why small talk

The why behind small talk

The why behind small talk

This is the first part of a 5-week training course on small talk. To start off let me tell you about the why behind small talk. You can download a free pdf workbook for the 5-week training course here.

Sometimes I can read minds. Honestly, it’s a gift and a curse at the same time. Right now I can tell you don’t believe me. Let me explain what I’m talking about.

I teach people how to communicate better in English. One of the communication skills I teach is “small talk”. And now I know some of you are thinking “Why?” See what I mean?

So why is small talk important for you? That’s one of the first things I like to cover during a communication course. 

Usually I ask my students their thoughts on the topic. And they all come up with about the same reasons. 


Here are the top three they come up with:

1. It breaks the ice,

no more awkward silence. Imagine you’re at a conference and you meet someone and after each of you have mentioned your names and what you do, there it is: “the silence”. Using small talk here can be a lifesaver.

2. In some cultures if you don’t small talk, you don’t do business. 

You need it to establish a relationship, which is built on trust. People have to like you in order to do business with you.

3. It can help get bits of information about your conversation partner,

which will help you to build a comfortable atmosphere.


So far so good, but please consider these two reasons as well:


1. It makes you smarter.

Yes, it does! According to a study by the University of Michigan, engaging in a friendly, social interaction improves your problem-solving skill, this happens when you try to read other peoples’ minds and try to see their perspectives. Now you know, why I can sometimes read minds.

2. Sometimes we don’t see the most obvious reason. It is the first step in communication,

which you have to take to get anywhere. No matter where, at the office, the train station, the supermarket or at a conference, you need small talk to open the door. In face-to-face encounters smiling at your conversation partner helps tremendously and, speaking from personal experience, I dare say, it will earn you a smile back. Even on social media you practice small talk, by liking, sharing or commenting. We need a form of interaction with each other and that first step is, like it or not, small talk.


Here is a small exercise for you. Go and practice. As with everything, the more often you do it, the better you’ll get at it. It will come naturally. I know for some it’s easier than for others.


Next week I’ll cover the “when and with whom you have small talk with”. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog. Let me know your thoughts.

Of course, you can just schedule a call with me and tell me your thoughtsClick here to schedule a call now!

Or connect with me on social media like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing and Twitter. 

One more thing

We’d like to thank you for tuning in and downloading the podcast. We’d love to hear more from you. Most importantly you can help us by rating us on iTunes and if you like leave a review. By doing that you’ll help us get a bigger reach. We know that rating us takes up your time and that’s why we’ve decided to raffle three books among all of you who rate us on iTunes.

All you have to do to take part is to rate us and leave a comment. Make a screenshot of your rating and comment and send it to us either by email or as a DM on Instagram.

These are the books you can win: Atomic Habits by James Clear, Denglish for Better Knowers by Adam Fletcher and Paul Hawkins and Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker. You can participate throughout February 2019. We will make the draw on 5 March 2019.


Take care


PS Yvette and I have a podcast called “Your English Podcast”.  You can find it on iTunes and on Spotify sign up for it, so you don’t miss the next episode.


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