Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Best Ways to Make Small Talk

I was at a party last night, and used two of these four best ways to make small talk! They work -- but the trick is remembering them when you need them...maybe my next post should be the "best ways to remember the best ways to make small talk"...

Best Ways to Make Small Talk

Parrot the key phrases. Repeating certain words is a sure-fire way to keep conversations going. For instance, if your date says something like, “The last time I saw a live concert was in the 90’s, when I won tickets to Elton John.” This is the perfect time for you to say “Elton John?” or “concerts in the 90’s” or “live concerts.” More often than not, your date will keep talking about that topic. Try it — it works!
Pay attention to what he or she says. When you're making small talk, follow up on specific sentences. For instance, if she says she's "excellent" when you ask how she's doing, ask why – and ask where you can get some of that! If she says she's exhausted, follow up on it. When you're making small talk, remember that great conversations and good connections are yours if you show genuine interest.

Ask open-ended questions that require an explanation. For instance, “How are you?” isn’t an effective way to make small talk. It's better if you ask “Whatever happened with ‘__________’ “? or “The last time we spoke you said ________. What happened with that?” This tip is from 10 First Date Conversation Starters -- which isn't just about making small talk on dates!

Talk about the elephant in the corner. If you notice that there seems to be nothing to talk about, then your date is probably noticing the same thing. Talk about that! I use this as a conversation starter regularly: “Isn’t it awkward when you feel like you have nothing to say?” Then you’ll start talking about that – and you’ll both be more relaxed. Try it – it's one of the best ways to make small talk.

For more small talk tips, read Small Talk: The Art of Socialising.

What do you think of these ways to make small talk? I welcome your commentes below...

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