone needs it:
Small talks are important because almost everyone needs it. Whether you are planning a new career ahead or you want to spend a little time with your co-workers, or you are signing a crucial business deal, or you are just entertaining your friends, all this requires your ability to engage in small talk.
As per the experts, your pitch is essential for your business to flourish. Even simple, innocuous chats with the clients are important. Companies are always hunting for resources who can think out of the box and small talks tips help you think the other way.
The Purpose of Small Talk:
Although the purpose of small talk is little useful, it is but a bonding ritual and an effective strategy to manage the interpersonal distance. It serves multiple functions to help define the relationships between colleagues, friends and novel acquaintances.
In specific, it aids acquaintances to categorize and explore each other’s social designation. Such talks are related closely to the requirements of people to maintain a positive benchmark and feel admired and approved by those who are listening to them.
It fashions social interactions in a highly flexible way, but the concluding function depends on the point in the conversation at which the small talk begins.
1. Conversation initiator:
When it is a small talk between two strangers, then it helps them to identify that they have friendly intentions and require a little bit of positive interaction. In a professional meeting, it allows people to establish their reputation and also the levels of expertise.
On the other hand, if it is the conversation between two known individuals, then their chit-chat serves as a pleasing introduction before engaging in other functional topics of conversation. It enables them to sense other’s mood and signal their own mood to develop a strong connection.
2. During the end of the talk:
A sudden end to a conversation actually results in the risk of rejecting the other person. These chats are useful mitigating the rejection and affirm the relation between two individuals and please the parting.
3. Space fillers for avoiding the silence:
In most of the cultures, silences between two people are considered uncomfortable. Comfortable can be boosted by initiating phatic talk until a substantial topic occurs. It is because most humans find sometimes silence unbearable.
Benefits of Engaging in Small Talk:
The talk is small, but genuinely it could lead to big benefits. Some of the great advantages of the art of small talk are:
1. It helps to create a lasting impression:
Small talks provide people with lots of information in a very small time. It also helps them to evaluate the atmosphere. With such talks, you can probe your terrain and can sort out all the things, like other person’s sensitivities or humor. As a result, they help you create a lasting impression on the other person.
2. It can be beneficiary for your career:
There are possibilities that the woman who you are avoid talking to, is an expert in your field and can help you get a better job. Chatting with her on a common topic can help you present your aspirations to her and what all you wish to accomplish in your life. It may help you build a connection with someone who can help you gain more success in your preferred field.
3. It may inspire new ideas:
It is also believed that chatting with acquaintances or strangers helps to create new ideas and thoughts. It is great for inspiring new ideas and for this reason works for modern focus groups. When you talk to a stranger, then you are always thinking of new ideas to impress him, or to provide a solution to his problem, or similar things.
4. It aids in paying you attention:
Today’s society is getting entrapped into smartphones. Most individuals, even if not professionals, are always relying on their smartphones to gain knowledge. However, all this results in a lack of paying adequate attention to the surroundings.
Chatting with a stranger forces you to keep your smartphone on the side for some time and at least attend the person interested in talking to you. It pressurizes you to listen for a change, and hence, you unplug your smartphone and participate in the active communication process, thereby speaking with a real person in front of you.
5. It may help to build lasting relationships:
It is possible that your relationship with your close friend even started a small talk. After all, even friendships require a beginning. You may, therefore, chat with someone new and you can make yourself a new friend. Even such talks can help you gain more than one relationship that lasts for a lifetime.
6. It can make you stay happy:
It might sound a little weird, but small talks can actually make you happy. When you talk to strangers with smiling faces and soothing gestures, then it provides your entire body with positivity and hence makes you feel happy. There are few instances when such talks can even make you develop a strong bond or a business connection or a friendly affair with the other person.
Tips to Master the Art of Small Talk:
Now that you have known all the benefits of smart talk, you must be definitely thinking of precise ways to become a master in it. While everyone has its own unique and special ways to begin communication with a stranger, here are some of the tips that can help you gain mastery in this very interesting subject.
1. Greet individuals appropriately:
To begin a conversation does not necessarily require engaging in an ongoing conversation. If two people are talking, then it is not essential to involve yourself in it, as may be the conversation is private. So find a suitable time and begin communicating with the other person in an appropriate and gentle manner.
2. Reduce anxiety:
Most of the times, people are actually scared of talking to new persons. It is because they are not pretty much confident about themselves. If you, therefore, wish to end on a lucrative note, then it is essential that you begin, sustain and conclude the entire chat with confidence.
3. Have an approachable body language:
If you wish to make a person feel comfortable while talking to you, then it is essential for you to have a suitable body language. Also, you can judge a person using their body language. Make the person feel that he is getting all your attention, but make sure to maintain the right distance.
