According to Mark Roemer, there are only a few things that can beat a great conversation. You really come alive when you connect seamlessly with someone over a topic and naturally delve into it while being in a completely different realm away from the world around you. Small talk, on the other hand, is liked by an acute minority and most of us aren’t really great at it.
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few tips that you follow to turn boring and miserable small talks interesting:
- You need to take a genuine interest – The first step to making the small talk interesting is to develop a genuine interest in the other person. Even the most boring and worthless topic can become interesting if it is with someone, we are interested in. You don’t seem to run out of topics when you hold a conversation with an interesting person.
However, if you don’t care about the person you are going to sound like a robot. The lie will show itself if you can’t fix your attitude and body language. Emote that you find the other person interesting by making subtle eye contact and lean in a bit to hear what they have to say.
- Open-ended questions – When you ask questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no, the small talk is going to be very short followed by a long period of awkward silence. Next time you phrase a question make sure to keep it open-ended so that you can get a genuine response instead of a one-word answer.
For instance, instead of asking someone, “Did you come to know about this place online?”, ask them “How did you come to know about this place?” Both questions are relatively the same. But the first one can be answered with just one word while the latter needs a bit more detailed answer.
- Make use of your surroundings – Some of the most cliched and painful small talks are those we have about the weather, traffic or other such classic examples. Instead, you can leverage other things in the surroundings to get the conversation rolling. Comment something nice about the other person’s jewelry or even clothing.
You can also make use of your own attire as a solid icebreaker. As an example, a stylish but uniquely designed broach may spark interest and call for a comment from the other party. An iconic blazer from your college that may even find you a fellow alumnus at unsuspecting places.
- Become the student – Most small talks are non-interesting. But you can also turn that into a learning experience. Just be honest about your unfamiliarity with the topic and the other person may even teach you about it enthusiastically.
Mark Roemer believes that instead of trapping yourself in an awkward small talk, you should make better use of it and make new connections with the tips above. You may also learn about new things; the outcome will be positive most of the time you want it to be.