Small-Talk In Starbucks

Have you ever wanted to know how to start a conversation with somebody in a coffee shop? In episode five you’ll learn how to do this as well as get past all the small talk that people so commonly struggle with!

Many of us dread the idea of small talk with new people, especially in such a closed environment as this. But really, it needn’t be hard… in fact, it’s easy once you know a few small talk topics that you can use.

In this video, you’ll notice that I started chatting to a girl who was already sitting next to me, and as we continued our conversation, her whole family ended up joining us! You’ll notice that the camera angle changes as the video progresses in order to give you a better vantage point and let you see what I’m actually doing.

  • Small Talk Tips
  • Declaratives and Interrogatives
  • Enthusiasm
  • Being Captivating

Small Talk Tips

The first thing I really want to focus on is adding variety in your conversations, especially when it comes to humour. Many people crack one or two jokes, get a few laughs for doing so, which tends to validate them and encourage them to keep being “Mr. Funny” all the time. However, if all you ever do is tell jokes you’ll end up looking like a clown.

Now I’m not saying don’t be funny, I’m simply saying add variety to your personality. Something I like to do is once I’ve told a joke, I tend to relax back into a more serious conversation right away. This always keeps the listener on their toes, and they never know which side of me they’ll get next!

Something I mention in the video is that humour makes people receptive to you. Nothing helps bond two people more than humour. However, it does stop you from building rapport with someone, so it should not be overused.

’Declaratives and Interrogatives’

Another one of my small talk tips is to mix up statements and questions in a particular way so your conversation runs smoothly.

To keep a conversation going for an infinite amount of time, all you need to do is stop asking questions, and start making statements, followed by questions. This statement can be an observation, an assumption, or pretty much anything you want to get off your mind. Every one you make adds more fuel to the conversation.

This also adds a bit of variety to the rhythm of the conversation and breaks the pattern of relentless questions (which is what most people consider to be small talk).


I make sure to add some emotion to my dialogue when I speak. This enthusiasm is what engages the people that I’m talking to. You’ll notice in the video that my facial expressions also change when I talk, as this really emphasizes my words.

Enthusiasm can bring any dull subject to life. In the video, I’m talking about “the weather” and still making it fun by laughing about it. I always say the first thing that springs to mind. It doesn’t really matter what I end up saying because I know that my enthusiasm will make it engaging.

When you spike your emotional energy like this, you can expect your listeners to respond emotionally too. The key thing to remember is that you’ll usually get back whatever vibe you give off to other people. So as long as you’re warm, you’ll be warmly received.

Being Captivating

When you’re speaking about yourself, rather than just imparting all kinds of boring facts and figures, tell things in stories. Describe settings vividly, and use your hands to express yourself and paint a picture of the places you’re describing. These kinds of gestures are very powerful for capturing the imagination and attention of people when you speak to them.

Something I like to do when I’m talking about myself, is imagine that I’m a kid again, telling a story to a bunch of friends. This just lets you speak freely and openly without a care in the world.

Finally, one of the biggest tips to take away from this video is that when you’re talking to a group of people, you need to pay them all equal amounts of respect and attention, no matter how well (or not well) you know them. Not only is this polite as it brings everyone into the conversation, it holds everyone’s attention and creates an aura around you. Once I have everyone engaged, I face each person individually and share a few sentences with each, moving swiftly from one to the other.

So there you have it, a few more of my small talk topics, tips, and tricks! Are you ready to learn the next secret from the depths of The Vault? In episode five you’ll discover a very powerful secret for creating an irresistible character…

Further Reading

“Conversationally Speaking” by Alan Garner