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Three Good Questions to Have Ready

January 8, 2012

For when you’re stuck having to make small talk, I loved these ideas on how to make it interesting:

— Observations of change: Ask the person what changes they have seen in a particular area of business, sports, movies or some other topic over the past year. This creates a conversation rather than an interrogation with monosyllabic answers.

— Superlative comparisons: Ask questions with the words “best”, “worst”, “most” and “least” in them. Through these questions, you get a comparative conversation with some intensity and passion in it. You may not like the answers you get, but you will get some engagement and increase the interest.

— Future predictions: Ask the person what they believe will happen in the next year in a particular topic. Sports is always safe and politics usually risky. However, that doesn’t mean that you should stay away from one and favor the other. The point is to create dialogue, and speculation about the future does just that.

From: 6 small talk ninja skills for the socially challenged – Sales Machine – CBS News.

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  1. Challenge: Small Talk « A Gentleman's Canteen

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