8 Tips to Get Better at Small Talk

Archie Lee
Archie Lee is a diverse author who strives for personal excellence through a commitment to volunteerism in his community, helping it to achieve its full ethnic, health, political and social potential. Archie Lee graduated from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a commission in the U.S. Army. An active member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity since 2006, he also earned a Masters Degree in Management in 2009. Archie Lee is a strong advocate in social psychology. As a relationship expert and youth counselor, he loves social interaction and identifying character traits with people in general, primarily studying human social interaction.
Personal Development

Dec 02,2016

Small talk has earned a bad rap, because it usually represents meaningless and trivial conversation. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Research shows that those who have more meaningful conversations are happier and more fulfilled, and small talk can open the door to interesting and meaningful connections, if you are aware and listening.

But real conversations are harder with people we don’t know. These tips can help take the stress out of small talk and create a quality conversation:

  1. Develop the right mindset.

If you spend the week anticipating and worrying because you know you will feel uncomfortable, you’ve set yourself up for failure. Remember why you are going—to celebrate a friend on his or her special day, to meet others who share your interest or connect with your co-workers.

  1. Turn it into a game.

Trick your mind into making it seem easier and more fun. Commit to at least an hour. Plan to meet at least five people. Challenge yourself to learn two new things. This mind shift can help tame the anxiety and make the conversation more fun.

  1. Make sure you take responsibility for meeting others.

Don’t wait for others to approach you. Say hello first. When you expect others to make the first move, you’ll be disappointed. And the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll be.

  1. Be interested. Listen more than you talk.

We are giving two ears and one tongue for a reason. Listening as well as asking questions is the secret ingredient to interesting conversations. You can naturally start with easy questions that feel natural, but listen for an interesting comment to explore and build upon.

  1. Be yourself!

No one likes the fake networker. In the interest of being more outgoing, don’t be someone you aren’t. Putting out effort doesn’t mean being fake.

  1. Compliment and shift.

Find something that you can genuinely compliment the other person on and then shift to a question so it isn’t awkward. Everyone loves a nice compliment.


  1. Don’t be the “hammer looking for the nail.”

Your favorite topic isn’t everyone else’s. You might love your new grill or your favorite book or TV show, but don’t assume everyone else is interested. Gauge the conversation and flow with it.

  1. Get in the habit.

Don’t constrain this habit to social events. Say hello to the person next to you on the plane before you grab your headphones (I’m working on this). Talk to your waiter. Ask your Uber driver about his day. The habit of saying hello and listening is a muscle you can develop by working on it every day.

Try some small talk. You might be surprised where it takes you.


Archie Lee, Author of That’s The Way She Is: eBooK: Amazon Kindle @ http://amzn.to/1LieouB or Get a free copy of That’s The Way She Is by becoming a fan of my author page. Here is the link: https://www.readerslegacy.com/buzz/archie-robinson/

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