The ability to make small talk can be very important, particularly in business and social situations. When you meet someone new, being able to make conversation can help you to create a rapport and build relationships. However, many people find small talk difficult, and feel awkward and tongue-tied when they try to make conversation with someone they don’t know.
If you’re struggling to make small talk, don’t worry – there are some simple things you can do to make the process easier. Read on for some tips on how to make small talk without feeling awkward.
1. Don’t overthink it
One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to small talk is to overthink it. They worry about what they should say, and how they should say it, and as a result they end up feeling tongue-tied and anxious.
The key to making small talk successfully is to relax and not to worry about saying the perfect thing. It’s OK to stumble over your words or to pause for a moment to think about what you want to say – in fact, it’s perfectly normal. The important thing is to keep the conversation going, and not to get too hung up on whether or not what you’re saying is perfect.
2. Listen more than you talk
When you’re in a conversation, it’s important to remember that it’s not all about you. If you want to make small talk successfully, you need to be prepared to listen as well as to talk.
Ask the other person questions about themselves, and really listen to their answers. Show that you’re interested in what they have to say, and make an effort to remember details about them so that you can refer back to them later in the conversation.
3. Talk about things you’re interested in
When you’re making small talk, it’s important to find topics that you’re both interested in. If you’re struggling to think of things to say, try to focus on topics that you’re passionate about. This will help you to relax, and it will also make the conversation more enjoyable for both of you.
4. Avoid controversial topics
When you’re making small talk, it’s best to avoid controversial topics such as politics and religion. These topics can often lead to arguments, and they’re not likely to be something that you have in common with the person you’re talking to.
5. Keep it light
Small talk should be light and easy-going. Avoid getting too personal, and try to steer clear of potentially sensitive topics such as health problems or relationship difficulties.
6. Smile and make eye contact
When you’re making small talk, it’s important to smile and to make eye contact with the other person. This will make you appear friendly and open, and it will help to put the other person at ease.
7. Wrap up the conversation politely
When you’re ready to end the conversation, it’s important to do so politely. Thank the other person for their time, and say that you hope to talk to them again soon.
Making small talk doesn’t have to be difficult or awkward. By following these simple tips, you can make conversation with anyone, anywhere.