5 Best Small Talk Topics

If you’ve never heard of a small talk before, it is simply an informal conversation with someone who you see for the first time in your life. It may sound easy, but in reality lots of people act awkwardly thinking of how to start a conversation and what to talk about with a stranger they meet. So here are five topics for a small talk you can use in any situation.

Key principles of a small talk

Study three working principles you can stick to when conducting any small talk:

  • Keep It Simple
  • Ask open questions: What do you think about…? Why? Where? How?
  • Really listen to what they have to say.

“Good conversation is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.” Anne Spencer Morrow Lindbergh, English writer and aviator

Small Talk Topics and Useful Questions

Let’s look at the key topics you can always discuss when you meet someone for the first time and have to start a nice business conversation. Ask them about:

How they feel today:

  • How are you today? How are you doing? How are things? How’s your day been so far?

How come they are here:

  • Where are you from? Are you here on business? Business or pleasure? Is this your first visit to Saint-Petersburg? How was your trip here? Are you attending a conference?

Where they are staying:

  • Where are you staying at the moment? Are you staying at the Astoria hotel? Do you like the hotel / room you are staying at?

What their plans are:

  • What are you planning to do today? What are you doing later in the evening today? Do you have any plans for the weekend?

What their business is:

  • What do you do? What’s your job? How’s business at the moment?

There’s an extra all-time option – the weather:

  • How do you like the weather today? It seems we are going to have a warm and sunny day tomorrow. We could go sightseeing together, what d’you think?


  • Do you find these small talk topics useful for you?
  • How do you feel when meeting new people? Why?
  • What do you usually talk about when you see someone for the first time?
  • Have you ever felt awkward or embarrassed when meeting new people? Why?
  • What advice can you give to someone who finds small talk difficult?

Written by Elena Rudaya

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