Small talk is not the same as chit chat, where your motive is to learn a little bit about the person and find a topic to converse on in more depth. Talking about nothing doesn’t have a learning or information gathering motive. It’s purely a social thing in which you connect on a feeling level. From “Socially Curious and Curiously Social” by Michelle G. Winner & Pamela Crooke.
- Small talk is a perplexing topic for many – but there is logic behind the madness. This Wikipedia article does a good job clarifying the subject.
- Another good article: Some Thoughts On The Point Of Small Talk on Succeed Socially website.
- How to Master the Art of Small Talk: a shortlist of points to remember.
- A Comic on xkcd.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation. Data learns “small talk” by interacting with the master of small talk, Commander Hutchinson. video clip.
Time to progress beyond small talk? Read on how people cooperate in conversations.