The Techniques of Small Talk

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On that note…. Truly listening involves hearing what the person is saying and also paying attention to their non-verbal communication. Respond by paraphrasing and reflecting on the conversation to move it forward—it shows the other person you genuinely care about what they have to say. In other words, give the other person some personal and substantive information to work with. Me too! Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, provides some practical advice on when to talk and when to zip it.

But unless you are an extremely gifted raconteur, people who talk for more than roughly half-minute at a time are boring and often perceived as too chatty. At the second mark, your light is red. Body language cues like eye contact and not looking over their shoulder , sincere nodding, and leaning in communicate interest. Smile, uncross your arms, pay attention.

The quality and substance of a conversation were rated as less fulfilling when compared to a conversation that took place in the absence of a mobile device. Leave it in your pocket or in your handbag and never place it on the table. If you are expecting an important email from your boss, let the other person know. Create a special notification. I think for a long while unless we try to break the ice. My job of IT specialist having forced me to move away from my hometown: Grenoble… So, anyway How about if we go just here to the coffee machine and have some coffee or a drink?

And what a coincidence, I live in Grenoble! When did you leave to go to Evian? Great job on your conversation starter! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Leave this field empty. I would love to help you become more fluent in English. Online courses in English or private coaching, let me help you improve your English and your confidence today. No menu assigned! Small talk can be… painful. See you soon, Christina. More good stuff Juan Fernandnez says:. Christina Rebuffet says:. B: Did she? Why did she leave? A: I've bought a new computer.

B: A new computer! Have you?

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Which brand did you buy? Write examples of the techniques used by Student B to make small talk. Echo questions: Echo words: English? Wh- questions: Where does he teach? Work with a partner.

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Read the conversation. Identify the techniques for making small talk.

How to Master Small Talk

A: What do you do? B: I'm a student. A: Really? Where do you study? B: At the local university. Do you like studying there? B: Yes, I just started last week. A: Last week! Not long then. What are you studying?

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B: I'm studying Business administration. A: Are you? I studied that too. What do you want to do when you graduate? B: I'm not sure yet. I might start my own business. A: Right. That's a good idea. What kind of business? B: I want to open my own coffee shop. In pairs, take it in turns to start a conversation by using one of the questions 1 - 10 below. Keep your conversation going each time by asking five follow-up questions.

Toastmasters International -The Art of Small Talk

Don't forget to use echo questions, echo words, show attention and agreement. Where do you live? What are you going to do at the weekend? Do you like going to the cinema? Have you ever been abroad? How long have you studied English?

2. Ask open-ended questions

Where do you come from? How did you get here? Where did you go on your last holiday? What's your favourite food? Procedure Write Small Talk Techniques on the board and elicit different ways that someone can keep a conversation going, e.

Give each student a copy of the worksheet and ask them to look at Echo Questions.