Great Small Talk Topics

When you meet someone for the first time, especially in a setting when you are trying to network to look for a job, it can be hard to know wheat to say. Mastering small talk means being able to think quickly on your feet. Here are some tried-and-true topics to add to your arsenal:

  • Comment on a piece of clothing or accessory. People love compliments and will be eager to tell you where they got, why they got it, and even how much it costs.
  • Share an anecdote about your day. That’s where that your journal you’re keeping will come in handy. Sharing stories about your day will make people feel like they know you.
  • Ask what movies or books they’ve seen or read recently. Maybe you’ll discover that you have something in common! This can lead to great conversations.
  • Recall your past conversations with the same person. Have you talked to this person before? If so, ask a question that will remind them of your last conversation. This will make it seem like you are truly interested in their lives
  • Avoid “yes or no” questions. By asking open-ended questions that require an explanation you will engage the other person in conversation.

Some topics are not appropriate for small talk. Talking about politics, or anything controversial, isn’t a great idea. You should also remember your audience. A conversation about that racy new music video might not be the best choice for small talk with a senior citizen.

At the end of the day, don’t force anything. If the conversation feels like dragging a piano uphill then it may be time to move on. You can’t connect with everyone, and some conversations will never get off the ground. Making small talk involves knowing when it’s time to move on.

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