The Art of Small Talk

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The Art of Small Talk

Small Talk!There is nothing more uncomfortable and as awkward as small talk at times!

That moment when you find yourself in a situation where you must strike up conversation about random topics because you ended up next to a person you don’t know and simply have no clue what to say to them. Instead of watching the minutes tick away in desperate hope that they will suddenly vanish,you want to be in a situation where you know a few basics and somewhat prepared so, what can you say?

Ice breaker- To break the ice by introducing a conversation topic starter

Whether you’re at a work meeting, networking event or a simple social set up, you kind of want to have you “elevator pitch “ready. Now I know this is typically a term used in sales, but the basic principle goes across different scenarios. This always does the trick and gives that leverage and relieves an uncomfortable situation so here are some scenarios:

At a Networking Event- “Hi, A my Heather and I work for G Group as a County Manager, how about you?”

At a Meet Up- You’ve just moved into an area or country and you are not sure where to begin to get to know people. You find yourself in an Expat group or a Meet Up, a good icebreaker or conversation starter could be

“Hi, I’m Thembi from South Africa and I’ve just moved into the country. I am looking to meet new people that I could share common interests with”


At your new job- Challenges can come in all forms when you are trying to integrate into a new workplace. While you are trying to adapt, you don’t want to be dealing with a language barrier as well while trying to settle in. You can approach a colleague and ask

“Hi, I am Nicole from the IT Department. I am not too familiar with this area as I am new in the company, could you advise me on the best lunch spot, café or bakery please?”

Possible follow up open questions:

“So how long have you been working to G Group?”

“What department are you working at?”

“Where can I catch a train or bus from?”

The bottom line is, Smalltalk can be nail biting and tricky if you go out there unprepared ,which does not have to be the case. Strike up conversation to practise your English pronunciation and vocabulary. If you are not feeling confident enough to start conversation, have your translation application handy-it always does the trick if you go completely blank!

Happy Smalltalking

The STK Team

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