Monday Mastery – small talk.

You often come across books with amazing titles, which promise YOU the world. You buy excitedly, read expectantly, wait with bated breath for the world and realise pretty soon, you’ve been duped !

I think it won’t happen here, it really does do what it says on the cover. Even your more sociably well-equipped and seasoned communicators can pick up some tricks and tips from the book. ‘How to talk to anyone: 92 little tricks for big success in relationships’ by Leil Lowndes.

Leil touches on body language and creating a good first impression at the beginning of the book before moving onto small talk tips to help us keep our conversation ‘partners’ spellbound by our mastery of conversation.

I love how she embeds her tricks in stories to make them more engaging and memorable, not to mention giving them all distinctive unforgettable names.

I thought, I would present one from the book, entitled ‘parroting’. It’s probably the simplest method to keep people talking and doesn’t involve much ‘thought’ on your part. Like a parrot does, simply repeat part of the last thing your partner said. What happens, the person ‘gets going’ again. Here’s a simple example I made up:

Wife: “My parents called earlier today.”

Husband “Parents.”

Wife: “You know, they’ve been on holiday for a fortnight”

Husband: “Holiday”

Wife: “Yes, I told you – Greece, remember?”

Husband: “Oh yes, Greece”

Wife: “They had a whale of a time, hotel great, weather superb, the only thing was, there were too many Brits.”

Husband: “too many Brits!?”

I think you get the picture and as you can see that ‘conversation’ could go on for hours. Having tried this out many times, I can vouch for its effectiveness. BUT don’t overuse it, like in the above example, simply sprinkle it into your conversations and watch your partner enjoy being centre stage.

Happy parroting!!!!!

There are 91 other tricks and tips to master your small talk! If you buy the book through the Amazon link below, I would receive at small commission at no extra cost to you and help support Teatime Titbits. Thank you.

https://amzn.to/2QduG0l

to wait with bated breath (etw mit Spannung erwarten), to be duped (betrogen werden), seasoned (erfahren), spellbound (fasziniert), mastery of (Beherrschung von), to get going (loslegen), to have a whale of a time (eine großartige Zeit haben), to vouch for sth (für etw bürgen), to sprinkle it into (einstreuen), to be centre stage (im Mittelpunkt stehen), commission (Provision).

2 thoughts on “Monday Mastery – small talk.

Gimme the parrot and I „show you the bird“ as we say in Germany. 😉 Maybe it‘s a cultural thing but for Germans parroting feels rather like taking the mickey out of us than as an attempt (or easy approach) to keep a conversation going. Nevertheless, I have to admit that I can‘t give any general advice you haven‘t heard of before. Small talk should come naturally and at eye level. Adapt your register, maybe mirror body language and be polite. Some people match immediately and can talk for hours even though they are strangers. Others don‘t and that is okay, too. Sometimes silence is better than an awkward „conversation“. You know the proverb, don‘t you?

Jenny, I was a bit wary about highlighting the ‘parroting’ one when there were so many other great ideas in her book. However I figured it’s unbelievably simple – any level of English speaker could do it and if you don’t overdo it, your conversation partner will probably not even notice you are doing it. Go over the top (OTT) like I did in my example is a recipe for disaster and Yes, they will probably think you are taking the mick.

Leave a Reply