ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Make Small Talk When You Fear To Talk

Updated on July 24, 2013

Get The Confidence To Make Small Talk When You Are Afraid To Talk

I spent ten years teaching, training, and coaxing Japanese students to build their confidence in starting a conversation when they are afraid to talk.

The teaching, the training, and the coaxing still continues.

Which leads me to this lens. You're about to learn a fun and easy way to build your confidence so you know how to make small talk when you are afraid to talk.

All you have to do is learn TWO Steps and ONE Important Point To Always Remember that will build your confidence to make small talk and become an interesting person to talk with.

Step 1 AND Step 1 1/2: Start simple. Start easy. Build your start-up confidence first

Remember! Practice will be the key to your success

Many people have a fear of talking to strangers. When encountering a new face, making small talk seems like a fearful task. You always hope that it's the other person that breaks the silence. This fear will result in many missed opportunities.

Here are a few ways to make small talk when you are afraid to talk.

Step 1

For some of you readers, maybe you can remember a time when you did make a connection and the result was a rich experience to be cherished for a lifetime. Now imagine if you didn't take that opportunity. That rich experience would have never happened.

Try using this image--of missing out on rich experiences--to encourage you to start a conversation. The more rich experiences you have in your "conversation experience life-bank" the more confident and more interesting person you will become. This idea alone should help you to rise-up over your fear of talking to strangers.

But what if you can't remember or come up with a rich conversation experience. One good way to start a conversation when you are afraid to talk is to face the fear and press-on anyway. But do it in a smart, simple, and easy-to-do way.

First, build your confidence to start initiating a conversation. Set an easy goal for the number of times you will start a conversation when you are afraid to talk. Let's say it's one. That should be doable.

Now here's what you do.

Be the first to smile and say hello to ONE person.

Goal accomplished! Keep it easy. Make the next day a goal of three people that you are first to smile and say hello to. Practice building your confidence to start a conversation by increasing the number of times you start a conversation with a smile and a "Hi!! with each new day.

As a rule of thumb it takes 21 days to make a new habit. This exercise is more about feeling if do this consistently everyday, you should start feeling confident after a week or two.

So after a couple of weeks when you do start feeling more confident starting conversations, you are ready for the next step.

Before going onto the next step, there's one more important thing you need to always do when building your confidence to start a conversation.

Step 1 1/2

Make it a habit to observe.

Observe how the person reacts? What was something that made you want to smile and say hello to the person? Where did you make contact? What were you or the person doing? Try to make it a habit to pick out one thing that you think was interesting about the person, place, time, or situation you were in. You'll need this for the next step.

Remember, for the first step and the first step-and-a-half, you don't do anything beyond just smiling, saying hello and observing. That's the first goal. Yes, there may be times that this confidence building exercise will turn into a conversation. Great! That should help you realize just how easy starting conversations will be for you.

Step 2: Learn the ability to make a conversation interesting.

Now that you have the confidence to start a conversation, you need to learn the ability to make a conversation interesting. You do this with a little imagination and some great questions. It's easier than you think.

Here's what you do.

Remember those observations you made when you were building your confidence to start a conversation?

Step 2

You turn those observations into a comment followed by a sincere open-ended question.

This is huge.

By taking the time to make observations of the person, place, time, or situation and then make a comment followed by an open-ended question, shows your curiosity and interest in that person. That interest and curiosity you have sincerely shown will "open up" that person. They will start talking and sharing things with you.

When they "open up" to you, the best thing you can do is listen with undivided attention while keeping your imagination radar open for making more follow-up questions from what you have listened to.

One Important Point To Always Remember

If you can ALWAYS do'll will NEVER be afraid to start a conversation

Now there is one important point to always remember when you start a conversation.

And that is...don't judge.

Don't judge the other persons actions. If they brush you off you don't take it personally. It shouldn't bother you, because you don't know why they are brushing you off. You don't know what's going on in the persons mind. You just accept the outcome and move on. I can guarantee you that you will have more rich conversations then the few times you get brushed off.

So start today. Go out and begin...begin with a smile, with a "Hi!" and observe what the person is doing, where you are, what time of day it is, and what is going on at the time. Then practice making questions from those observations. When the person is talking, listen and gather more questions. The next thing you know, you'll no longer worry over how to start a conversation when you are afraid to talk.

Need A Little More Help? Here Are Some Suggestions From Amazon

The following suggestions have a 4 Star or more rating.

I hope you find a suggestion that makes your confidence and conversational skills richer and more rewarding in all of life's occasions.

Conversationally Speaking: Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness
Conversationally Speaking: Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness

More than a million people have learned the secrets of effective conversation using Conversationally Speaking. This revised edition provides more ways to improve conversational skills by asking questions that promote conversation, learning how to listen so that others will be encouraged to talk, reducing anxiety in social situations and more.

Goodbye to Shy: 85 Shybusters That Work!
Goodbye to Shy: 85 Shybusters That Work!

From Publishers Weekly

She also offers useful advice, such as how to tolerate holding eye contact with strangers.

How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships
How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships

"You'll not only break the ice, you'll melt it away with your new skills." -- Larry King

In this information-packed book you'll find:

* 9 ways to make a dynamite first impression

* 14 ways to master small talk, "big talk," and body language

* 14 ways to walk and talk like a VIP or celebrity

* 6 ways to sound like an insider in any crowd

* 7 ways to establish deep subliminal rapport with anyone

* 9 ways to feed someone's ego (and know when NOT to!)

* 11 ways to make your phone a powerful communications tool

* 15 ways to work a party like a politician works a room

* 7 ways to talk with tigers and not get eaten alive

How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less
How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less

The average person's attention span lasts about 30 seconds. That means first and immediate impressions count, and big. In this modern-day update of Dale Carnegie's classic How to Win Friends and Influence People, former fashion photographer Nicholas Boothman instructs you in how to mold those 30 seconds to your greatest advantage and connect with others at business and social functions.

This upbeat volume will probably appeal most to readers interested in dating and nurturing romantic attachments


Still afraid to talk...why not say "Hi". That's all. Keep it fun, simple, and easy.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I am almost becoming a wiz, whao!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)