生活中绝大部分的开口说话都是在非正式场合。除了正经八百的商务会谈，你会跟老外闲聊侃大山吗？Small talk skills are not so easy to handle. Don't worry; you are going to learn how to be sociable by developing small talk skills.
Small Talk 闲谈交流
Small talk is light conversation on unimportant or non-serious subjects. What make small talk small are both its duration and its focus.
People will probably make small talk:
At various parties (such as a cocktail party, a birthday or dancing party, etc.) and gatherings;
When one runs into someone in the street;
When one greets somebody at various occasions;
During a meal, etc.
A: That was delicious soup!
B: Thank you.
A: That was delicious soup!
B: Thank you. (Would you like some more?)
可见，如果你说的话仅仅以"thank you"来结尾，别人是很难将对话进行下去的。 If additional information is provided, it will become easier for the person or others to explore or elaborate (详细述说) on the raised topic.
让闲聊继续的另一个技巧就是：using expressions showing attention, understanding, agreement, interest or surprise。我们提供了如下用语：
a) Yes, they're lovely, aren't they?
c) You're right.
d) I'm afraid so!
e) Of course!
A: This cake is delicious! I think it must contain some mystery ingredients!
B: Thank you. It's nothing special, really--I just added a glass of milk to the old recipe. Would you like some more?
A: Yes, please.
B: Let me take your plate.
A: Thank you. You know what; I always find it difficult to follow a recipe when cooking dishes. The recipe is more confusing than helpful.
B: It is sometimes. But I should say it is a good idea to follow it when you try a new dish, then throw it away when you are on your way.
A: That's quite true. You can come up with your own recipe once you feel confident.
B: Exactly. Could you pass me the salt, please?
A: Certainly! So, you live far from here?
B: Yes, in those new quarters downtown.
A: There is a great restaurant up there. Have you been there yet?
B: No, but I hear they have great food.
A: Maybe we could meet there sometime?
B: I'd love to! (Hopefully)
A: Good idea. Help yourself to the beef.
Safe Topics 安全话题
Small talk is a brief discussion of a neutral and relatively insignificant topic. Below is a list of generally safe topics as well as conversational territories to avoid. 为了避免冷场，闲聊在许多场合下都是必要的，而关键问题就是何时开口以及说些什么。
Some locations--such as office hallways, elevator corridors, and equipment rooms--easily lend themselves to small talk. Certain times of day--such as arrival or departure from the office or the time before a meeting begins--provide small talk opportunities as well. 有些地方十分适合闲聊：比如公司走廊，电梯通道和设备间。而某些时候也是非常合适闲聊的：比如会前，到达和离开公司的路上。
SAFE TOPICS 安全话题 TOPICS TO AVOID 应避免的话题
Weather 天气 Your Health 你的健康状况
Traffic 交通 Other's Health 他人的健康状况
Sports 体育 Cost of items, Income 物品的价格、收入
Non-Controversial Current Events, such as The Oscars 不会引起争议的时事，如奥斯卡奖 Personal Misfortunes 个人的不幸
Travel 旅行 Stories of Questionable Taste 品味不高的故事
Environmental Issues 环保问题 Dirty Jokes 不雅的笑话
Favorable Comments Regarding the Meeting Place or City 对会面地点或城市的赞美之词 Gossip 闲言碎语
Common Experiences 交谈双方共同的经历 Religion 宗教信仰
Books 书 Highly Controversial Issues such as Abortion or Flag-Burning 颇有争议的话题，如堕胎或烧毁国旗The Arts 艺术
Intimate Details About Your Personal Life 私生活细节
生活不是剧本，你无法预测将要发生什么以及将要说些什么。但是，你应该做个有准备的人。都准备些什么呢？给你一条建议：Read at least one newspaper a day and several magazines a month to keep abreast of current events. It's an especially good idea to read the local newspapers of any cities you visit. Observe the world around you. A traffic jam, new buildings under construction and the opening of an art exhibit are all possible topics. 通过报刊与世界连通，你就始终拥有取之不尽的谈资。
1. If you are observing what is going on around you, keep it upbeat. 保持乐观的心态观察你身边的人和事。
"This is a wonderful party. Everyone is having a good time."