How to get better at Small Talk

Hi, I'm Emily Tim and I'm a top-performing Sales department manager at this company. I hit the Sales target of this quarter in the first month itself and do much more to enhance my company's turnover. In my experience, I have seen that small talk with potential customers play a lot of role in getting them to purchase products. I'd like to share my experience with you in the form of some valuable tips to get better at small talk.

Tips to get better at small talk

Let your conversation partner speak more

The best way to make any conversation rolling spontaneously is to ask the other person to share more about himself or herself and listen to it with care. A psychological research shows that people who get to talk when others listen to them with care are left happier after the conversation. In turn, you get to know the other person's views which could be valuable to you. Also, you get to be a good listener. So, allow your conversation partner to talk more and gain as a genuine listener.

Why do some conversations end abruptly?

Don't know something? Ask upfront

If you do not know a particular subject, feel free with an open mind to ask your conversation partner. Allow him/her to teach you. The chances are more that he/she will teach you than not. So, it is more likely that you will get your doubt clarified and know the person a little more.

What are you waiting for then? Shed inhibitions and ask upfront.


Keep abreast with current affairs

When you know that you will be attending a social event or any gathering shortly, keeping abreast with current affairs will be of immense help. No matter what type of persons you bump into, they will always have something or the other to talk about. Few or at least one among those could be that you read about in the news. In a blink's moment, you will be able to catch up with the conversation. You will feel involved and satisfied in every moment and shoo away awkward silences.

Honesty is handy - Employ it

If you totally believe that you do not like small talk, you can certainly express your viewpoint. You will be able to contain and present yourself better that way. Your conversation partner will probably feel relieved too!

When both are on the same page, you can talk about big things that matter a lot to you/all. This can help promote various awesome aspects like personal emotional security, social welfare, and execution of a wonderful technological idea.

Emulate good conversationalists

Prolonged practice becomes one's own habit. So, it is a good idea to emulate good conversationalists like talk-show hosts. You can take it from there and give it your own signature to it. Probably, they learned it this way too!

Some cues to take from them are:

  • how to ask relevant questions that are engaging for all involved?
  • how to listen with empathy?
  • how to continue the conversation based on the answer of the guest?
  • how to make use of the moments of silence?
  • where to clarify?
  • when and what to joke about?
  • how to modulate the tone of the voice based on what is being talked about?
  • how to present the whole wide world a beneficial perspective/idea from inferences?
  • how to be a master of our words and not slaves of the same for life time?

Compliment your conversation partner

Compliment your conversation partner genuinely and raise as an emotional uplifter for both. When you part, you both will feel better about yourselves before meeting each other. Such is the value of praising or  appreciating that it boosts the self-esteem of the conversation partner.


Ask broad scoped engaging questions

Ask questions like, " What is keeping you busy these days?" instead of "What do you do?". The former type of question will let the listener have the choice to pick from a whole gamut of matters that he/she is into.

There could be a lot more than career as such that a person may be into and would like talking about. So, broaden the scope of the question. You might be amazed at the answers that could be interesting aspects like sports, hobby, volunteering, unconventional time fillers, family, invention ideas lingering in the mind, or funding for a social cause.

Be aware that others feel weird too

You got to know that others might feel hesitant or weird to break the silence just like you. So, there is nothing to be ashamed of how you feel. It is absolutely normal to feel like that.

You will be surprised that people who seem incredibly confident, struggle with similar self-doubts as you. Just knowing this should make you understand that you are not alone. Getting to be casual while talking should be achievable with ease than you may have thought.

How to make your conversation partner talk more?

If applicable, you can choose more than one option to answer the question.

  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Broaden the scope of your question
  • Ask questions that fetch boolean answer
  • Listen empathetically
  • Showcase your ability to speak about various topics

Choose if the following statements are True or False

  • It is a good strategy not to ask about an unfamiliar subject to your conversation partner.
  • Leaving silence to get over by itself is best.
  • Complimenting others is a waste of time and will be seen as being hollow.
  • If you are honest, you are more likely to switch off the other person.
  • Knowing what is going around near and far helps you as well as the person you are talking to.
  • Learning from others is a disgrace.
  • If you have got what you want out of a conversation, it is not necessary to show care about what the other person is saying.
  • Emulating good conversationalists kills the originality in you forever.
  • The statement saying that others feel weird too is a wishful thinking of timid people and cannot be found among the rest.


Thanks for completing the course! I hope that the tips from my personal experience will help you enhance your small talk skills and gain in your personal and professional lives!