Small Talk
Small talk is a social skill. It is used when you meet new people. A good tactic is to
ask questions. There are three reasons for this:
1. People like talking about themselves.
2. It is easier for you to listen.
3. You may learn something interesting.
Making Small Talk
Small talk = Short conversations about general topics
Who makes small talk?
- People who do not know each other.
- People who are just acquaintances.
What do people make small talk
- Safe topics: weather, sports, foods, work,
travel, hobbies, movies, and current events or
Where do people make small talk?
- Anywhere: office, elevator, bus stop, airport,
cafeteria, and etc.
Why do people make small talk?
- To break an uncomfortable silence.
- To fill time.
- To get to know someone.
The Weather
Nice/terrible weather, isn’t it?
Beautiful day, isn’t it?
 Did you see the football (or other sports) game yesterday?
 Do you play badminton (or other sports)?
What is/are your hobby/hobbies?
What do you like to do in your free time/spare time/leisure time?
At the Office
Have you worked here long?
I can't believe how busy we are today.
Written by Paul Adams for Teach-This.com ©2012
Small Talk Topic Cards
Cut up the topic cards and put them in a pile face down.
In small groups, one student picks up the first card and makes a comment about the
topic. The other students should respond with a comment or question.
S1: The traffic was really bad this morning.
S2: Really? Did you drive here?
The group should try to keep the keep the conversation going for one minute. When
the time is up, the next student picks up the following card and starts the
conversation off with the next topic. There are 15 topics in total.
The internet
My favourite
A film I enjoyed
My home
Something I like
about my
A model of car I
Learning a
A recent holiday
Why I have /
One of my
don’t have a pet
hobbies or
A food I like
An interesting
My journey to
A sport I like to
House prices in
TV program I
class today
my country
saw recently
Written by Paul Adams for Teach-This.com ©2012