Some people feel uncomfortable when they are in the presence of a group and confronted with silence. They just don’t know how to fill the gap. Others might want to get straight to the point with no warm-up chat which can appear cold and emotionless. In both cases, it’s great to know how to master the art of small talk and use it when necessary. This is a fun exercise that helps the delegates to become comfortable in making small talks with others.
Using pictures, participants are encouraged to come up with small talk ideas for each picture.
What You Need
- 3 pictures of ordinary people during normal every day activities for each group (You can obtain these pictures from free image banks on the web or cut outs from magazines).
- A flip chart and pins or a magnetic board with magnets.
- Split the group into teams of three people.
- Give 3 pictures to each group.
- Each team has 5 minutes to come up with 3 questions that they ask the main character in each photo with an aim to start a small talk or a pleasant conversation. For example:
- If the picture shows “A mother with a young boy picking a box of breakfast cereal in a supermarket”, the questions could be:
- "Kids really enjoy choosing their cereals, don’t they?"
- "Have you tried these Frosties yet? They come with a free toy in the box."
- "Do you shop in this supermarket often?"
- At the end of 5 minutes, ask a representative from each group to pin their pictures on the board and explain the questions they came up with for each picture.
- Get other delegates to comment about each picture and suggest ideas on small talk that were not covered by the original group.
Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes.
Activity: 10 minutes
Group Feedback: 15 minutes.
Ask delegates how they feel about making small talks with others especially customers? Do they think it is pointless or does it help building a better relationship with the client? What subjects are safe for such questions and which areas should be avoided?