How To Be Good At Small Talk: The Ultimate Guide To Conversation

how to get out of awkward situations

Today you’ll find out how to become an expert at small talk

Every day, people are exposed to the potential of communicating with strangers, although how many people are snug with the prospect?

I wrote this article to help those who are searching for solutions to communication problems.

In fact, by the end of reading it, readers will be capable to strike up a conversation with any stranger, without feeling awkward and without fearing the response they will get.

Small talk ideas?

It broke the ice and helped humans get closer to each other. In social situations, it’s a really useful skill because it helps in so many ways.

Open a dialogue with a stranger and you can find out what makes people tick.

This means that in business or home life, you can gain a greater understanding of what’s going on in the world.

You may want to form a new allegiance. You might just want to strike up a friendship otherwise you might want to talk peace with someone who is holding a grudge.

The thing is once you learn the art of small talk, you can open up that dialogue and that is the first step towards greater understanding, potential alliances being made, and never facing social embarrassment.

People who are able to talk to anyone, irrespective of their status in society, can even enjoy a more fulfilling life.


Because their level of understanding is increased and their openness to new things means they live their lives with less fear of the unknown.

How to Get Good at Small Talk:

This guide is their keyhole to a whole new way of thinking.

Imagine having the ability to communicate with the masses and that might provide you with chills, but communication starts one to one, and the confidence of our greatest leaders is based on the ability to talk to anyone at any level.

Find your own greatness and begin learning how to get better at small talk to become more of it, when you approach it the right way.

Once you do, you will not believe the power this thing gives you and the satisfaction you get from making that first approach.

It is invaluable, and in the end, will make you a better person.

The Importance of Making Connections

You may not see the connection between small talk and major accomplishments, but trust me, it starts with the first few words.

If you can confidently communicate with anyone one-on-one, you will be capable to develop skills that will help you through your business and career, in addition to be confident enough to be capable to ask awkward questions when needed. .

Business leaders cannot become business leaders without first knowing how to communicate.

They must make transactions with the bank. They must be capable to hire the right staff and they must make sure that the workforce they employ is willing and able to give their best.

It does not depend upon chance. This depends on having the ability to accept the views of others and wanting to hear their own voice.

That’s where plenty of people go wrong. They have a vision, but that vision does not include listening.

If you want to find out how to talk to anyone and be heard, then listening and observing are the first and most significant skills that will help you in this pursuit.

Behavioral scientists from Chicago have conducted experiments to find out what makes people happier.

Nicolas Epley and Juliana Schroeder argue that people who talk and are open with others are happier and experiment with commuting.

These commuters normally take the same train every day and behave as expected of commuters.

Most passed their way in silence.

However, in a controlled experiment, they asked some passengers to talk to the person next to them, while another control group was asked to resist the temptation to talk and fend for themselves.

When measuring the participants’ responses, they found that those who spoke to strangers were significantly happier than those who did not.

In fact, socializing is part of the lives of happy people and talking to strangers comes naturally because of the way those who are social see life and respond to other people.

In a busy world, would not it be a richer place if people talked to strangers and made the world a kinder place? Indeed it will.

Take a look at the greetings used by people who know one another on an everyday basis or at least on an ongoing basis.

“Hi, how are you?”

“Hey, I hope you recover from the flu.”

“Good morning.”

The problem is that people who take it for granted that they know the recipient of a comment virtually never stick around to hear the reply.

People become disinterested in other people and this makes society a really cold place.

Look at the people you talk to in your everyday life and what you find is that they may say something, but they aren’t very good at listening.

Talking to strangers is a little different, because you need to listen, gauge their answers to continue that conversation.

You do not know anything about the person you are talking to. You only have a view to go on and it does not all the time provide you with an accurate picture.

When people talk to strangers, they open up a two-way dialogue that is usually more open than the everyday conversation between people who know one another.

As such, it has value because it makes people more observant, more thoughtful and more able to see the different characters that make up the world we live in.

You can be shocked, you can be humble and you can certainly meet people who deal with different problems every day of the week, but amongst the strangers, there will be people who leave an everlasting impression of humanity.

They open your mind to new ways of thinking and make you so happy you took the initiative to strike up a conversation.

