4 ways to improve your small talk

4 ways to improve your small talk

No matter how poor you might feel you are at small talk, with practice and our top tips everyone can improve.

Seek out opportunities to practice

As with any skill, the more often you do it, the easier and more natural it becomes. Through practice you begin to understand which topics lead to the best chats. You also start to better gauge the other person’s interest level and whether it might be time to switch topics or end the conversation.

It’s important to feel as at ease as possible. Try to find low-risk settings to practice: a local event, a friend’s party, a casual work event. Opportunities to practice can arise when you’re out and about: perhaps while waiting for a bus, or sat next to someone on a long train journey. Give small talk a go. And don’t be put off by (or force a conversation with) anyone who’s not interested.

Pretend you’re speaking to a friend

You’re unlikely to feel nervous if you were chatting to someone you know well. Pretend the new person is already a good friend. Reframing the situation in your mind will help you come across as warm and friendly.

Be kind to yourself

Long silences and awkward moments can happen. It doesn’t mean that your small talk was off, so don’t beat yourself up! We are always critical of ourselves but while you might cringe for ages after making a bad joke or forgetting someone’s name, the other person likely didn’t even notice! Next time remember your faux pas is usually far less important than you think.

Set a goal

Keep focused by setting yourself a challenge. Perhaps swapping numbers with someone else from your weekly class, or meeting at least three new people at a local event. A small goal each time you head out can help motivate you, making your chat more meaningful and allowing you to measure your successes!


Need more inspiration to get started? Read on for our top 10 conversation topics