How to Go From Small Talk to A Meaningful Conversation

White man and white woman sitting with drinks flirting
[addthis tool="addthis_inline_share_toolbox"]

As an introvert, I’m not a big fan of small talk – and yet, I love chatting with strangers.

So, how does that work exactly?

The key for me is moving beyond surface-level topics and steering onto something more meaningful (which is also, spoiler alert, what triggers emotional attraction in someone).

Every person in the world has a wealth of interesting stories, opinions, and emotions that are constantly changing. 

If you think about it, we’re all pretty fascinating (even when you don’t really feel like you are).

So how do we stop talking about the weather and break the ice with other, way-more-interesting anecdotes to create an instant connection?

Become Genuinely Curious

People can tell when you’re listening to them. I mean, really listening. 

It’s one thing to simply ask a question, and entirely another thing to show that you truly want to hear the answer.

That could mean looking directly in their eyes, showing a little smile, or simply conveying your authentic curiosity in your tone. 

If your comment, compliment, or question comes from a genuine place, they’ll instantly know if you actually want to engage them – or are just saying something to be polite.

Pick up on small clues about their clothes, accent, or something they said that you want to know more about. 

Make it a thing that genuinely interests you, or is a natural follow-up question that gives you an opportunity to learn more.

Maybe you’re at a networking event and a man mentions being brand new to the city. 

Ask if they’re enjoying their new home, and where they moved from. Then give a few local recommendations for them to check out. 

Heck, if you’re enjoying their company, offer to go there with him!

(this is also one of my 9 ways to get a guy to ask you out)

Don’t worry if this person is the right long-term partner for you or not, you don’t have enough information yet. Just take it one step further and spend an afternoon with them.

Pay a Compliment

Try complimenting a woman on her necklace, which might lead to discovering your mutual love of vintage Victorian jewelry. 

The segue from the surface-level topic (the necklace) into something more meaningful and actually helpful (the best vintage jewelry places in the city) is practically seamless.

Not only do you now have more places to shop for your beloved accessories, but you’ve also made a new friend. 

And it all started with a simple compliment and a little curiosity.

Get Back on Track

Sometimes we can get a little excited when the other person says something that reminds us of an experience in our own life, and we unintentionally interrupt to share our own story before we forget it.

If you get sidetracked like that, try to catch yourself and steer back to the topic at hand to show the other person you’re still interested in what they were saying.

If you can’t remember what led you down the path to your tangent, simply say something like, “I’m sorry, I got excited and interrupted your story – you were telling me about being in Cambodia, talking to the monkeys…”

If you approach every conversation with open curiosity, chances are you’ll not only learn something surprising and interesting about another person, but you’ll get to share your own experiences too – and gain some great insights from that.

Some of the best personal revelations I’ve had have come during random conversations, either with friends or strangers, where my natural question-asking of someone led to those same questions being back to me. 

Turning the tables like that was just enough to take half-formed thoughts and ideas from simply floating around in my head to putting them into words and concrete thoughts to share with the other person.

What was the push that got me to ditch corporate and go full-time with my own offline dating business?

How did my solo trip to Iceland help me get through that painful break-up?

What is my favorite book on sales copywriting??

These are questions that are actually really fun to answer, but that we don’t normally sit around asking ourselves. 

And it can all come from simply knowing how to talk to someone.

Conclusion: 2 Powerful Forces

When you show true curiosity or give someone a genuine compliment, the world becomes your dating playground.

So the next time you’re out in public, or out with a friend, become genuinely curious. Toss out a unique and heartfelt compliment. Pick up on clues that truly interest you and ask away!

It feels amazing to know that someone else is generally interested in you and your life. 

The topic doesn’t really matter – as long as it’s not the weather (snooze alert).

As the poet and activist Dr. Maya Angelou said, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” 

Picture of Article by Camille Virginia
Article by Camille Virginia

After graduating with a degree in Marketing, I worked in the corporate consulting world for over a decade before starting my business Master Offline Dating to help singles attract love in the real world.

But my true passion (and the secret sauce to my clients' incredible results) is helping people create more meaningful in-person connections in our digitally-disconnected world.

I'm now the #1 Offline Dating Expert, an award-winning writer, and author of two best-selling books. I've also taught over 100 live workshops, reach subscribers across more than 130 countries, and have been featured in major media outlets including the Atlantic, the BBC, and USA Today,

Meet Camille

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Articles