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Practice the art of disruption

When small talk dries up, it's often due to "mirroring." In our efforts to be polite, we answer questions directly, repeat their observations, or just agree with whatever they say.

For example, one person would say, "It's a beautiful day," and we might answer, "Yes, it's a beautiful day." Instead, we could practice the art of disruption. To move the dialogue forward, we could reply: "They say that the weather was just like this when ... happened (insert a historical or personal moment)"

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

Ask open-ended questions that invite people to tell stories, rather than one-word answers.

Instead of "How was your day?" try, "What did you do today?" Other open-ended questions to try:

  • "What's your story?"
  • "What's the ...

In a situation where people are gathered together, it always involves people trying to talk to each other. In these moments, we often fall short and can't think of anything to say, or worse; we fumble through with the aim of not crashing.

However, we can soar in conversations and learn to ...

A way to carry on a conversation is to skip over the expected response.
Instead of:
Ron: "How was your flight?"
Carlos: "My flight was good."
Carlos could be bold and say, "I'd be more intrigued by an airline where your ticket price was ...

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Tips from a comedian and a journalist on the art of going from

What do these situations have in common? Almost all of them involve people trying to talk with each other. But in these very moments where a conversation would enhance an encounter, we often fall short. We can’t think of a thing to say.

We do a passable job at talking. We stagger through ou...

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Hating Small Talk At Parties

Most of us are beyond weather, parking and traffic-related conversations at parties. We have deep, substantial topics to discuss, which are not hollow and unproductive like most party small talks are.

Small talk has its benefits, it is designed to prevent controversies and hurt, smartly av...

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Attending conferences

Conferences are overwhelming:  the rush of presentations, conversations, and potential meet-ups, and it can make it tough for you if you want to find focus.

But skipping them isn't the best solution: you’re missing out on the benefits of networking.

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