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The art of small talk

One thing I'm incredibly impressed with is how easily some people can chat. My wife, for example, talks on the phone about a restaurant visit longer than the actual dining experience. Impressive!

Unfortunately I have a tendency to get extremely bored by small talk and it makes me a hopeless person for those who enjoy to chit chat. I like to aim straight for the hearts of people and I'm happy to open up my own heart in the same manner. I like talking about dreams, plans and ideas and hate weather talk and stuff. That's exactly why I'm working actively at getting better at small talk.

If you are like me, you'll find the following tips helpful:

1. Practice
It's the absolute best way to get good at this art form. Talk to waiters, cashiers, people in the queue to the cinema, neighbors or anyone you don't know. Talk to people who are different from you, both old and young - quite simply - test your wings as a “small-talker”.

2. Read
Cook books, magazines, reviews – read everything you can that may contain the source of information that can be converted into interesting conversation topics.

3. Force yourself to chat
You can do it in the waiting room at the dentist, when waiting for the bus, plane or in other situations.

4. Take interest in culture
TV, music, sports, books and poetry are all ideal sources for small talk.

5. Add things to your memory
Funny stories that you hear, beautiful things you see, quotes, observations and funny things that happens to you is good to open up conversations with.

6. Become a better listener
Things you hear from others can be good to bring along to the next small talk situation.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.