Welcome to today’s video. Merry Christmas if you celebrate it; Happy Holidays if you celebrate something else. Today, we’re gonna talk about four ways that you can make small talk with anyone and make it effortless and fun so the person almost instantly likes you. Before we jump in, there’s two quick things — one, we are
doing a kind of online raffle that we’ve never done before to give a free hour of coaching which is normally worth $500 to three people. So there’s more details about that at the end of the video. It’s going to run for the next three weeks so you don’t have to rush
there now but at the end of the video, there’s more details on that. And second, this video assumes you are already in conversation so if you want to know how to get into conversation, I’ll put a video in one of these corners that Charlie made about three easy ways to start a conversation with anyone and I will also link to that at the end of this video so you can watch that if that is something that interests you. So small talk. What is the point of small talk? Why do we do it? I think that’s the first important thing to cover before we talk about how to do it and the answer is complicated but in my opinion it kind of boils down to three things which is you — want to learn about someone new or
learn something new about someone that you know, you want to see if you connect, you want to see
if there’s a relationship worth pursuing there if you guys get along and you want a friendship or
to be dating or a mentorship… whatever it might be, and three, you want to have fun and you want it to be fun for them and you want to be an enjoyable experience. So with that said, here are four ways that you can make small talk so that it’s not a boring interview-esque vibe or a
bunch of awkward silences and forced conversation. The first thing is a compliment plus cold-read. And I actually didn’t invent this; someone, I think, unnaturaly just did this to
me when I was at an event one time and it really made an impression on me. So I was in a group of maybe four or five people, we’re all getting to know each other for the first time and I made a couple jokes and I had people laughing, and this woman asked me if I was a comedian. She said, “Oh my god, you’re so funny. Are you a comedian?” so that’s compliment and then a cold read which is just a guess at something about them — where they’re from, what they do, a hobby… whatever it was. But I will tell you, I instantly really liked that woman; she made me feel so good about myself and I did start talking about what I actually do but the impact it had on me versus if she had just said,
“Oh, by the way, what’s your job?” was so much stronger. So this can be anything from, “Wow, you’re really extroverted; I bet you’re
great at sales,” or “wow, you have incredible fashion; I bet you’re a stylist.” And if you’re right, great — bonus points — they’ll laugh
and wonder how you knew it; but if you’re wrong, there’s no knock. There’s no talent involved; you don’t have to get this right. You’re just giving a compliment, giving a guess, and then they will tell you whatever it is — what they do or where they’re from. It sets a fun vibe, it gets rid of that interview vibe, and they will really appreciate the compliment which will make them much more likely to engage in the conversation fully. The second thing sticking with the cold theme is something I consider creating an avalanche of words and specifically, creating an avalanche of words with a good question. So the goal here is instead of getting those one-word answers
where someone really doesn’t engage you in conversation, the goal is to ask them something that gets them talking and talking and talking almost word-vomiting because they’re so excited about what you ask them. There’s two ways you can do this and if you combine them it’s even more powerful. First is try to avoid questions that have one-word answers. For instance, “How long have you lived in Los Angeles?” is a pretty
boring small talk question that I get asked a lot because I live here now. And, yes, there’s a charismatic way to answer it with your whole back story
but most people, if they’re not great conversationalist, are just gonna say, “Oh, six months,” or “five years,” — whatever the answer is. Instead, if you ask them a question that gets them talking more like, “Why did you move to LA?” or “what do you do for fun?” you’ll get them to engage in a longer answer, get them talking, they’ll give you more to respond to, and you’ll have a much more natural conversation full of different threads you can take. The second thing is ask them something that they’re gonna want
to answer because they like talking about what you’ve asked. So a lot of people ask about work; they’ll say, “Hey, how’s work going?” It’s a terrible question in my opinion because one, you can just
say good, bad, whatever; two, they might not like their job. But instead if you can ask, “What’s exciting at work these days?” or even better, “what’s exciting in life these days or what do you do for fun?” Now the person is more likely to engage and talk
because they like talking about what they like — they’re thinking about what they like associating it
