Toolbox | 3 Steps to Break Out of Small Talk and Instantly Build Rapport

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In today’s episode, we cover small talk and smart talk with AJ, Johnny, and Michael.&

If you want to make meaningful connections with people, you have to transition from small talk to smart talk, but what is smart talk, why is vulnerability key, and how do you know what questions to ask?

What to Listen For

  • Small Talk and Smart Talk& - 0:00&
  • How do you transition from small talk to more meaningful conversations that actually create connections?
  • Why is vulnerability important when selling someone on an idea or solution, and how do you use vulnerability to do it?


  • How to be vulnerable using the cave analogy - 4:30&
  • What is the cave analogy and how can you use it to lead a conversation to a strong connection?
  • What does it mean to move laterally and vertically in a conversation and why is it detrimental to only move in one direction?
  • How do you know what questions to ask when making small talk?

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  • The FORD acronym for making small talk - 10:30
  • What four basic ideas can you use to come up with easy questions to start a conversation?
  • What should you do if you find yourself in conversational dead ends, or if the person you’re talking to is giving you short responses?

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  • How do talk about yourself in a meaningful way - 19:05
  • How do you talk about yourself without coming across as boastful or arrogant?
  • Once you connect with someone, how do you deepen that connection?

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If you want to make meaningful connections with people, you have to transition from small talk to smart talk. What is the difference between small and smart talk? When we think of small talk, most often it's just a way for us to pass time or fill an awkward silence. Smart talk is about asking the right questions and listening closely to what they have to say. This will help you understand their needs on a deeper level, build stronger relationships with them, and form better connections than if all you did was small talk. But without vulnerability in your interactions, there’s little chance of connecting with someone new or deepening an existing relationship.&

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A Word From Our Sponsors

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Resources from this Episode

The Art of Charm Small Talk Cheat Sheet

Eavesdropping on Happiness: Well-being is Related to Having Less Small Talk and More Substantive Conversations

The Art of Charm Immersive Bootcamp

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Check in with AJ and Johnny!

AJ on Instagram

Johnny on Instagram

The Art of Charm on Instagram

The Art of Charm on YouTube

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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