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The Ultimate Guide to Small Talk: Conversation Starters, Powerful Questions, & More

Starting a conversation is one of the most underrated skills ever. Like literally, just go and ask any sales associate or even business owner about how they were able to land such amazing clients. The answer would be something like, I met him/her there and we had a small conversation on something interesting & that is how it started.

Whether you are speaking to a large audience at some TedX talks or just one on one with your prospects, you must have that rapport to create a casual environment with your talks.

Let’s jump more into this article. We have shared our knowledge here, to make you understand what small talk is, what are the best topics, & many more. Just have a read!

What is Small Talk?

A short-duration talk that we make with anyone, whether it is a prospect, an already existing client, or even a person you just met at a party is called Small talk.

While meeting with someone we start the conversation with a greeting. After greeting we ask them about themself or about another topic to start the conversation. But the problem that comes in front of us is WHAT NOW!.

So here’s this Guide to small talk to help you to make impactful conversations.

Best Topics For small talk

1. Why not give a compliment?

If you having small talk with someone then its a really good to compliment about there personality. You can compliment them about their purse, pen, bag, or what they’re wearing in a good manner so that they feel good because everyone loves to listen well to themselves.

Example: “I really like your outfit”, “Your shirt’s color really suits you” .

2. You can talk about the surroundings

When you meet someone try to talk about your surrounding if you are in a hotel then talk about the hotel and the decoration there, or if in-home or at a conference. Talk about the city where you are or places to visit in the city.

Example: “This hotel’s front view is wonderful”, “Your home’s walls design and color selection are really good”.

3. Asking questions that are answerable

First, try to ask only those question which is answerable. In small talk, We can’t discuss a long topic so we ask an effortless question that is answerable in a short time. Also, ask only those questions which make him/her happy while answering.

Example: “I heard that you get a promotion after the presentation you made”, “Or I love your shoes where did you buy these”.

4. Food is delicious, isn’t it?

Talking about food is interesting for everyone because everyone likes to eat and has at least one favorite food, it’s also good for small talk. You can ask them the best restaurant they recommend to you or where they go to eat and drink most of the time.

Example: “What you love to eat”, “Share your memory of what you eat best”, “You can ask about the special food to try”.

5. Just go ask them about their work

Some working people didn’t want to talk about their job or what they are doing but there is some topic in small talk related to work which is suitable for everyone. Ask only those questions which are related to work only.

For salespeople, this is one of the most important things as that person might be his/her million-dollar lead. So, beginning small talk strategically with your prospect without making him/her feel uncomfortable is a skill in itself.

Example: “Which skills do you suggest someone needs to be required to get a job in your company?”, “My friends offered me to start a business but I have to leave my job what will you suggest I do”, “My Son/Daughter wants to work in x company is it a good company for freshers?”

6. Check if their hobbies match yours

Talking about hobbies is a great topic for small talk conversation. Every person wants to talk about what they love to do in their free time. People are also interested in your hobbies and want to know about you deeply. This type of topic can make small talk rememberable and make a good impact on the conversation.

Example: “What do you like to do most in your personal time”, “What were your childhood hobbies compared to now?”.

7. Talk about what places they have visited

Not everyone you talk to will be a world traveler, So try to talk only about those topics which is answerable to everyone. Talking about travel helps you get to know the way the person lives. You can use some of these lines if you want to start a conversation about travel.

Example: “Where do you like to go on your weekend”, “Do you like to travel alone or with someone”.

Worst topics for A Small talk

1. Politics and Religion

Starting a conversation by asking someone a political question will end up in a heated conversation. You don’t know which political party they support, Left or Right. So this type of conversation starter will not be favorable.

2. Finances

When you talk never try to know about their salary. Most people want to know what other earns but this is not good for small talk conversation. You can ask about careers or positive questions related to their work.

3. Death

Talking the negative topics doesn’t make an interesting conversation. Death is a word that can change the conversation in a different way. So it is important that you never talk about someone’s death because it’s an emotional topic or if you are in a place where you met someone first time it’s a really heavy word at that time.

4. Appearance

When you meet for the first time or didn’t know someone well, Never ask them About their age or if they have a birthmark which is visible don’t comment on it. Avoid asking questions about appearance like commenting on their body posture, like body weight.

5. Offensive jokes

Sometimes people make jokes which can offend someone so don’t try. Making jokes on sexist or racist topics may end the conversation in a bad way and your bad impression will retain for a long time. So use this type of joke only with your best friends or with your close ones.

What are conversation starters?

In simple words, when two or more people start talking with each other after greeting, people start talking with some meaningful lines that starting lines called conversation starters.

It is essential to start with good conversation starter lines it will help to make the conversation deep hai meaningful.

Also In daily life, we do so many things meeting people in the workplace or in college. But the conversation that we make with friends we can not use in the office or workplace with our colleagues, coworkers, or with professionals because the conversation will be different. But some topics can be used in both situations rather in the workplace or with friends.

There are so many people and multiple languages to communicate in this world. Also, there are lots of ways to start a conversation. But the topic we mentioned in the small talk will help you anywhere to start a conversation when you meet someone. Also, there is some example of conversation starters.

Some Examples Of Conversation Starters

  • What do you do to relieve stress?
  • What do you think about tattoos?
  • Do you have any pets? what’s your pet’s name?
  • What was your dream job when you were a kid?
  • What is your aim in life?
  • What is happiness for you?
  • What is it in your life that you are grateful for?
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • What’s the last good book you read?
  • Did you grow up here?

Powerful questions

The Powerful questions help us to make a deep conversation. Because Powerful questions are open-ended questions that make another person in a comfortable place to answer the questions.

These questions can also be qualifying in nature, which means asking people about what issues they are facing and what are they looking for as of now.

For salespeople, a knowledge base needs to be there for all the call flow scripts that need to be carefully curated to let them understand if the prospect qualifies in nature or not.

Some Examples Of Powerful Questions

  • Do you go through our collaterals?
  • What issues are you facing currently?
  • How are you expecting us to help you?
  • What is your current budget?


So, if you are just a beginner into public relations or sales or even a speaker at events and are just little bit of nervous to go and talk to a person, these tips above are surely gonna help you.

Go through it and let us know if they helped you, and do share your questions about this article in the most powerful way you know. Good luck!

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