Making excellent conversation and small talk is important in every interaction. As an introvert, you’ll need to learn to do that. That’s what we’ll talk about in this article.
Being engaged in conversations can be difficult for you as an introvert if the person you’re talking to is a stranger. But you’re going to have to push through that if you’re eager to build new connections and friendships. Every friendship between two people begins with being strangers, after all.
You may not find carrying conversations as easy as the average extrovert, but that doesn’t mean making excellent conversations and small talk should be out of your inventory now. No. You can simply work on it until you perfect the craft. That’s exactly what being a conversationalist is. Performing a craft. The good thing about crafts is they can be mastered to perfection.
Deep Conversations and Small Talks
There are two trains of thought you can jump aboard in when it comes to making conversation. There’s deep conversation and there’s small talk.
Deep conversations are ones you do that can help you connect with the other person better. It’s with deep conversations where you find things out about one another. These conversations are more meaningful and memorable. If you’re able to connect with someone through deep conversations, a friendship between the two of you is bound to blossom.
Small talks are simple conversations used to pass the time. Consider them as fillers that you use as you approach towards more meaningful conversations. A lot of people shy away from small talk and think they’re useless but they’re not. If used right, small talks can be just as important as deep conversations.
Small talks include talking about the weather, the place you’re in, a quick update or rundown, etc.
If you want to master the craft of being a conversationalist, you’re going to have to consider both of these aspects. You need to know how to carry deep conversations and you need to be able to handle small talk.
How To Make Conversation and Small Talk As An Introvert
Yes, it’s quite a challenge to master the art of conversations when you’re an introvert. It’s simple and natural when you do it with people you know like friends and family, but with strangers? Not so much.
Don’t worry, though. The following tips will help you on how you can make excellent conversation and small talk with anyone else. Don’t let being an introvert stop you from making conversations. Don’t stop being an introvert either. That’s your embedded nature and you should embrace that. Making conversations is just one aspect of your overall personality that you can improve. We’ll improve that here.
1. Make small talk.
First things first. Small talk. You need to learn more about it and master this aspect of your conversationalist side.
As I’ve mentioned, small talks can be just as helpful as deep conversations if you know how to do it properly. This is a very good tool for you as an introvert because small talks are very brief and it can help you make a lasting impression to others if you do this part well.
To utilize small talks properly, you need to be extra attentive. Listen more and be empathetic. Listen to what the other person is saying and know what they’re feeling. This is where you can grab words to formulate your small talk.
Relate to the other person. It may just be small, brief, and passing conversations but you can use that to immediately make the other person like you. If they say something like “I hated the traffic today”, agree with them and add to their point. “I agree, it’s been like most days. I hate it too.”
You can use small talk to lead to deeper conversations later on. As I’ve said, listen well to the other person. If they say something like:
“This place reminds me of my childhood”
They’re basically making small talk. You can respond to that with small talk but make sure it eventually leads to a more meaningful conversation.
“Oh yeah? How does it remind you of your childhood?”
Just because they’re only “small talk”, it doesn’t mean you can’t make it count. You can and you should.
2. Speak first if you can help it.
It can be incredibly anxious-inducing and frustrating when you’re with someone and they don’t speak. You just stand there waiting for them to talk for what seems like an eternity.
So why don’t just be the one to break the ice?
If you can help it, speak first. Be the one to open up the conversation. That’s the first thing you should worry about if you’re to go up to someone or are with someone and you want to make conversation.
This is a very simple prospect. All you have to do is to make your presence known, look at them, and say “Hi” and introduce yourself. That’s the first step.
Then, you can bring up the reason as to why you’re opening up a conversation in the first place. Say something like “I saw you were standing here by yourself, and I don’t exactly know anyone here either. Did you come with anyone?” or something along the lines of that.
Whatever it is you have to say, just state your intentions. Keep it low-key and simple. Best case scenario, they were just waiting for someone to go up to them. Worst case, they tell you off politely. The important thing is that you mustered up the courage to initiate a conversation. That’s already a mile’s worth of step.
3. Don’t force a conversation.
Now, if the person you approach isn’t exactly feeling chatty, then that’s fine. Just smile and walk away. You don’t need to force a conversation with them.
This is where it falls apart for a lot of people. They go up to someone but the other person isn’t up for a conversation. They keep pursuing a conversation because they think it’ll succeed eventually. Don’t make this mistake. If you know for a fact that the person you approached isn’t in the mood for a conversation, let it go.
It’s okay to not be able to talk to everybody. It’s okay to be shut off every once in a while. You most probably understand why some people don’t feel chatty at certain times. There are more people you can have conversations with. Focus on them instead.