Stepping past embarrassment and knowing when is the right time to strike up small talk is everything, but it is a vital factor, in a potentially dangerous world.

We tell our children not to talk to strangers, and when faced with the need to have a conversation, we find ourselves bogged down by our preconceptions about what small talk is.

Once you recognize the hazards and overcome those barriers, small talk helps you move forward in life because it’s a necessity.

You might be anxiously awaiting the results from a doctor that means life or death otherwise you might just be at a company party and need to hang around with the right people to make an impression.

Whatever your case, small talk is what makes you known as an open and honest person, and it is important for your happiness and contributing as much to theirs as possible, provided you do it right and respect the boundaries people set to stop others stranger approaching. they.


Looking around you on the train to work, observe the different sorts of individuals you share your space with. There will be people who are outside your age range and who may have little in common with you.

There will be arrogant people who do not want to talk and have thoughts of their own that are already complicated enough to attract the fullest attention.

The first step is to be capable to tell which people invite the approach and which avoid it.

Common interest

If you find something in common with a stranger, you open up an area of ​​potential dialogue.

For example, if two people are standing at a taxi stand in the rain, they both get frustrated from waiting and the rain falls on them.

Of course, this might not be the right time to strike up a conversation, but it might.

You need to be capable to judge when the right time presents itself and step in with a friendly word or two that breaks the ice, makes them feel a little better about their situation and takes the focus off the crappy stuff like the rain, the line at the shop, etc.

If you share interests, you instantly have something you can use to make the first contact.

This small talk may be welcomed or may be shunned and it gives you clues whether or not to continue.

Several examples come to mind.

When you sit outside in a street cafe and the person at the next table smiles at you. There’s nothing wrong with smiling back. They have given you a signal and it’s up to you how you interpret it.

For example, if you’re a wonderful single woman and a man smiles at you, the message could be mixed:

Hello! You have potential and look vulnerable.

Hello! I’m just waiting for my boyfriend but it is nice to see smiling faces.

Hello! I ponder if you can see a little bit of cabbage on your front teeth.

The bottom line is a jumbled message that makes you scared and afraid to get near people outside your own circle. Observation and a smile are the first steps to small talk.

So what if you have cabbage in your front teeth! If a friend told you, you would be grateful.

Overcome the barriers that stop you from communicating with other people and you may really find that strangers can become friends.

Body language

This is a good indicator of whether someone is open to conversation. The defensive pose with your arms crossed is the classic “back off!” and folks who are more open to talking will be much more relaxed.

Eye contact helps.

If you feel someone’s eyes on you there is a good chance they want to talk and eyes are a really good indicator of something else.

They tell you whether someone is honest. They let you know when someone looks at you with approval and they’re conversational aids.

Body language will also tell you if the person is under stress. Busy people tend to occupy themselves with seemingly insignificant things, but they do not really let you make eye contact.

Knowing the different sorts of individuals will really help you. When a comedian takes the stage, he never knows what the audience will be like and how he will be received.

The way comedians measure their audience is by observation. Likewise with speakers trying to convey a message.

Observation is everything.

Open Dialogue Without Fear

If you have all the time been one of those people who shy away from pleasantries, then you need to change that attitude.

People who talk to one another learn a lot. They are certainly happier and don’t feel alone.

Don’t look desperate.

I’ve really had people tell their life stories to other people at the bus stop and it was embarrassing. Acceptable small talk does not put your woes on other people. You cannot open a successful dialogue with negativity.

Another thing that will immediately set someone off is the feeling that the person they’re talking to knows everything.

The know-it-all is not popular at all. These are the people waiting for each opportunity to prove that they know more than anyone else. Their dialogues weren’t accepted for belittling people.

Your approach is everything.

You must be mentally equal to the person you choose to talk to. Two women walking down the street with heavy grocery bags will immediately feel empathy for each other because both are experiencing the same thing equally.

This gives them a chance for dialogue.

Typical phrases you can use as small talk that do not overwhelm the other person are:

Can you tell me what time it’s?

It’s bad weather, is not it?

It looks heavy. Can I help you?

You want to share a taxi and save money?