4. Keep away your phone:
Even if you are too busy, it is mandatory! Try not involving your phone in the entire communication as it may make an individual feel the lack of attention from your side.
5. Find a common or at least an interesting topic:
If you find a common topic to discuss with the other person, then it is simply great. But be careful that the information you share is correct as since the topic is common the other person must possess good knowledge about it. If in case, you don’t find a common topic, then you may search for an interesting one.
6. Reveal something about yourself:
Don’t forget the major reason to begin the small talk. Obviously, you want to introduce yourself to the person. Find a suitable time and then present important information about yourself that can impress the other person and help him comprehend you as an individual.
7. Notice your surroundings:
As soon as you begin communicating with the person ensure to be prepared for further incidences for which you wish to talk about. Keep a keen notice of the person and the surroundings and then communicate with the person accordingly.
8. Don’t forget to listen:
Small talk is a two way process that must not only be limited to speaking but must also involve active listening. You must, therefore, try to actively listen to what the other person is saying as only then you will be able to gain from his knowledge and experience.
Practicing an act can help you gain perfection in it and this holds true even for the small talk skills. So practice this art and become a master in it as it can make you feel connected, happier and engaged with others.
Small Talk Topics to Choose From:
- About Climate or Weather
- Entertainment(Movies, TV shows, Local restaurants, Music, Books)
- Food, restaurants, or cooking
- Travel or local favorites
51 Small Talk Questions to Choose:
- How did you become a [job title]?
- How does it feel to get your first job?
- What is the craziest thing your boss has asked you to do as part of your job?
- What one best or worst career advice you have ever received
- What surprised you the most when you first started working?
- What was your first job experience like?
- What would you do with your life/career if you were guaranteed 100% success?
- What would you do, if you weren’t working here?
- Would you rather like to have a work week of five eight hour days or four ten-hour days with a three day weekend?
- Do you always feel more depressed when the weather is bad or during long periods of rainy weather?
- Do you prefer cold or hot weather?
- How does foggy weather make you feel?
- What is the weather like today? How do you feel about it?
Entertainment Related Questions:
- What are some great podcasts to listen to?
- What are some of your favorite accounts to follow on Instagram
- What are the 5 best movies you have ever seen?
- What do you love that most people hate, or vice versa?
- What fictional character from novels do you most identify with and why (any novel, any period, any language)?
- What is a movie that made you both laugh and cry?
- What is one app that you can’t live without?
- What kind of books do you mostly read? Which one book will you definitely recommend reading to me?
- Who should be your partner on “The Amazing Race”?
Food Related Questions:
- Do you have any secret recipe that you would like to share?
- If you had to pick just one food to eat the rest of your life and nothing else, what would it be, and why?
- What are the best cheap eats around here?
- What are the foods you should never eat?
- What can I have for lunch instead of sandwiches?
- What is the weirdest food you have eaten and actually liked?
- What is your favourite restaurant and why?
- What is your special comfort food?
- what’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast
- Which of your family’s recipes are the most secret?
Travel Related Questions:
- Do you prefer a relaxing vacation or an action-packed one?
- If you could go on a free vacation anywhere, where would you go to
- If you could take a workcation or sabbatical, where would you go and what would you do?
- What do you have planned for your next vacation?
- What is the longest road trip you’ve ever been on?
- What is there to do off the beaten track in here
- What was the last place you visited and was it a good experience
- What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
- What’s your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
Life Story Related Questions:
- As a kid, what did you want to be after growing up?
- What are your talents or skills that impress other people?
- What is the best or worst advice you ever received?
- What was the must-have accessory or item when you were growing up?
- What was your favorite extracurricular in elementary school?
- What’s the most unbelievable event to ever happen to you?
- Where did you live before this? What are the biggest differences you see?
- Who’s the most important role model or mentor you’ve had in your life?
- If given a chance you have to choose the eighth wonder, what it would be and why?
- If you could go back in time and do one thing, what would it be?
- If you could have any animal as your pet, what would you choose?
- If you could teach a new class in school, what would it be?
- If you had 3-5 objects you could put in a time capsule that defined who you are, what would you choose and why?
- What is something you thought of, created or invented on your own only to discover it already exists?
- What was the weirdest compliment you’ve ever received?
- What would be your ideal set of superpowers?
- What would you like to do if you get the chance to go 10 years back into the past?
- What’s the most out of character thing you’ve ever done?
Small Talk Topics to Avoid:
- Personal finances
- Physical appearance
- Past Relationships
- Death or illness
- Offensive Jokes
- Anything so specific that very few people can relate to it
- Topics that are sexual in nature