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• Small talk can exacerbate social anxiety or simply make us feel uncomfortable; however, doing it well can aid success in our personal and professional lives.
• Get good at small talk by first asking questions; have a few generic questions handy to ask new friends or colleagues and tune in to their responses.
• Also consider joining a group that you’re interested in, like a fitness group, sports club, or something else that brings like-minded people together; this will make conversation easy and enjoyable.
• Avoiding sensitive topics can also help you get good at small talk; additionally, picking the right person to chat with can make all the difference.
• Additionally, remember that practice makes perfect and come prepared by staying up to date on recent events or popular topics of conversation.
• Finally, stop making it about you; a key to small talk success is focusing on the individual you’re engaging with, as everyone’s favorite subject to talk about is themselves!
Small talk is informal conversation about unimportant or easygoing topics. So, why is it so hard? Well, many of us suffer from social anxiety, which stems from the fear of being negatively judged by others. And even more of us simply feel uncomfortable when forced to converse with strangers or people we just don’t feel like talking to! That being said, small talk is sometimes necessary and getting good at it can prove valuable to our personal and professional lives. If you struggle with small talk, here are 8 professional tips that will help you to improve:
1. Ask questions.
First, ask questions about the individual you’re engaging with. It’s a good idea to always have a few questions handy. “The very best way to make fast friends out of new colleagues, acquaintances, or guests at a party is to ask questions and listen and share your own response to the same question,” explains Dana Kaland, Executive Coach and Consultant. “Have a few open-ended questions in the tool kit at all times so when you feel some social anxiety coming on you can draw from them. Surprisingly, some of the most basic questions are the best: Where do you live? What do you do? How long have you worked here? What are your weekend plans? How do you know the bride or the groom?”
Kevon Owen is a featured contributing author in this article. To read the full article please click this link. If you would like to speak with Kevon about any relationship or individual counseling or if you need psychology or psychiatric services please call Kevon at 405-740-1249 or you can contact him online at