These are all preludes. Whether the conversation continues is up to the recipient, but if you make it a habit to talk to other people, you can even build up the confidence to use compliments, but only if the compliments are sincere:

Excuse me. Your sweater looks very nice. Can you tell me where you bought it?

Excuse me. I’m searching for a really good optometrist. Do you have any local recommendations?

This leads to a conversation that has a logical conclusion, but does not necessarily conclude when the reply is given. You may just be friends.

Listen to the response. Maybe the lady in the nice sweater made her own and has a pattern she’d like to share.

Maybe the person who referred you to the optometrist also went there and wants to come along.

Take the conversation how it came and welcome dialogue, but do not be disappointed if the reply is just a directive or statement that is not open to further dialogue.

You’re more likely to gain confidence if your small talk has a purpose from the start.

It may express the same disapproval of others. Maybe you need their help or they need yours.

Listen to people and rather than pounced on them with inappropriate and embarrassing small talk, make it relevant because it takes away the element of embarrassment.

If you are a really friendly person, you catch the right moments to strike up small talk.

The long wait in the doctor’s operating room is an ideal time for people to talk but some do not want to for a really good reason. You should avoid subjects that cause embarrassment to the recipient. Talk about general stuff.

Remember, this is small talk. Where people wrongly try to have a deep conversation before they really get to the contact stage asking for it.

You would not go up to a stranger on the street and ask him if he had a flu shot unless there was some indication that he needed one.

Don’t embarrass yourself by trying to get too close too soon. Small talk is just that. It’s polite conversation with a stranger.

“It’s been a long wait for this day.” Would be a perfect opening for somebody in the doctor’s operating room who has been waiting with you.

“What’s wrong with you?” is a potentially embarrassing and offensive question and not preamble. What would you say when that patient told you he had two months to live or that he had a sexually transmitted disease?

However, if you notice a patient has a leg in a cast, it does not hurt to say so “That looks awkward.” He will possibly agree with you entirely. After all, they’ve to live with that cast.

Making small talk with them would be easy after that.

Where people wrongly start small talk with the wrong types of questions or with embarrassing statements.

Solve the situation and use it to your advantage because it is all the time a good indicator of something you can say without making a complete fool of yourself.

The place where you connect with people gives you opportunity. Don’t blow it up by just jumping in and expecting people to respond to you.

Find out the situation.

Use your instinct and take it from there, and you will probably find something that makes the words flow naturally.

Social Situation

If you are invited to a celebration or event but do not know anyone, don’t fret. There will be other people there too who are as awkward as you are.

In social situations, you use the same instincts that you used in the previous paragraph. This instinct is summarized here:

  • Observation
  • Opportunity
  • Empathy
  • Similarity

You notice someone who looks attractive also looks like they do not know anyone.

You seek opportunities without stalking them. You feel empathy and you seek common ground that will let you strike up a conversation.

An empty glass gives a man the opportunity to offer a refill.

A lady looking at the painting at the gallery opening provides a chance to discuss the painting. There are all the time links that help humans to connect. Use this.

Find them and try to discuss something you have already got in common.

Don’t assume

Remember these are strangers. Don’t assume simply because you are on the same show that they are on the same level as you.

For example, you might think the host is a little cocky, but imagine his horror when you discover that you made demeaning comments about him to his sister or mother.

Until you can determine who the characters in the scenario are, play it safe. Open the conversation with things that cannot be misinterpreted.

This painting is lovely – By whom? Any idea?

This doesn’t mean that the recipient of the words knows who the painting is from. It might be an embarrassing situation for those without art knowledge.

This tells the recipient that you like the painting and you are just commenting and trying to find something that appeals to you. The reply you get will depend upon the person your comment is geared toward.

“Don’t know,” and searching away from you to talk to the other person shows that the other person is not willing to mince words.

It does not matter. Not everybody will be like that.

If you had chosen someone who had looked at the painting for a while, their responses might resonate more with yours.

You jump in and choose someone whose back is to the painting and who is already talking to someone else.

Small talk with strangers at a party

It’s easy and you do not have to spend all night as a bystander.

Just use the early stages of your arrival and sit all the way down to get a sense of the kind of individuals that surround you.

The mistakes people make in social situations are a lot like the way birds preen their feathers.

They want to be seen as something or someone special. In a party situation, acting this way can embarrass you, so avoid it.

