How to Start a Conversation with Small Talk

How to Start a Conversation with Small Talk

Once you are done reading these methods, you will be able to strike up a conversation easily and effortlessly. So, let’s learn how to start a conversation with small talk.

Whether you are attending a networking event or an ordinary party, you talk with people. But sometimes, it can be hard to find a topic to talk about or keep the conversation going. There are some conversation starter words or phrases you can use any time to avoid awkward silences.

tips to break the ice with questions

Tips to Break the Ice With Questions

You may need some conversation starters for breaking the ice and starting to talk with the person. The conversation starters can be questions or sentences that mean something. They should have the ability to keep the conversation going rather than be just yes/no questions. That is, you should focus on open-ended questions. Also, commenting on plain or dull sentences and turning them into a one-on-one conversation may work. You can see some examples of ice-breaking questions below. 

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  • What is the last movie you saw? / What is the last book you read? 
  • Are you currently reading any book? / Are you currently watching any shows?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • If you had been born in another city, what would it be? Why?
  • Where did you grow up? 
  • What was the last place you traveled to?
  • What is the best and the worst career advice you have received?
  • Is there any person you inspire?
  • Can you recommend something good show to watch?
  • Do you have a pet? What is its name, gender? What breed is it?
  • If you could time travel, would you choose to visit the past or the future? Where would you go?
  • (Are you) having a good time? / (Are you) enjoying yourself? / (Are you) having fun?
  • Can you recommend any unique drinks /desserts here?
  • If you could be an animal, what would you be? Why?
  • Which season do you like the most and why?
  • Would you like to move to another city/ country? Which one and why?
  • What language would you like to learn? Why do you want to learn it?
basic methods to use when starting

Basic Methods to Use When Starting a Conversation

Maybe you showed up at a party wanting to start a conversation with people or making new friends. Or you attended an event related to work, and you want to mingle. Aside from asking ice-breaking questions, there are still many ways to socialize and communicate with people. You can start by choosing one topic that fits into the context and environment best. In this way, you can easily avoid awkward silences and instead, start good conversations. Even though there are various methods of starting a conversation with small talk, we have compiled the most outstanding and effective ones for you.

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  • Think ahead: Think about what could come next and how this conversation can continue before opening up a topic. This will enable you to avoid awkward silences and will make the conversation flow smoothly. As you practice at least the beginning of what you will say, you are likely to feel more comfortable during the chat.
  • Asking for something: Starting up a conversation by asking for information or detail is a practical method. It is not unnatural and forced. It can be small favors or just information about the event schedule. 
  • Pay attention: One of the smartest ways of starting a conversation is paying attention to the person or people you want to talk with. You can make useful conclusions only by observing and paying attention to them. People will notice when you show genuine interest to them, and they will be more open to converse.
  • Complimenting: Complimenting somebody can cheer him /her and make him /her want to talk with you more willingly. But you must genuinely do this. Seeming artificial will push people away and cause them to think badly of you. After giving a sincere compliment, you can start a conversation about what you have complimented on. 

FAQ on How to Start a Conversation With Small Talk

What should I ask if I use the asking for something method?

If you participate in an event involving a speech, you can ask whether he /she knows the speaker. Another example is that you can ask small favors like borrowing a pen or requesting him /her to save a seat for you.

Are there any topics I should avoid?

It is better to avoid talking about too personal topics like age, religion, earnings, political issues.  

What body language should I use?

You should use open body language, which means being open to the other person. Uncrossed legs and arms, making eye contact are examples of open body language.

Should I use gossip to build rapport?

On the contrary, gossip can hurt the other person’s feelings and can make you look bad.

Should I use a question or a sentence when I start a conversation?

It depends on the situation. You should decide according to the person’s behaviors, body language, or type of the event you attend. 

Starting Conversations With Small Talk – Final Words

In this article, we covered some ways to start a conversation with small talk. Small talks will help you a lot on this subject. Grasping what to say and where to say it is vital, especially if you communicate with the person for the first time.

Do not forget to involve facial expressions, tone of voice, open body language, and gestures to not bore the person you are having a conversation with. By using these methods, starting conversations and maintaining them will be as easy as pie. Now that you break the ice, the next step is to make new friends. How? Find out in our guide on how to win friends.

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Ralph

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After working for so many years in the screenwriting business, Ralph decided that he needed to be more involved with the digital world. Therefore he became a content writer by putting his skills into practice after learning about subjects he's interested in, mostly social media.

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