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Small Talk: 7 Questions To Help Start And Keep A Talk With An American

Small talk is an essential part of American communication culture. It may be unusual for “our” person to maintain a relaxed conversation even with a familiar person, not to mention unfamiliar ones: we begin to talk about how our affairs really are, or we are completely frightened and do not know how to react to “How are you?” Cheat sheet from "Lifehacker" more than once will help you out in such a situation.

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You are sitting in the company of new acquaintances, colleagues or even the parents of your half. Everyone is silent because they don’t know how to start a conversation. The silence becomes so unbearable that you can even hear the ticking of the clock. This situation can be changed by asking the right questions.

Question 1. "How do you know X?"

  • Option: "How did you get to this party?"

A simple question helps establish what you have in common with the person you are talking to. This is the easiest way to get in touch and find a subject to discuss. In the worst case, you can always be amazed at how different roads came to the same party. And this is an occasion to ask new and new questions.

Question 2. "What exactly do you mean?"

  • Option: “Never heard of it! How it works?"

Actually, we don’t really like to question and clarify, because in this case we look stupid and uneducated. It seems that we have lost sight of what everyone else has long been aware of. However, the tactic here is to feel like a novice enthusiast. Then your questions will be pleasant for the interlocutor. In addition, you will be asking about what everyone around you is interested in knowing. And this will make the conversation even more pleasant.

On the subject: Six American language habits worth borrowing

Question 3. "Why did you decide to do this?"

  • Option: "How did you get into this industry?"

People love talking about themselves. A similar question provokes the interlocutor to the story, from which you can isolate individual details, then to use them to develop the conversation. You can find out that you studied at the same university or worked in the same industry. And you can continue an interesting conversation for both of you.

Question 4. "What do you like most about ..?"

  • Option: "I really liked the speaker, the bouquet of flowers, this boulevard ... What do you like?"

In the same way as in the previous version, you simultaneously establish a connection with a person and provoke him to express his own opinion. Fun begins when a person does not agree with your preferences, for example, if you said that the speaker was interesting, and your interlocutor almost fell asleep at his lecture. This is a guarantee that there will be no end to the conversation.

Question 5. "What's your favorite restaurant?"

  • Option: “Where can I go without meeting a crowd of tourists?”

People like to be experts. If you are the first time in the city and met a local, be sure that he will tell you all the secrets of this place, advise where to go, where to eat and how to walk. Convenient: you not only talk to the interlocutor, but also get a lot of useful information.

Question 6. "Why do you think so?"

  • Option: "Strange ... I thought so, but you say that things are not at all like this"

Usually people are happy to make unfounded statements about a career, city, or hobby. Something like, "Now is not the best time to start a career in this industry." If you do not allow the interlocutor to get away from this thesis, but ask them to talk about the details and reasons for such an opinion, then, firstly, you will show that you are listening carefully, and secondly, show a genuine interest in the subject of the conversation.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

Question 7. "What was the most difficult thing along the way?"

  • Option: "If you had to start over, what would you do differently?"

People love to talk about how they overcame all obstacles and achieved their goal. This question will work especially well if you need to start a conversation with someone you respect very much - an author, a speaker, a leader in the field. By starting a conversation with this question, you can not only get a lengthy answer, but also a valuable lesson.

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