Instead, be yourself (1). It can be so endearing that somebody is so relaxed and proud of who they’re that they can do this.

In the films, you see characters like Sandra Bullock who are naturals in company.

There’s really no pretense and folks at parties are drawn to those who can display this part of their personality for a really good reason.

If you are not “doing your feathers” or trying to be a social butterfly, they do not have to try too hard to get your attention.

Thus, conversation and even small talk becomes enjoyable rather than creating a sticky situation.

You may be like a house on fire, but you may find that you’re worlds apart, but that does not matter because neither of you enters the conversation with the other’s expectations in mind, and that is when small talk is generally best. and both participants are on an equal footing.


Make it a habit to strike up a conversation with strangers, even if it is just the train that takes you to work. Small talk becomes easier once you get used to it.

You never embarrass yourself by being friendly and open. Observe – find common ground – and speak at a reasonable level that does not overwhelm the other person, but that opens up a dialogue.

Things to Avoid

Opinion comments

Strangers on the train do not ask you to strike up a conversation with them. Everyone has an opinion and they aren’t the best ice breaker.

Your opinion may really be the opposite of the opinion of the person you are talking to.

Avoid opinions at all costs because, at this stage of your relationship with a stranger, yours is irrelevant. Many people make the error of speaking up when they are not invited.

These are people who others shun because opinions thrown down your throat by someone you do not even know are unacceptable.

Find yourself in a general situation and if they make the first move by gesturing in a certain way, then you can use opinion to calm the situation or agree with them from their opening move.


Just because you hear a stranger raving about someone’s behavior does not provide you with an instant signal that you can open a dialogue with negativity.

Try to avoid it. People have enough negative (1) in their life and you are possibly adding more stress to their day than they choose to.

It’s much better to start any relationship on a positive note, even if small talk ends abruptly or loses momentum.

Negativity never makes for good quality conversation. In fact, it only shows the darker side of individuals and if you want to achieve success at small talk you must carry that smile and stay friendly.

The friendly interaction between people going to work in the experiment mentioned earlier using small talk was positive and a really large percentage of individuals found this enriching.

People really find that it makes them feel much happier within themselves and that relationships between strangers are very important to that feeling.

If you want to make small talk, keep it positive and save your negativity for more appropriate moments.

Making Assumptions

People make assumptions about one another all the time. If you want significant dialogue with strangers, do not jump right in and expect it to work.

Societal rules mean it’s much more polite to observe, to find common interests and then relax into conversation than to take a lead in a conversation that may not be acceptable.

Learn to listen because listening is one of your greatest tools. If you hear how people interact, it gives you a terrific opportunity to understand how to approach someone.

You cannot just walk into someone else’s life without expecting some kind of reaction.

It’s far better to wait for the right moment and make the introduction as natural as possible because it makes you look less desperate and fewer assuming.


I hope this text on how to become good at small talk has given you food for thought because it was written by someone who studied empathy a long time ago.

When talking to strangers, it is simple to forget that you don’t have any idea what they have been through. You don’t have any idea how sad or happy they’re.

The approach I’m supplying you with here’s a safe, tried and tested approach that makes people want to be with you.

They enjoy contact as much as you do when it is light, uplifting, then uplifting. You may even make friends along the way.

There was a song by Melanie Kafka in the sixties about people who wear buttons to tell others what sort of person they’re. Unfortunately, people do not use this.

He spoke of the people he passed every day in the corridors or on his way to work but that were never a part of his life because there was never any dialogue.

What you need to do, if you want to have a dialogue and you want to talk to other people without fully embarrassing yourself is to pay attention to the moments life has to offer when it is okay to talk and it is okay to open up a dialogue in a really positive way. positive. way, without assumptions and without hope.

When you hope, you are disappointed.

When you use small talk as part of your life without this element of expectation, you really encourage friendships to form and feel happier about yourself.

Above all, be yourself.

If you make the offer that you are someone you are not, you will end up feeling embarrassed past that initial stage and wanting to make the friendship a little more permanent.

Don’t set yourself up for disaster.

If you use the recommendation provided in this post, you’ll find that small talk is not the problem.

The problem may be that your social calendar fills up faster than you expect.