The art of small talk

An important skill to have when communicating with people is the ability to riff.   Some call it having a golden mouth piece.   Riffing is the ability to talk on and on about things that are not you.    Conversations with people who just talk about themselves or how things relate back to them come across as boring.

Socially inept people tend to talk about themselves and relate everything back to themselves too much.   Interesting conversation tends to be about things outside of yourself.   You can give your opinions on them, but try not to say the word “I” as much.  Use non personal pronouns (it, they, those, them) way more often than individual personal ones (I, me).

You can riff about any subject or object.   Just talk about it, what you know about it, what you think about it….Just avoid the word “I” as much as possible.    Speculation, scenarios, (real or made up)stories, etc are great ways to riff about subjects.

Jumping from subject/object to subject/object in a decent succession creates multiple threads of conversation.   This is how you create wide rapport with people.   It’s the foundation of ‘small talk’.    Using this method, you won’t run out of things to say and it grants the ability to connect with people.

It can be ok to relate subject/object back to the other person/people if you can talk about how it benefits them in the long run.   Keep in mind though to not stay on a specific topic for too long.    And try not to use the word “you” too much either.

As an exercise practice, find 3 objects in the room and riff about them for 5 minutes straight.   Try avoiding the use of the word “I”.   You’d be amazed at what you can come up with.   You’ll also be surprised at how much better and more confident you feel.    This is a great pre-game exercise before going out in a social situation.

One final warning is to be careful not to dominate the conversation.   Don’t be one of those people who never shut up.   It can be just as bad as not talking enough.

This can also help with approach anxiety when speaking to a girl.   Instead of immediately talking about yourself or her or how she relates back to you,  begin riffing about something in the environment.

Asking questions in reference to objects also helps.   Try not to use the word “you” when asking.   It can be inferred.   But try to avoid it.    For example, say you see a woman with face piercings.   Instead of asking how long did you have them.    Ask, how long does it take for it to heal.    Instead of where did you get them done.    Ask if there is a local place that does them.    Instead of how much did you pay.   Ask how much does it cost?

If speaking on them, don’t say “I like them”, say instead “They look pretty dope”.    If teasing, don’t say, I don’t like your shoes.  Say those shoes look funny.     Avoid I and You  as much as possible until you’ve built up some rapport.    But again, use sparingly.

Using the above principles, you’ll be able to create a bit of rapport before asking for the name or number.   Just keep it brief.






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s