If you want to get better at making small talk, start with these 9 simple phrases

We’ve all been there.

That dreaded moment at a party or a networking event when you’re suddenly stuck making small talk.

Trying to chit-chat you way out of this awkwardness. 

It’s not always easy, right? I get it. Sometimes, it feels like you’re just spewing out words, and it’s hard to know if you’re actually getting better at it.

But here’s the thing. Small talk is more than just idle chatter. It’s a crucial skill that can help you connect with others, build relationships and even advance your career.

So, if you’re struggling with small talk, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

Today, I’m going to share a few simple phrases that can make the process a whole lot easier.

Trust me; it’s not as hard as it seems. And who knows? Maybe you’ll end up enjoying it.

Here we go…

1) “How’s your day going?”

Small talk often serves as an icebreaker in social situations. And what better way to break the ice than by showing genuine interest in someone’s day?

This simple phrase is a perfect conversation starter because it’s open-ended. It allows the other person to share as much or as little as they’d like about their day.

Starting a conversation with a question rather than a statement invites dialogue. It shows you’re interested in listening to what they have to say, rather than just waiting for your turn to speak.

Remember, the goal here isn’t just to fill up silence with chatter, but to build a connection. So when you ask about their day, make sure you’re prepared to listen attentively and respond thoughtfully.

It’s an easy and effective way to get better at making small talk, without feeling like you’re trying too hard.

2) “That reminds me of the time when…”

Sharing personal experiences is another great way to keep a conversation going. It not only adds depth to the conversation but also makes it more engaging and relatable.

For example, I remember attending a networking event a few months back.

I was introduced to a lady who was sharing her experience about a hiking trip she recently went on. Now, I’m not much of a hiker myself, but her story reminded me of this one time when I tried outdoor rock climbing.

I decided to share that experience with her by saying, “That reminds me of the time when I tried outdoor rock climbing. It was scary but exciting at the same time!”

To my surprise, she was really interested in hearing my story. We ended up having a fun and engaging conversation about our outdoor adventures.

By relating her story to my own experience, it made our small talk more personal and interesting. It also gave us common ground, which is always helpful in maintaining a conversation.

3) “Did you know…”

Starting a sentence with “Did you know” is a great way to introduce new topics into a conversation.

This phrase can be followed by a wide range of information, from current events to fun trivia.

For instance, if the conversation is lagging, you could say, “Did you know that honey never expires? Archaeologists have found pots of honey in ancient Egyptian tombs that are over 3000 years old and still perfectly edible!”

Not only does this create an interesting talking point, but it also invites the other person to share knowledge or trivia they may have.

It’s a simple trick that can transform any small talk into a fun and engaging conversation.

4) “What’s your take on…”

When you’re making small talk, it’s important to remember that conversation is a two-way street.

It’s not just about talking, but also about listening and engaging with the other person’s thoughts and opinions.

By asking “What’s your take on…”, you’re inviting the other person to share their thoughts on a specific topic.

Whether it’s a current event, a popular TV show, or even the weather, this phrase can help steer the conversation into new territory.

Remember, the goal is to create a dialogue, not a monologue.

So once they share their thoughts, make sure to respond with your own perspectives or ask follow-up questions.

This will help keep the conversation flowing and show that you value their opinion.

5) “I’ve always wanted to learn more about…”

Expressing curiosity about a topic can be a great way to keep a conversation going.

By saying “I’ve always wanted to learn more about…”, you give the other person an opportunity to share their knowledge or experiences.

Maybe it’s about a country they’ve visited, a hobby they’re passionate about, or even their line of work.

People generally like to share things they are knowledgeable about and this phrase opens up that avenue for them.

Just ensure you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say, and that the topic is appropriate for the setting.

This phrase not only keeps the conversation interesting but also provides you with a chance to learn something new!

6) “I really appreciate that about you…”

phrases only old souls use according to psychology If you want to get better at making small talk, start with these 9 simple phrases

Compliments are a powerful tool in making small talk.

Offering sincere appreciation or admiration can make people feel good about themselves and enhance your connection with them.

The phrase “I really appreciate that about you…” can be followed by a specific attribute or behavior you’ve noticed. Perhaps it’s their sense of humor, their work ethic, or their kindness towards others.

For instance, you could say, “I really appreciate how you always have a positive outlook. It’s refreshing and makes our conversations enjoyable.”

Remember, being genuine is key. People can usually sense when a compliment is insincere.

By offering genuine compliments, you create an environment of positivity and mutual respect, which can take your small talk to the next level.

7) “I must admit, I’m not very good at…”

Admitting to our weaknesses or areas where we lack expertise can actually make us more relatable.

It shows humility and the willingness to learn and grow.

For instance, you might say, “I must admit, I’m not very good at cooking. I can barely make a decent scrambled egg!”

This kind of honesty can encourage the other person to share their own experiences or even offer some advice.

It opens up a new topic of conversation and creates a closer connection between you and the person you’re talking to.

8) “What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?”

Asking someone about their hobbies or interests is a great way to learn more about them.

It’s also a perfect segue into a deeper and more engaging conversation.

This question allows the other person to talk about something they’re passionate about.

They’ll be more enthusiastic and likely to share more information, which can lead to a more enriching conversation.

Plus, you might find common interests that you can further discuss and bond over. It’s a simple and effective question to add to your small talk repertoire.

9) “I really value our conversations.”

This might seem like a simple phrase, but it’s one of the most powerful ones you can use.

Telling someone you value your conversations with them demonstrates respect and appreciation.

It reassures the other person that their words, thoughts, and feelings are important to you. It creates a positive environment where both parties feel heard and valued.

After all, the purpose of small talk isn’t just to pass the time or fill silence. It’s about building connections and relationships with others.

And what better way to do that than by expressing genuine appreciation for your interactions?

In a nutshell: It’s all about connection

When you delve into the heart of small talk, you realize it’s less about the words you speak and more about the connection you create.

Each interaction, no matter how casual or fleeting, has the potential to leave a lasting impression.

The phrases we’ve discussed aren’t merely conversation fillers. They are tools to show respect, demonstrate empathy, express curiosity, and build relationships.

So the next time you find yourself in a situation that calls for small talk, remember that it’s not just about filling the silence. It’s an opportunity to connect, to learn, and to influence your social world one conversation at a time.

Whether you’re networking at a business event or making chit-chat at a family gathering, these phrases can help transform your small talk into meaningful conversations.

Ultimately, getting better at small talk is less about perfecting your conversational skills and more about cultivating genuine connections. That’s what truly makes a difference.

Picture of Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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