Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Reflection on " Top Small Talk Topics for Business" by Mark Coburn - Extra Credit

This article shows how important something as simple as small talk can truley be. Coburn says that although most people think of small talk as something to prevent awkward silence, it can be useful in the business world too, and he provides 7 useful areas of small talk. The seven small talk suggestions are: sports, news, travel, entertainment, family, work and television. I thought the suggestions he gave for talking about family and entertainment would be really useful to me. When Coburn discussed talking about family he said, "Sharing the good stories or commiserating with the bad is a great way to fill a few minutes of small talk conversation. Introverts and extroverts are more than able to talk about their family making it a (hopefully) fun topic." I thought this was important because it's a topic that both talkative and shy people could respond to. I also thought it was helpful because I always bring up funny family stories about my sisters and I when I want to avoid silence with something; it really sparks the conversation and takes it to many different places. Entertainment/television also seemed like good topics for small talk, it seems like categories where people could talk about many different things from reality television to dramas or even news shows as well as concerts or plays. From my experience it seems, a lot of people enjoy these topics and they can really open up about things they enjoy. Overall, I think Coburn's article is really accurate because in many small talk situations it seems I have used one or many of these 7 categories and others I have talked to have used them as well. I also think it's important to realize that it's okay to talk about these topics in a work environment or an interview environment to make the initially meeting less awkward and to make both the interviewer/boss and interviewee/employee seem more human.

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