What is Small Talk?
Small Talk is friendly conversation about “small” (or simple/easy) topics – a few examples include the weather, hobbies, weekend plans, school, work, and current events. Most people engage in Small Talk everyday, whether it is amongst friends at a cafe, at work with colleagues or your boss, or even while traveling and meeting new people!
Why use Small Talk?
Small talk is used in a variety of settings, but is important in creating a friendly atmosphere. You may use small talk to build a friendship with someone you just met or to fill a break in the conversation or silence amongst people. You can also use small talk to create a comfortable environment, before starting to discuss a more serious topic.
Small talk can also be used with strangers when you both are waiting for something, such as in line at a grocery store, waiting for the bus or train, or at the office before a meeting. Regardless of the situation, creating small talk is an important skill for all English speakers and in this lesson, we will learn about many common and useful examples of Small Talk!
What to not talk about
Since small talk is meant to be lighthearted and easy-going to create a sense of comfort, any controversial (or difficult) topics should be avoided. This can include politics, religions, finances, or personal problems. In different cultures, different conversational topics are inappropriate so we encourage all of our students to research before participating in certain small talk!