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How to Make Small Talk

How to Make Small Talk: Listen, Speak, Experiment, and Practice

Some people can find making small talk extremely difficult. Here are some useful tips to start conversations with other people.
SocialMettle Staff
Last Updated: Sep 20, 2018
Many a time when we meet somebody for the first time or when we are at a party where we do not know anybody, we often feel very awkward and are unable to mingle around or start a conversation.
Generally, people who are shy or lack social skills are the ones who refrain from talking to strangers or sometimes even acquaintances, as they fear that the things they will talk about might not interest the other person. Another reason for this could be low confidence, because of which a person feels very hesitant to approach anybody.
So if these characteristics describe you, and you are looking for some ways to improve your situation, then here are some useful tips for you.
Increase Awareness
Two Women Talking while Eating
A person who does not know what is happening around him/her is often at a loss for words, especially when conversing with people in his workplace. Stay updated by reading newspapers, magazines, books and office newsletters.
Once you have a lot of information, you can start conversations with anybody by discussing whatever you have read.
Practice
Two Women Friends Talking
If you are the shy type, then even if you have lots of information to share, you might not be able to chat about it with others. Practice conversations in order to get over your shyness.
Though initially you may not be very comfortable doing it, but with time your confidence will increase. You can start making small talk with strangers everywhere you go, such as in restaurants, while traveling, with neighbors, and with kids. Hosting parties at your place and inviting friends over is a good way to break the ice and to get to know them better.
Experiment
Dinner In Fine Restaurant
Start experimenting with common things in life such as the food that you eat or even your hobbies. Make it a point to try at least one new restaurant every weekend.
Woman in Dance Class
Develop some new hobbies which you may have never considered before. Take dance lessons, paint, read literature and poetry, basically do everything that makes you stretch your boundaries.
Be a Good Listener
Women Talking in Airplane
It is very important to be a good listener. If you have paid attention to what others are saying, then you can start a conversation with them about the same topic the next time.
For example if someone has told you that they are visiting a doctor for some problem, you can start a conversation with them by inquiring about how they are feeling or what the doctor recommended.
Make the First Move
Businesswomen Talking in Office
In order to start a talk with people at a party, make the first move. Approach someone who seems friendly. You can start by saying 'hi', smiling, and introducing yourself. The person will invariably respond by introducing himself or herself.
Once introductions have been made, you can start talking by asking the person how they know the host. When the other person is talking, make eye contact, nod your head, and give verbal cues such as "oh really" and "that's good" from time to time. If you present a positive body language, any person will enjoy talking to you.
It is important to be yourself. Do not fake anything or try to be somebody you are not. Be confident, humorous, decent, and sound genuine. There is no reason why people will not want to talk to you or be in your company.