Want to keep the conversation going? Try one of these great conversation starters.
The goal with small talk is to get what we call “small” and to avoid awkward silences, so no need for an in-depth discussion on any topic. Any subject will do: what you did last night, where you’re from, and so on. Here are great conversation starters for every situation:
*What was your last vacation like? You could phrase this as a question or just talk about your own vacation. If they don’t have any exciting travel stories, ask what’s something they’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done yet? Or if the person works in the travel industry, try asking them how they got into the industry.
*What’s something that happened in history that you wish could be erased from time? What would you do if you had a second chance? This will lead to interesting and unexpected conversation because asking about what people wish never happened in history opens up all kinds of doors. For example: If Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t get shot and killed and we removed racism, what kind of world would we live in today? How does this affect your life directly or indirectly today?
*If you could sum yourself up in three words, what would they be? Three words is enough to describe someone’s personality but not too much that it feels like an interview. You might discover that even though their friends call them the life of the party, they’d describe themselves as grounded and dependable.
*What’s your favorite part about where you live? If someone says, “I love how green it is here,” ask them if they prefer living in a city or suburb or if they’ve ever lived somewhere else! You could also talk about places that are close to them that they haven’t been to yet. For example: I used to live in New York City and now I’m planning a trip to London. It would be fun to compare both cities since we’re similar distances from each other. Do you have any travel plans coming up?
That’s just a few ideas but whatever you choose, have fun it! And remember there isn’t a ‘right’ answer, so you might be surprised to learn what someone considers fun or interesting about where they live.
Also, make sure to check out our article on the best conversation topics for small talk if you want more help with conversational ideas.
Now that you’ve got your next conversation topic, make sure you’re prepared to have great conversations! This is how:
*Make sure you have a positive, friendly tone in your voice. You don’t want to sound bored or annoyed if they don’t seem interested in the topic. It’s OK to have a dry sense of humor about it too – just show that you’re comfortable with yourself and this will help them feel more at ease around you!
*Don’t overreact to their responses. If they seem reluctant, you can gently prod them with another question like, “What do your friends like about where you live?” Be patient – if it’s not the right time or place for that person to answer your questions, don’t push it. Maybe they’re having a bad day or maybe they’re shy and need more time to open up.
*If you don’t know what to say, try asking them another question like, “What do you think about…?” or “How does ___ make you feel?” Practice makes perfect so the next time you have a conversation with someone, ask yourself those tough questions from earlier: why am I here? What’s my purpose? How will this help me reach my goals in life? Then practice your small talk as if it were an art form. You can do it!
Source: By Shelley Hennig with permission from AllClear ID—Conversation Starters for Any Situation. Copyright © 2013 AllClear ID, LLC. www.workwithshelley.com [ARTICLE END]
This article is property of http://www.talkspace-onlinecounseling.com/ . It must not be used without permission from Talkspace Online Counseling and owner Shannon Thomas Ph.D., LMHC at [email protected] Feel free to link back if you share this on your website! If you have any questions please contact me through my website or through [email protected] . Please subscribe to get the latest articles! Thanks for reading! ~Shelley Hennig, M.A. Licensed Mental Health Counselor www.talkspace-onlinecounseling.com @shelleyhennig
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About Shelley Hennig, M.A., LMHC:
Shelley Hennig is a licensed mental health counselor in New York City who specializes in social anxiety, addiction, and eating disorders with an expertise in improving productivity and communication skills for young professionals and entrepreneurs so they can show up more authentically to the world around them . She believes everyone deserves a life filled with joy, peace, and happiness—no matter their background or upbringing— she works with clients to help them unlock the tools they need in order to live a life full of self-love.
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