Seven Steps to Successful Small Talk
Read the following seven steps carefully and consider how many you prescribe to or how many you may fall short on.
Open, confident body language
Look approachable and friendly. Smile sometimes. Maintain eye contact (but not in a creepy-staring-without-blinking-way).
Stay light and Upbeat
Keep comments on the lighter side. Inject some energy into your expressions. Try to stay fairly positive unless they desire to go negative.
Focus on Your Partner’s Interests
Discussing topics where your interests intersect with your partner’s is ideal. But more importantly, customize your comments to suit your conversation partner.
Share information about yourself. Your feelings, preferences, experiences, and stories.
Share observations about your surroundings, them, etc. Dish out a few compliments.
Small talk requires a balance of quick observations, feelings and questions. It requires a balance between partners in the form of turn-taking. Finally, it requires a balance between seriousness and playfulness.
Listen and Follow Up
Actively listen, and then ask follow up questions. Match the vibe and energy of the moment. Expand on what they are saying.