The Art of Small Talk or How to Keep Conversation Going

Let's talk? - About what? - About nothing!

If empty talk does not cause you fear or dislike, then you are most likely familiar with the concept of "small talk" - this is an easy, unobtrusive conversation with strangers or unfamiliar people on abstract topics. In general, this is a conversation - just not to be silent ...

The ability to conduct "small talk" is an important tool in communication with people, because how often do we meet our colleague in the elevator, and after a short greeting, we hopefully begin to count down the floors to the exit ...

So, WHY to learn the art of "small talk":

  1. Find new, interesting acquaintances
  2. Find common topics with your interlocutor and deepen the conversation
  3. Structure and manage the conversation
  4. An invaluable practice of English - during "small talk" you will be able to tell about yourself, your hobbies, and of course ask questions to the interlocutor. For "small talk" you do not need Intermediate, you just need your desire)

So, WHERE can we face a situation in which we need "small talk"?

  • You met a colleague at a party;
  • Leaving the store, we ran into a neighbor;
  • At a business meeting, you will meet with foreign colleagues

In general, in any situation where we usually have nothing to say)

Of course, the hardest part is starting a conversation. The most successful topic for this is ... no, no, not the weather, but a discussion of the place of your meeting, for example:

  • What a nice restaurant is it! 
  • I like those decorations over there. Do you?
  • The conference is well-organized; I do notice it. Do you?

Also, it will be appropriate to ask questions about the situation you are in:

  • The food is too spicy! I don’t really want to taste another dish.
  • The host’s dogs are so lovely! I do want to have a pet.

After a pleasant start, it is worth consolidating the success and continuing the conversation. We work using the FORD technique (in this order it is recommended to conduct a conversation):

F — family
O — occupation
R — recreation 
D — dreams

Family question options:

  • Where are you from originally?
  • What’s your hometown like?
  • What do you think of this city?
  • How is your family?
  • What about the rest of your family?

Occupation question options:

  • What’s keeping you busy these days?
  • How long have you been in your field?
  • What was your first-ever job?
  • What’s the best part of your job?

Speaking about Recreation, you can ask not only about your interlocutor's hobbies, but also tell about your own:

  • What do you do for fun?
  • What sports do you follow?
  • Have you seen any good movies recently?
  • Have you read any good books lately?

Dreams, dreams… Who among us doesn't like to dream? For some, such questions will seem the most interesting:

  • If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
  • What will you do once you finish that project? Course?
  • If money wasn’t an issue, what job would you want?

Now you know when and how to have pleasant, unobtrusive conversations. Let’s practice in comments)

Author: Yana Kozyr

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