By: Teacher Joseph Palomares

Small talk is light, informal conversation. It’s commonly used when you’re talking to someone you don’t know very well and at networking and social events. Check out the four strategies that’ll help you make small talk in any situation.

1.Ask open-ended questions.

Most people like to talk about themselves – not only are we our favorite topics, but it’s also easier to discuss yourself than something you know very little about. Think about it: will you have a harder time talking about the 14th-century glassblower or your favorite book? Open questions create an interesting, dynamic conversation and encourage the person you’re talking to be open.

2.Practice active listening.

It’s tempting to tune in from time to time, but you’ll build stronger connections if you pay attention. Other people will notice the look of your attention. In addition, it’s easier to ask relevant questions and remembers details to reproduce later if you’re not listening with one ear.

3.Take your phone away.

We tend to pull out our phones when we feel uncomfortable or difficult in social situations, but nothing faster can ruin our communication efforts. Some people will approach you when you browse on your phone – and you’ll send a simple message to anyone you talk to that you’re not interested in.

4.How your enthusiasm.

Talking may not always be the most inactive activity. However, if you come here with the right attitude, you can have fun. Think of these conversations as opportunities to learn from other people. You never know who you’ll meet or what they’ll share – a fascinating discussion to seize this opportunity.