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In this lesson we're talking about the art of small talk and icebreakers. Small talk is a form of conversation that focuses on informal topics. It's typically used to build rapport with others, make connections, and learn more about someone. It's often used in social situations such as parties or networking events where you may not know the other person well.
The art of small talks important for several reasons. First small talk can help you build connections and relationships with others. By engaging in small talk, you can get to know people better, learn about their interests, and find common ground. This can help you make friends, expand your network, and build strong lasting relationships.
Second, small talk can help you feel more comfortable and confident in social situations. By practicing small talk, you can improve your conversational skills and learn how to approach and engage with others. This can help you feel more at ease in social settings and make it easier to connect with others.
Third, small talk can help you learn and grow. By engaging in small talk, you can learn about different perspectives, worldviews, experiences, and ideas. This can broaden your horizon and help you grow as an individual.
Overall, the art of Small talk is a valuable skill that can help you build connections, feel more confident and secure in yourself, and learn and grow.
By practicing small talk often and engaging with others, you can improve your social fluency, your social skills, and enrich your life.
Now, there are a few key things to keep in mind when engaging in small.
Be friendly and approachable. Smiling and maintaining good eye contact can help put others at ease and encourage them to open up and talk.
Ask open-ended questions. Rather than asking yes or no close-ended questions, try to instead ask questions that require more than a one word answer. This will give the other person a chance to share more about themselves and keep the conversation going.
Listen actively and attentively. Being a good listener is important in any conversation, but it is especially important in small talk. Pay attention to what the other person is saying, how they're saying it, and show that you are interested by nodding your head, making small noises and sounds of agreement or understanding, such as discourse markers, and keep the conversation light. Small talk is not the time to bring up heavy or sensitive topics. Stick to topics that are easy to talk about, such as the weather, current events or shared interests.
Be prepared with some topics in mind. It can be helpful to have a few topics that you can bring up if the conversation starts to lag or lull. This could be something that you've read about in a blog post, a newsletter article that you recently came upon, a hobby you enjoy, or a recent event you attended.
Be open to moving on. If the conversation is not flowing, then don't be afraid to move on and start talking to somebody else. Small talk is about making connections and building rapport, so it's okay if not every conversation is a home run.
Overall, the key to successful small talk is to be friendly, open, and interested in the other person. By focusing on building connections and making others feel comfortable, you can turn small talk into an enjoyable and rewarding part of your social interactions.
Here are a few icebreaker ideas for making small talk.
Ask the other person about their day. This is a simple, an easy way to get the conversation rolling. You can ask how their day has been so far, what they've been up to, or what they have planned for the rest of the day, or if there's a weekend coming up, you can ask them about their weekend plans. You might say, how is your day today? What have you been up to so far? What do you have planned for the rest of the day or any exciting plans for the upcoming weekend?
Comment on your surroundings. If you're at an event or in a public space, you can make small talk by commenting on the venue, the food, or the decorations. For example, you could say something like, I love the live music at this party, the band is so good. Or this coffee shop has the best lattes in town. The view from this rooftop restaurant is absolutely stunning.
Ask about shared interests. If you know that the other person has a hobby or an interest that you also enjoy or is similar to your own, you can use this as a launching off point for small talk. For example, if you both love hiking, you could ask about their favorite trails or the most challenging hike they've ever done. You could say, I noticed you're wearing a hiking pin. Do you enjoy hiking? I saw on your profile that you love painting. Have you always been interested in art? You mentioned that you're a runner. What's your favorite race you've done?
Ask for advice. People often enjoy giving advice and sharing their expertise. You can use this to your advantage by asking the other person for their opinion or advice on a topic. For example, you could ask for recommendations on the best restaurants in town, or for advice on a travel destination. You could say something like, I'm looking for a good restaurant in the area. Do you have any recommendations? I'm planning a trip to Europe this summer. Do you have any advice on where I should go and what to see? I'm thinking of taking up knitting. Do you have any tips for a beginner?
Compliment the other person. Compliments are always a good way to start a conversation and make the other person feel good andat ease. You can compliment their outfit, their hair, or something they've done or said that you admire. Just make sure to be sincere and not overdo it. Everyone can detect somebody who is a false flatterer, but you can say in a genuine way: I love your outfit. Where did you get it? Your hair looks great. Did you just get it cut or? I saw on your LinkedIn that you were promoted. Congratulations.
Share something interesting about yourself. If you have a unique interest or hobby, experience or fact about yourself, you can use this to spark a conversation. For example, you could mention that you just got back from a trip to a new country. Or that you have a collection of rare stamps or that you play the banjo. You could say, I just got back from a trip to Thailand and it was absolutely incredible. I have a collection of rare stamps that I inherited from my grandfather. I can play the banjo. I took lessons when I was a.
Are you ready to put this into practice? I have a set of quests for you to complete if you're a member of our private community Explearning Academy. So if you'd like the Quest, the weekly plan of exercises, the discussion that goes along with it, an opportunity to engage with the vibrant global community and practice your social skills, your communication, and reach social fluency, then I encourage you to sign up and join our community by going to academy.explearning.co. Or just use a link down below.
Alright, so to sum up the Art of Small talk is a valuable skill that can help you build connections, create rapport, feel more confident, and learn and grow. By engaging in small talk, you can get to know others better, improve your conversational skills, reach social fluency, and learn about different perspectives and experiences. Whether you're at a party, a networking event, or just running errands, small talk can help you make connections and build relationships with others. By practicing small talk and being open and friendly and warm, being interested in others and what they have to say, you can make the most of your social interactions and enrich your life .
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