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The Art of Small Talk
Transcript of The Art of Small Talk
Conversations with Strangers
Polite conversation between strangers in a shared experience.
Social ritual used to establish bonds with new people.
Generally inconsequential topics discussed to find surface similarities.
More like guidelines than firm rules.
The only true rule: don't make people uncomfortable.
Each situation will be different, but these guides are a good to keep in mind.
Keep things light and positive
Avoid controversial topics: politics, religion, etc.
Avoid saying negative things.
Bad: "All this rain is really depressing."
Good: "It'll be nice once the rain stops."
Ask Open Ended Question
People like to talk about themselves, so ask about the person.
Ask questions that can't be answered in one or two words.
Good questions start with:
Tell me about...
How do you feel about...
What brought you to....
What was the best part of...
Find a Connection
Personal connections make people comfortable.
Reveal something about yourself, and then turn that into a question.
I really like this pizza we had yesterday. Have you had deep dish pizza? Do you like it?
This weekend I'm playing basketball. Do you like to play any sports?
Strangers will likely ask about you, as well.
If you know you are going to meet people, have three things you could talk about ready to go.
Use these if there is a lull in the conversation.
Ex: My three things -
1. My PhD is in comics.
2. I studied and lived in Wales.
3. I have two cute dogs.
How you stand and position your body can go a long way in making connections.
Do: Smile, make eye contact, speak clearly.
Do not: Cross your arms, look around the room, talk to the floor, bury your hands in your pockets.
Stand in a way so as to invite conversation.
of Small Talk
Things to ask about:
Watch the person you are talking to for possible connections.
See if they act in a certain way, are wearing certain clothes, have certain mannerisms that you can connect with.
I noticed that you have a slight accent. Are you not from Chicago?
I think I have that same jacket. Where did you get it? Do you like it?
A review of introductions
How are you?
How do you do?
Pleased to meet you.
What's going on?
I'm doing well, and you?
Have a good day
Small Group Practice
Oregon Ducks Marketing
This is a short documentary about an integral part of the success of the NFL:
Questions to discuss:
1. Who is this documentary about?
2. What did this person try to do at football games?
3. What effect did this have on the
experience of an NFL game? How
did it change the NFL?
How is advertising integrated into the experience of the game?
What are some unique experiences that the marketing firm offers for fans?
What are some ideas you could borrow from this firm for your favorite sports club in France?
What sport does this activation bring to the fans?
What technology is used and how is it used in this activation?
What are the "interactives" at the activation?
Can you think of another interactive experience that could use this technology? Any different uses of the technology?
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