Small talk conversation questions

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These are conversation questions about small talk.

In general

  • How sociable/unsociable do you consider yourself?
  • Are you a chatty person or do you only speak when you're spoken to?
  • Do you find it easy to make small talk? Can you always think of something "interesting" or "amusing" to say?
  • Do you know people who are good at making small talk? What makes them good at it? Can you learn anything from them?
  • How good are you at making small talk? Have you ever put your foot in it by making a remark that you later regretted?


Which of the following topics are useful for making small talk:

  • the weather
  • the current political situation
  • the current financial crisis
  • how expensive everything is these days
  • the results of last night's match
  • the outcome of tonight's match
  • holidays

Specific situations

In which of the following situations would you or wouldn't you chat with a stranger:

  • doctor's waiting room
  • waiting at the bus stop (if the bus is late/if there's a strike)
  • on the bus/train
  • standing in the queue at the supermarket
  • standing in the queue at the bank
  • on a long train journey
  • on a plane
  • at a party
  • at a business lunch
  • Has anyone ever tried to chat you up at a party? Have you ever tried to chat anyone up at a party? What did you talk about? (Be specific: "Oh, this and that" is not an answer...) Did you/they score?


Which of the following people would/do you find it easier to chat with:

  • your mother/father-in-law
  • a taxi driver
  • your doctor
  • the policeman fining you for speeding/parking
  • an old lady/man next to you in the queue at the bus stop
  • a young man/woman next to you at the bus stop
  • a shop assistant
  • a bank teller
  • with clients
  • with your boss
  • with your workmates/colleagues/classmates

As a host/hostess

  • One of the tasks expected of the person hosting the event is that of being entertaining. How "good" do you think you are as a host/hostess in that way?

As a guest

  • Do you tend to be the "life and soul" of the party, or do you prefer to leave that role to others?

See also