Learn small talk : Painless tips for icebreakers
Personality Development

Learn Small Talk :Painless Tips for Icebreakers

learn small talk

Learn Small Talk : Having a good conversation is an art in itself and an important key to success. It is precisely this art of easy chatting that many find difficult.

Good small talk is not rocket science. It can be learned – so that you can elegantly break every proverbial ice and make a positive first impression. It is often enough to avoid typical small talk mistakes. We’ll show you how you can learn small talk better.

Why small talk at all?

Small talk is, according to the definition, an everyday conversation that is carried out spontaneously, randomly, relaxed and in a colloquial tone. There are no formal rules for this and it is created in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. That also means: This form of conversation can be used universally. As small talk with colleagues, as a chat at a party, as a little conversation in the elevator or on the train … You can basically have small talk anywhere. In some situations, however, small talk is not just an opportunity, but an important factor in getting into conversation with other people. For example:

On the first day in the new job

You are new and don’t know anyone yet. In order to make a pleasant first impression, you should talk to your colleagues. Small talk is the perfect introduction to establishing casual contact.

When meeting a client

Certainly the purpose of your meeting is for business. But light conversation loosens the atmosphere and welcomes the customer.

During the interview

The first few minutes of the meeting already determine the level of sympathy. So take the recruiter’s offer and have some casual conversation. Then the rest is also easier.

What makes good small talk?

Successful small talk exhibits charm  and charisma , wit and esprit. But it has no purpose whatsoever. It’s not about selling something (even if it’s just yourself) or impressing someone. While chatting, you want to get to know each other, talk, build bridges and find common ground. If not – fine too. This is what makes small talk so easy. And that’s the only way to keep them.

A good conversation is the art of telling an interesting story – storytelling , as it is also known today. You reveal a little about yourself, create a good mood, show humor – maybe even laugh at yourself. And the effect is: you gain trust and sympathy.

Here are a few suggestions for getting started with small talk (so-called “ice breakers”):

      What do you do for a living?

The classic among all small talk intros, because it opens up a number of follow-up questions, for example about the company, the industry or the position in which your counterpart works. The question is a good one, but also quite trite. You don’t attract attention through originality.

  What do you get inspired by?

Undoubtedly the more original opener. Because it makes the other reflect on themselves – and that inspires both of you. The question is therefore not only suitable as an introduction to a conversation, but also as a starting point for discussion in an already established group.

    Which book are you reading now?

This question is also aimed at sources of inspiration, but can also be expanded to include hobbies or private interests. In any case, you will gain a lot of information about your counterpart and other topics of conversation.

What did you do before?

You can ask this question after the other person has introduced himself extensively. However, it should never sound like you aren’t interested in his current job. Otherwise your counterpart will be offended. Finding out a little bit about each other’s history tells you a lot about their profession and their potential expectations of you.

And what are you doing here?

Attention: The question can be emphasized in any way In one variant it sounds like an interrogation. What is meant is the second: You are interested in how your counterpart felt about this event, this lecture or the party and what relationship he or she has with the organizer. At the latest then you have the first thing in common, because you also know the organizer from somewhere.

How did you find the lecture?

The prerequisite for this, of course, is that there was such a presentation. But then it is important that you do not trumpet your own opinion right away. Especially if you thought the talk was stupid. Otherwise you will immediately spread a negative mood at the beginning. And that blocks. A substantive and intellectual examination of what has been said emphasizes your common ground as a listener and creates new points of discussion.

  That looks really delicious! Where did you get that from?

Admittedly, the question is more for the brave and extrovert and for parties with a buffet. But she is usually extremely well received, because in her humorous dress there is praise: “You have taste!” And that brings sympathy. In addition, after you have picked up the same thing, you can stand up and start chatting: Sorry, I haven’t even introduced myself yet: My name is …


Some Painless Tips to Learn Small Talk

Regardless of whether it is a fleeting conversation with colleagues, the boss or the neighbors. Having casual small talk is an important everyday skill. With our tips you will be able to approach others more actively and make a personable impression.

Start the conversation

start the conversation

An embarrassing moment often arises in small talk situations when nobody really dares to start the conversation. Even if you don’t consider yourself the hero of small talk: take the first step. In any case, embarrassed silence is more uncomfortable than a somewhat clumsy sentence. Do not be afraid of trivialities , this is where the “little conversation” usually goes. The trick is to get out of your comfort zone. You will see that opening conversations is not that difficult after you have done it a few times.

Don’t forget to smile

Don"t forget to smile

Even if you are unsure yourself:First Smile ! This immediately makes you more personable and makes the further situation easier. Smiling is not only healthy, but also automatically creates a connection with your counterpart. 

Express yourself positively in small talk

Express yourself positively in small talk

Small talk should be irrelevant. That is why you should only express yourself  positively. First of all, if you curse about the food, the boss’s clothes or the lousy lecture, you don’t seem particularly personal. Second, you run the risk of ending up with the wrong person. The boss’s wife will probably not be thrilled if you curse about his clothes (and an unpopular colleague could pass it on to him directly), the party guest may have brought the vilified cake or your counterpart is completely enthusiastic about the speaker. When in doubt, you only risk the respect of your counterpart. Do not take this risk, just leave out negative comments in small talk.

Ask open-ended questions

Ask open ended questions

“That was an interesting lecture, wasn’t it?” Your counterpart can only answer this question with “Yes” or “No” and the topic is over and the conversation comes to a standstill. It is better to have open questions to which your interlocutor has to answer with at least one sentence. In this case it would be: “How did you find the lecture?”

Interpret the reactions

Interpret the reaction

When making small talk, pay close attention to the reactions of your interlocutor. On his facial expression and gestures. If he or she turns away, seems inattentive, or keeps looking at the clock, something is not going well. Maybe you talk too much about yourself or you chose an uninteresting topic? Try to empathize  with the other person. Not to Change the subject. If that doesn’t work either, you should perhaps end the conversation skillfully.

Collect suitable entries and topics for small talk

If you are afraid of embarrassing silence or keep getting on top of the topics, make a list of possible conversations , questions and topics . Of course, you can’t look up the list during the conversation, but this way you increase the chance that you will think of something suitable immediately. It becomes even more specific if you think about which topics are exactly suitable for this situation before a party, a conference or an interview.

Watch others chat

Watch others chat

There are true masters of chatting from whom you can learn a great deal. Be aware of how others deal with this situation. What themes are they using? How is your posture?  How do you avoid embarrassing breaks and how do you escape the situation again? And above all: What do they do differently than you? When “learning on the object” you will surely get a lot of ideas that you can try out in the next situation.

Starting up conversations with new people you meet will also help you to improve and expand your social life. Who knows where your next friendship or romantic relationship is going to come from?

It just might be the stranger you met while you were chatting at the bus stop.

Final Thought

 Small talk is the biggest talk we do. Susan RoAne


Small talk can be used universally.

Successful small talk exhibits charm and charisma, wit and esprit.

A good conversation is the art of telling an interesting story.

Even if you don’t consider yourself the hero of small talk: take the first step.

First Smile! This immediately makes you more personable and makes the further situation easier.

Express yourself positively.

It is better to have open questions.

Pay close attention to the reactions of your interlocutor.

Make a list of possible conversations, questions and topics.

Key learning:

What is small talk?

Tips to become the conversation starter?

How did you like the article?Feel free to comment and let me know some other tips for small talk.

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Until next time, 


N.A. Arora




February 2, 2021 at 5:29 pm

It is amazing how small talks such as these examples forms part the foundation of great and meaningful relationships, if we would be courageous enough to indeed break the ice, great tips, thanks for sharing.

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