with you creating that positive vibe between you guys and now you have an opportunity to connect on something they care about. The third thing you can do is make a guessing game of it. I really like to do this; don’t do this all the time for every question but if you find yourself asking a question that seems kind of boring and you catch it, you say, “Where are you from?” then immediately turn it into a guessing game, “Wait, give me two hints; let me see if I can guess.” And the person will probably appreciate that you’re making this conversation
more fun — they’ll give you hints they’ll have to think about what to say, you’ll try to guess, you’ll be laughing and smiling… When you eventually do find out where they’re from,
it’s a much more fun process to get there. Now you would want to do this in any situation; you wouldn’t
want to do this if you’re small talking your boss, let’s say, but it’s really useful in social situations, bars, and things like that. And honestly, anytime it feels appropriate, it is fun — it is much more fun than just asking a series of where-are-you-from, what-do-you-do, and how-old-are-you that most small talk devolves into until you’re talking about traffic or the weather because you just don’t know what else to say, right? So I like to mix and match with those three things a lot with the guessing game and questions that get them talking and the compliments and the cold reads. The fourth thing I like because you’re not gonna talk about them necessarily but you’re going to elicit their advice or their
opinion and show that you value what they think. And it’s a very simple question — it’s just, “Hey, I have a quick question for you…” and then anything that you genuinely think is interesting. Unlike the Avalanche which is about what they think is interesting, this is really what-do-you-like and what-do-you-think-is-interesting-to-talk-about. And you’re trying to engage with them on this instead of just the regular list of topics that everybody asks about when they’re making small talk so this can be anything from super light to kind of deep. When Charlie and his brother, Henry, and I went out to a restaurant the other day, they were wearing ugly Christmas sweaters and so we just started asking people sitting around us and the waitresses and the hostesses which sweater they liked more and and they could guess and then we could tease or they could pretend, “Oh, it’s just because you like Charlie more than Henry; it’s not the sweater.” It made a fun vibe for everyone around us much more so than if we just said, “Hi, what’s your name? Here’s my orders; I want this sandwich…” whatever it is. The other thing you can do is go a lot deeper and especially
with people that you know a little bit or you’ve met before. This is a really easy way to create a more interesting conversation than just how things have been going so anytime I am with extended family and I’m with somebody who was married for a long time or had a marriage that didn’t work, I like to just ask them, “Hey, I’ve never been married. I’m in a relationship. I would love to know your thoughts on what makes a long-term relationship work or what doesn’t,” and what’s nice about this question is if they’re happily married, there they’re gonna be happy to tell you what has worked for them. Interestingly enough, if they aren’t happily married or they’re struggling or they’re divorced, they’re still really actually pretty excited to talk to you because I’ve seen an instinct where people want to help you to avoid the mistakes that they’ve made or the suffering that they’ve had so a question like that if you find it interesting like
I do because you like relationships and psychology can start a really interesting conversation much more so than how-are-the-kids, how’s-the-job, and the questions that everybody asks so those are the four things that can help you to make a small talk conversation interesting and fun and feel effortless and natural and that is a compliment and cold read, a question that creates an avalanche of words, having them play a guessing game of any kind or telling them that you want to know their opinion on a question or something that you find interesting that you want to bring into the conversation via a question. That’s it for today’s video I hope that that’s helpful. Now if you are interested in the coaching there is a link in the description; it’s the first time I’ve set this up so fingers crossed that I did it correctly but basically there’s a couple ways that you can earn raffle tickets — you can like our Facebook page, like our Instagram, put your email in to get some free newsletters and when you do your name gets put into a database that will then pick three people from to get a free one-on-one hour of coaching with me about anything you want — this can be how be more charismatic, dating, getting a promotion, networking, interviews, it can be business, YouTube… Truly, I just want to help you that we used to have coaching was a big part of our business and then we got away from it to do YouTube and online courses but I miss that one-on-one interaction and seeing the transformation in you and the change and the success story happened — I missed that. And I think it would be fun to do so given it’s a holiday season; I thought it would be a fun free giveaway. Also, if you want that video on how to start conversations that Charlie made, you can click here and if you want a video Charlie made on how to make an amazing first impression and specifically the four emotions that guarantee a great first impression, you can click here. So thank you so much for watching. I hope that
you enjoyed it and I will see you in the next video.