Small Talk and Conversing

Meeting New People  |  Topics to Raise or Not to Raise During Small Talk  |  Interacting During Small Talk and Conversations  |  Preparation for Small Talk  |  Improving your Small Talk and Dealing with Small Talk Failures

Useful or interesting Links  |  Quiz/Tests


The world is full of people. And most of them are much like us, in their own way. Knowing how to be comfortable with other people through being able to engage in small talk is part of making the most of our lives. It opens up opportunities to making new friends and brings us closer to people we already know. It also helps us pass certain times of our lives more pleasantly and memorably than might otherwise have been the case.

And small talk is not just about talking with people we don’t know. It is about being able to be with and talk comfortably with people we already know, through having a ready supply of conversation pieces to maintain good and comfortable relations with people, even family and close friends.


Meeting New People

Everyone you meet is interesting and worth talking to.


Topics to Raise or Not to Raise during Small Talk

You’ll have something in common with almost anyone. You just have to find it.


Interacting During Small Talk and Conversations

Don’t tell people they are wrong. By all means say you don’t agree, but don’t tell them they are wrong.


Preparation for Small Talk

Make the effort to remember people’s names.


Improving your Small Talk and Dealing with Small Talk Failures

The more you practice small talk the better at it you will get.


Useful or interesting Links



[Alternative version of Quiz with Scoring]: Requires ActiveX enabled

Reminder on taking tests: It’s not about trying to prove you already know it, it’s about learning.


Question 1

Which of the following are generally true statements:
a. Other people are not like we are. They just want to be left alone.
b. There is always something we would find interesting about another person if we can find it.
c. People are for the most part just like we are and will be happy to talk to strangers so long as they make them feel at ease.
d. Most people are boring and there’s no point in talking to them or getting to know them any better.


Question 2

If you try to start a conversation or small talk with someone, and you don’t get any response, what is the most likely long term outcome:
a. The other person is going to remember you for life and at some time in the future is going to make you deeply regret having tried to talk to them.
b. The other person is going to tell everyone they meet that you tried to talk to them.
c. The other person will have barely noticed your attempt to talk to them, and it won’t have made any lasting impact on them at all.


Question 3

List some general guidance if you are be effective in listening to someone


Question 4

You are going to an event on your own, and there will be some people you know and a lot you don’t. What preparation work can you do to help you be effective in engaging in small talk and conversations:


Question 5

List out some general things you can do to improve your small talk skills:


Question 6

Is it ok to pay a stranger a complement?


Question 7

List some of the things that you would be happy talking to a stranger about.


Question 8

You are trying to engage in small talk with someone you’ve found yourself in close proximity to, but you’re not getting much response. What might be some of the reasons other than that they may just not be interested in talking to you.


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