What is Small Talk?
We meet people on a daily basis in our private or professional life. When we meet people, we talk to them about general things (other than business or professional talk). This general talk is called Small Talk.
Often, people find it difficult to break the ice (meaning initiating conversation) because they do not know what topic to start with. Kick starting a conversation can turn out to be a complex issue for many.
We encounter situations where we face a conversation blackout after talking for some time. In such situations, people really crave for right topics to get the conversation going. It can be quite embarrassing at times.
If you have ever faced these problems, you are not alone. Majority of the people face these problems on a regular basis.
On the outset, it might seem to be easy to run a small talk because there are so many topics one can choose from, but in reality, small talk is not a small thing.
Have the ability to initiate and continue Small Talk without boring others is a talent. If you are not one of those gifted ones who may have unknowingly developed the skill since childhood, you have to learn and practice it consciously.
Small talk is more than a skill. Like Humor Skills, it is an art. You can learn the techniques that I mentioned here for an effective Small Talk but unless you have knowledge on various topics and above all a genuine interest in entertaining others, you can’t really make an impact with your small talk.
Small Talk can be used in the following settings:
· Meetings, seminars and conference
· Private or business parties, get-togethers, dinners and luncheons.
· Networking events
· At workplace with customers, colleagues and superiors.
· Restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and hotels.
· On the road with co-passengers while traveling in bus, train or flight.
· Simply wherever you feel like talking to people
These are the advantages of possessing Small Talk:
· Small talk is the best tool to build contact with strangers.
· In your ‘networking’ efforts Small Talk Skills play a major role.
· Shows your genuine curiosity and interest in the other person.
· Helps others feel comfortable with you.
· Develops relationship with others
· One can entertain others and simultaneously get to know the others better.
· In business meetings, where people are involved in hours-long discussions, occasional small talk brings relief. As you move up the career-ladder and get into team leader or managerial positions, the need for Small Talk Skills increases more and more.