4. If you’re having a hard time speaking, listen.
There will be times where you aren’t up for making conversations even if you meet someone you can connect with. That’s fine. You don’t always have to carry the conversations. Instead, you can just be a listener. You can be an amazing listener.
As an introvert, it can be easy for you to just listen and/or observe. Use that to your advantage when it comes to something like this. If someone is telling a story, just listen. Listen well. A lot of people love to talk and just have someone to listen to them. You can be that someone.
Just make sure that when you do listen, you do it properly. Don’t just listen to words, but also pick up on emotions. Being a good listener and being empathetic is a very good thing here.
5. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.
When someone tells you a story, or anything for that matter, and they say something you don’t necessarily understand, don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Ask to clarify or to have an idea expanded upon. If in the middle of their sentence they say something you don’t understand, wait for them to finish and then ask.
This is where being a good listener is really helpful. And the best listeners are the ones who constantly ask questions in response. This means you’re paying attention and want to learn more from the other person.
Asking questions is essential in the context of making conversation and small talk. This is how you can encourage others to speak more to you. This is how you can learn more about other people. Most importantly, this is how you can create a connection with other people.
6. Have a clear and resounding voice
Another important thing to master if you want to be an amazing conversationalist is to pay attention to your way of speaking. All you need to have is a clear and resounding voice. Even if you don’t always speak, when you do, people always pay attention when you have a clear and resounding voice.
Speaking from the stomach. Don’t let your voice be too nasal sounding. Clear your throat. Command authority when you’re speaking. Speak as if you want others to listen to you. Keep that in mind. If your voice is able to follow suit to your intentions, you will really have others listening to you. They’ll even look forward to it.
7. Learn how to tell a story
Always overestimate the ability to tell great stories. When it comes to making connections and having people listen to you, this is a good ability to have. As an introvert, it’s how you can make people pay attention to you by just telling one story.
One story from a good storyteller is a hundred times better than ten stories from someone who can’t construct them well.
This is how you can tell a great story:
- Backstory. Start with that first. Whatever the story you’re about to tell is about, lay the groundwork. Start with what happens that leads to the actual story or what caused the event to happen.
- Set the mood. If the story is happy, then tell it enthusiastically. If the story is grim, set the tone to match that. Tell them about the location, the time of day, the atmosphere. Paint the picture. Let them know your emotions as you were going through the event.
- Use casual words. Remember that you’re narrating a story, not reading a dissertation paper. Don’t use deep words. Make sure everybody understands every single thing you’re saying.
- Build up the ending. Make sure that whatever the point of the story is, there will be a feeling of satisfaction once it reaches that. This is up to you on how you’ll do it as it will depend on the mood of your story.
8. If you’re anxious when it comes to group conversations, just observe
Every once in a while, you’ll find yourself in the company of a group instead of just one person. When this happens, you might start feeling anxious and overwhelmed. That’s completely fine. You don’t have to be the center of attention in there.
Sometimes, you just need to observe.
Listen to other people talking. Listen to their stories. Hear their laughter and feel their mood. Sometimes, that’s enough. It may even help you set your mood. It might make you want to join in later on.
Just know that it’s fine to just pay attention and listen. If you pick up on someone saying something you can relate to, you can just take note of that and approach them later on.
9. Know when to join in
If you are in the mood to join in and participate in group conversations, then you need to know when to do so. Don’t just jump in immediately, wait for your time to speak. Make sure you’re not cutting anyone off.
Even better, if someone asks if you have anything to say and you’re up to it, then good! Make it seem like you’re eager to speak up and someone will be able to pick up on that. Or say what you have to say once nobody else is talking.
Practice and Application Makes Perfect
As an introvert, making conversation and small talk will be easier if you rehearse by yourself. It may seem funny, but it will serve you well in the long run.
Practice in front of the mirror or rehearse your stories. Write them down. Take note of the things you know you can talk about. List down ice breakers or things you can say when imitating a conversation.
The more you practice, the better you will be in applying it. The more you apply, the sooner you can become a natural at it. That’s what you should aim for. Practice and apply until it starts to feel natural. In time, you’ll make conversation and small talk so smoothly you won’t even have to think about it. You’ll be able to make friends with anyone you want.
If you want more tips on how to improve as a conversationalist to make connections with others, read the other articles I have on conversation skills and techniques. These will help you improve your conversation and small talk skills.
For now, practice and apply at your own pace. You don’t need to do this every day, but do it enough and make an effort. Good luck!