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Small Talk Topics

A List of Popular Small Talk Topics and How to Prepare for Them


Updated May 27, 2014

Small talk is light conversation between people who don't know each other well. For people with social anxiety disorder (SAD), making small talk can be anxiety-provoking. One good way to alleviate anxiety is to prepare for the types of topics that are likely to come up during small talk. Below is a list of small talk topics and how to prepare for them.

1. Weather

Women relaxing together with tea
Cultura/Frank van Delft/Riser/Getty Images

Although talking about the weather may seem mundane, it is a good neutral topic that everyone can discuss.

2. Arts and Entertainment

Arts and entertainment topics include such things as the latest movies and television shows, popular restaurants, popular music, and books. To prepare for these topics, brush up on what is popular and make a point of having a book on the go at all times.

3. Sports

Sports topics can include such topics as favorite teams and local teams. Even if you don't like sports, you can talk about why you don't like them.

4. News

A great way to prepare for small talk is to read the news everyday. Be aware of what is going on in the world and in your city.

5. Family

People are likely to ask you about your family. Do you have any brothers or sisters? How long have you been married? Do you have any children? Be prepared for these types of questions and reciprocate by asking others about their families.

6. Work

Another popular small talk topic is work. You may be asked what you do and whether you like your job. If you do something unusual that is hard to explain, consider keeping business cards in your wallet. This works particularly well if your company or job has a website that people can visit.

7. Travel

People like to hear about vacations. If you travel, be ready to answer questions and give your opinions about the places you have visited. Put together albums that you can show people who visit your home.

8. Celebrity Gossip

It isn't necessary to follow celebrity gossip to make small talk. However, it is a good idea to know a little bit about some of the most popular celebrities in case the topic comes up.

9. Hobbies

People like to talk about their hobbies and are likely to be interested in yours. If you don't have any hobbies, consider trying something new. Not only will you have something to talk about, but having a hobby will give you a chance to meet others with like interests.

10. Hometown

You might be asked about your hometown. How is it different from where you live now? Why did you leave? Ask others about their hometowns as well. You never know who might be from the same place as you.

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