Small Talk Isn’t Really About Talking
When you first meet someone your job isn’t to blow them away with your brilliant conversation skills. If you can, then great. But don’t feel pressured to be Mr or Ms Profound with someone you barely know. In the early stages of conversation, your job is to send and to look for those subtle signals that tell you someone is comfortable with you, and open to moving beyond light conversation. The small talk phase is all about body language. People waste so much time trying to come up with interesting topics to talk about, but it almost doesn’t matter what you say, as long as it’s light, polite and politically correct. The conversation part of small talk is really just a very small part of the bigger picture. What matters more here is how you act, how warm you appear, how much charisma you exude and how interested you seem in the other person. The truth is small talk isn’t supposed to be captivating, it’s just an excuse for two people to throw empty words at each other long enough to get a good feel for each other’s energy. Are you cool? Do you like me? Are you psychologically stable? Are you going to stab me if I turn around to reach for my drink? These are the kind of questions subconsciously running through a strangers head when you initiate conversation for the first time. So don’t worry so much about finding interesting topics of conversation, just smile, stand up straight, ask a lot of questions and try not to nod too much (it’ll make you look too eager).
Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. – The Holy Bible