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48 Questions That'll Make Small Talk Easier

Small Talk Questions About Entertainment

  • Are you reading any good books right now? How about shows?
  • Are there any apps on your phone that you can’t live without?
  • If you could only watch one genre of movies for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • Do you have any podcast suggestions for my commute?
  • What’s the last movie that made you cry? Or laugh aloud?
  • Who is your favorite person to follow on Instagram?

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48 Questions That'll Make Small Talk Easier

48 Questions That'll Make Small Talk Easier

https://www.themuse.com/advice/48-questions-thatll-make-awkward-small-talk-so-much-easier

themuse.com

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Key Ideas

Preparing For Small Talk

If you often find yourself participating in small talk about topics you have no interest in or have already discussed to exhaustion, the solution may be asking people unexpected, thought-provoking questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no.

It’s a good idea to have stock questions so you don’t have to think them up in the moment.

Small Talk Questions About Work

  • If you weren’t working here, what would you probably be doing right now?
  • How did you become a [job title]?
  • What’s the craziest thing a boss has ever asked you to do?
  • If you were guaranteed to be successful, what job would you want?
  • What was your first job? Did you like it?
  • What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? How about the worst?

Small Talk Questions About Entertainment

  • Are you reading any good books right now? How about shows?
  • Are there any apps on your phone that you can’t live without?
  • If you could only watch one genre of movies for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • Do you have any podcast suggestions for my commute?
  • What’s the last movie that made you cry? Or laugh aloud?
  • Who is your favorite person to follow on Instagram?

Small Talk Questions About Food

  • If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  • What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  • What’s your go-to comfort food?
  • Are there any foods that you absolutely would not eat?
  • What are the best cheap eats around here?
  • Does your family have any “secret” or famous recipes?

Small Talk Questions About Travel

  • What’s the best “hidden gem” around here?
  • If you could fly anywhere for free, where would you go?
  • What’s the coolest road trip you’ve ever been on?
  • Where’s the last place you traveled? What did you do there?
  • Do you prefer action-packed vacations or relaxing on the beach?
  • What’s the next trip you have planned?

Small Talk Questions About Someone’s Life

  • Where did you live before this? What are the biggest differences you see?
  • What did you think you were going to be growing up?
  • Do you have any hidden talents or surprising hobbies?
  • What’s the most unbelievable thing that’s ever happened to you?
  • Who’s the most important role model or mentor you’ve had in your life?
  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Random Small Talk Questions

  • If you were in charge of picking the eighth wonder of the world, what would you choose?
  • What do you wish you had placed in a time capsule 15 years ago?
  • What’s the strangest compliment you’ve ever gotten?
  • If you could teach a college course on any subject you want, what would it be?
  • What would be your ideal superpower?
  • If you could have any type of animal for a pet, what would it be?

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Step #4: Evaluate Your Conversational Performance

After an event ask yourself what went well, what did you learn and who should you follow-up with so you can keep learning and honing your ability. 

This can help you identify patterns and remember to follow up on bookmarks, LinkedIn connections and promises.

Step #3: Bookmarking

Use the ‘Bookmarking’ technique to create a deeper connection by adding verbal markers or emphasis to parts of the conversation:

  • Future Mentions: saying something that will require follow up on later.
  • Inside Jokes: making jokes that refer to something interesting or funny you and the listener was involved in.
  • Same Same: exclaiming how crazy it is you have something in common and talking about it.
  • You Have to See: saying that you will share something they are interested in with them later.

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Explain that the images they are seeing or stories they have heard are, for the moment, from places far away from here, otherwise, all can seem immediate and frightening. Context and reassurance are crucial.

How to talk about the new virus

... with your kids:

  • Choose a safe space and time and give them your full attention.
  • Check in with an open question about what they know and how they are feeling about the topic.
  • Let them lead the conversation with their questions.
  • Set a calm, reassuring tone and offer physical comfort.
  • Be honest but maintain appropriate boundaries and don't postpone the conversation.
  • Be honest about your emotions but let them know you will feel better soon.

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Mindfulness does the opposite by making you aware of your state of anxiousness.

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  • Acceptance: accept that the worries are here and stop trying to make them go away.
  • Attention: get out of your thoughts and focus on the world around you.
  • Labeling: When a worry pops up, label it as “a worrying thought.” It’s not you. Do not identify with it and don't let it overtake you.

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