July 6, 2006Last updated on February 13, 2017
How many times have you been to a party and someone asks:
So I give you the 10 tips to avoid small talk with people and get an interesting conversation:
3- Details. While the other person is asking questions always ask for details on questions. Use the phrase, “tell me more.” When people tell me they had dinner at a restaurant, I usually ask what kind, how was it, recommendations and all other details about the place. You may end up eating there one day. This is the power of questions and if you do it well you will avoid small talk topics everyone hates.
4- The game. Spend the conversation trying to learn one new thing. Even though most people seem really boring I am sure they know or do one cool thing. Try to figure it out.
5- Compliments. Someone emailed last week and said my writing is amazing. I was completely flattered and realized complimenting people really makes a difference.
6- STFU. For those who don’t know the acronym, it means listen more than you speak. You already know your own stories, tales and adventures. These other people have been alive 20-60 years or more I am sure they have some good ones to hear. Listening (not talking) can also help with depression.
7- Tennis Super-star. Try to talk with new people at places you already go to. I met a guy at the tennis courts where I was practicing and we chatted about guess what? Give up? Okay fine, it was tennis. That situation just makes it so much easier.
8- Find a commonality. Yea this is generic and you all know that but it works so well.
9- Friend Bash. Meeting them through another person you have the great line of how do you know them. Basically spend the next 10-15 minutes making fun of that person. It works really well and leads to some other great conversations.
10- Follow up. This is more focused for business conversations but try to find something to follow-up with. This is a great way to show you are responsible, keep the new relationship going and possibly get #s for dates ;P
Bonus: Hehe. If you have no skills like myself go research jokes online. They are conversation starters, make you look quite suave and laughing is healthy.
Remember your goal is to meet some great people and find the interesting in them. Now that you have read this you are ready to go from small talk to Big Talk. Make it meaningful.