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Making small talk is a great way to speak to as many people as possible. Read our guide to master small talk skills.

Small talk is the kind of light conversation you make when you don’t want to talk about something deep. It’s a very impersonal way to start a conversation with strangers or people that you don’t know very well. Basically, small talk is a small conversation. Sounds simple right? Think again. Although small talk doesn’t involve important topics, it’s an important skill to master as an English student.

WHY IS SMALL TALK IMPORTANT?

Making small talk is a normal part of daily life in most English-speaking countries, it’s friendly and opens you up to meeting new people. Small talk breaks the ice and casually fills in those awkward silences. Indulging in small talk is also a way to practice speaking English multiple times in a day. Eventually, small talk can lead to a deeper conversation, but you’ve got to start small.

WHAT CAN I MAKE SMALL TALK ABOUT?

Have you ever noticed people talking about the weather and wondered why? Talking about the weather is the most common British small talk topic. Essentially, anything recent is a good topic for small talk. Simply asking about someone’s day, asking how they’re feeling, talking about common interests or commenting on something that’s happening at the moment of speaking is a great way to break the ice. You can make small talk with a stranger while waiting for the bus, with an acquaintance on the street, and with anyone you’d like to talk to and get to know better.

GOLDEN RULES OF SMALL TALK

  1. Always answer questions
  2. Don’t just say yes or no, briefly expand on your answer
  3. Ask another question.

SMALL TALK LINES TO GET YOU STARTED

How’s it going? How have you been? How was your weekend? What have you been up lately? It’s a beautiful day isn’t it? Are you from here? Are you here on holiday? Are the buses always this late? Do you come here often?

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