Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Six Tips to Making Small Talk Without Mentioning the Weather

The awkward silence, the shifted gaze, the nervous laughter, the unnecessary extra bite of the sandwich or slurp of the coffee, and then the inevitable “the weather’s nice today”. 
These are all uncomfortable scenarios I am sure we can relate to when forced to network at a work event or speak to a friend of a friend you barely know at a party. It’s amazing what we put ourselves through when we don’t know what to say. 
Conversation openings, what one may refer to as “small talk”, are vital for interesting conversations which can ultimately lead to great relationships.  On the flip side, bad small talk will lead to a crappy conversation.

Us Brits are famed for not being able to engage in small talk without mentioning the weather. The main reason being the unpredictable temperament of our weather has made it a focus of our daily narrative, which has now turned into a pre-conversation ritual. Now, using the weather as a way into a deep and meaningful conversation is OK, but it has become clich√©d and a bit overplayed now.

So much so that “the weather is awful, isn’t it?”, seems a bit ingenuine. So, here are useful ways to make small talk without mentioning the weather.
1.Smile. Smiling and other forms of positive body language (such as a slight wave or nod) is a friendly non-verbal invitation to conversation. It allows other people to instinctively recognise that you are available and open for a chat, and will make them comfortable enough to begin a discussion with you.
2. Pay compliments. After initial “hello’s”, saying something nice is a sure way to the other person’s heart. It’s likely to boost their confidence, drop their guard and make them more willing to speak with you. Only pay genuine compliments though. As insincerity can come across as a snide comment and rub people up the wrong way.
3. Ask an open-ended question. As opposed to a closed question. If you ask a question that only requires a “yes” or “no” or any other one worded response, you will be forced to ask another question, and another, and another. This can become tiresome and awkward for both parties, so it’s better to ask a question which will allow your conversation partner to think and elaborate on their response. Hopefully, after that, conversation should flow.
4. Speak about your environment. The room or space you are in is probably one of the only things you’ll have in common with someone you have never met before, so make use of that.This can be something as simple offering to hand them a plate from the nearby buffet table, or making a humorous remark about the coffee.
5. Make reference to what brought you together. Are you at an industry event or an open evening for a course? Was there a vigorous application process you had to go through? What has brought you and the other person together at the present moment? This will be the other thing you’ll have in common with your conversation partner and is likely to lead you onto other topics.
6. Bring a third person into the conversation. If all fails, why not bring a third person into the conversation? It helps to lighten the pressure that two people would’ve been carrying to make the conversaion flow. Also a third, or even a fourth person will add new personalities and new possiblities for discssussion.
Or failing all of the above you could just politely make an excuse and escape! You can't come and kill yourself sha!
I hope you have enjoyed these tips. As you can see, there are other ways to make small talk without mentioning the weather. Good luck with your small talk, and happy conversing! Are there any more tips you can add?


  1. This was helpful thanks Madeline! Networking is such a skill, hopefully I'll work it out soon enough!


    1. Hi Angela. I am so glad this helped you. Happy networking!

  2. Thanks for sharing the post.And I hope that other readers will also experience how they feel after reading your article. I decided to add your blog to my bookmarks so I can return to it at a later date.

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