How to get better at small talk

Praise Maukazuva, 15 February 2017

Most people find it difficult to socialize or simply engage in a small conversation. Which is normal, because it is not an easy task. You probably have absolutely nothing in common, or they are too sophisticated that you might feel like you are insulting them accidentally. I have been in such situations and they normally end with an awkward pause, or silence.

So how can we get better at this? You might find the tips below useful:

1. Show interest in the conversation

You can show interest by asking more about themselves. Let them talk about themselves. That way you are also able to pick up some areas of interesting that you can discuss on. Show that you care about what they are talking about and be a good listener.

2. Ask open-ended question

Avoid questions that will end up with a “yes” or “no” answer. That will end the kill the conversation.

3. Try to practice with anyone

It can be your house cleaner, or the security guard. This will help you maintain interesting conversations. It will also make you comfortable with starting up conversations.

4. Pass out positive comments

Or to flatter them. People like to be praised and they always want to be associated with people who make them feel better.

5. Learn from reality show hosts or comedians

Master how they ask questions and how they handle different expressions or answers, positive and negative both. The order of questions they ask also. It is very important. Questions that are too mumbled will kill the conversation.

6. Be Honest

Honesty is an important aspect when it comes to communication. Especially when you want to start a relationship, as it promotes relationships of trust.

7. F.O.R.M.

In case you forget or run out on what to ask. F is for family. You can talk about about family. O is for occupation, where they work or if they are still a student, what they are studying. R is for Recreation, what they do for fun or places they have visited so far. And lastly M for Money. Now this doesn’t mean you have to ask them what they earn or how much money they have but simply economy issues or current affairs.

And most of all. Body language is very important. I will leave you with the last acronym SOFTEN.

S Smile often, this shows that you are interested in the conversation
O Open posture
F Forward lean
T Touch by shaking hands
E Eye contact should be kept always
N Nod your head, to show that you are listening and you can actually relate with what they are talking about
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