It is not always easy to hold a conversation. However, a pleasant atmosphere and some ideas about what you could talk about make it easier to get started. And the great thing is: small talk can be practised. Whether it's at the bus stop or on the train, as long as you get talking with a stranger for a length of time, you can practise your small talk skills. Here are some tips on what to look out for when doing so.

It is important to face the other person and keep your body language open. Pay attention to the distance between you. Especially if you have never met, you should not get too close to your counterpart. However, too much distance can also have a distancing effect. As a rough guideline, you should keep 1.5 to 2 arm's lengths between you. To signal interest, you should turn towards your counterpart and maintain natural eye contact. Be friendly, observe the signals of your counterpart and respond to them.


  • If you are in another country or if the person you are talking to is from another country, it is important to find out about the customs of that country. Do some research on what is considered polite and especially what is considered impolite and take this into account when interacting with your counterpart.

Since a feeling of commonality positively influences empathy for the other person, you should try to find common ground. If you already know who you are meeting, a short research on the person and their interests can be helpful in this context. Signal interest by asking questions. Make sure, however, that you appear genuinely interested and not too intrusive, and hold back in particular when it comes to private topics. Always pay attention to the body language of the person you are talking to. If they feel uncomfortable and turn away from you, it is better to change the subject.


  • Give your counterpart (sincere) compliments! However, be careful not to overdo it, otherwise you could come across as trying to curry favour.

The conversation itself should be a dialogue not a monologue. Make sure there is a balance between listening and speaking. If you are asked a question, you should not just answer with yes or no, but equally don’t launch into a long story. Instead, in order to create interaction, you should respond to the question with some elaboration, but leave room for the other person to ask questions.

When it comes to content, you should always make sure to talk about positive things and find a balance between trivial and personal topics. We have compiled a list of topics that are suitable and those that you should avoid:

Weather, place of conversation, education or profession, hobbies and leisure activities, current developments in the industry, new films or books

Weather, place of conversation, education or profession, hobbies and leisure activities, current developments in the industry, new films or books

If you meet at a conference or something similar, topics of lectures or professional discussions can of course also be stimulating. Also try to be informed about general world events. This will give you an opportunity to have your say in any discussions or to choose topics of conversation according to your counterpart. However, be careful to avoid political points of contention.


  • Try to remember what you talked about and what the other person said. This way you can pick up where you left off in a follow-up conversation and establish common ground right away. Your counterpart will also feel flattered that you still remember what they said!

Final remarks

Of course, it is important to listen to what the other person has to say. However, if you have met to discuss a specific issue, you should not forget to get to the point eventually.

Upgrade to Premium

If you have already purchased the Pro package, you can upgrade to Premium for only. Your modules and data from the Pro Package will still be visible in your account.

Upgrade Premium

Products and prices

my-future-cube answers all your questions about the application process and practices with you conveniently from home thanks to digitalized processes.

Which package would you like to buy?

CHOOSE MY PACKAGEChoose my package