What is small talk?
“Small talk” is:
• A style of short conversation
• Use it in some situations
• Very polite
• Not deep
• Easy for you!
When do I use small talk?
When you meet someone you know on
In an office or business setting
When you are waiting somewhere
When you meet someone new at a
When you are with people you don’t
know very well at a social event
Meeting a stranger on a train
Meeting a stranger in the cafeteria
Talking with a co-worker at your office
Seeing a foreign teacher or student on
Polite Topics Impolite topics
• Weather • Personal relationships
• Current events • Something to sell
• Occupation • Politics
• Social event
• Your health problems
• Traveling, your
hometown • Religion
• A common hobby • Death
• Popular sports or • Your salary
How to Small Talk
1. Starter sentence
2. Stay on topic as long as you want
3. Suggest another starter sentence
• Beautiful day, isn't it?
• It looks like it's going to rain.
• It sure is hot today!
• Have you seen the news today?
• Did you hear about what happened in China?
• What do you think about the economic crisis?
• Do you watch NBA? (sports-style topics)
More Starter Sentences
• This is a nice restaurant, huh?
• Are you having fun?
• How do you know the host?
At the Office
• How's it going?
• Have you had a busy week?
• Looking forward to the weekend?
• What do you think of the new
• Working hard?
A: “Hi, how are you?”
B: “I’m good. How are you?”
A: “I’m good too. This weather has
been hot lately.” B: “I know! It’s too hot for me. I always
want to eat ice cream to cool off.”
A: “Oh yeah. Have you ever tried
B: “No. But I like green tea ice cream.”
chocolate ice cream?”
B: “Did you hear about the earthquakes
in the USA?”
A: “No! When did it happen?”
B: “Last week. I don’t think it was very
A: “Oh that’s good. Well, nice talking to
you! See you later!”
B: “Ok, bye!”
Now you can try!