No one likes small talk, but comedian Jerry Seinfeld has a useful trick for making it better: When you’re stuck, ask a question someone has to answer with a number.
In his hilarious web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, he’s schmoozing with Amy Schumer and he mentions a tip for chatting with people:
Here’s my trick for talking to people — numbers! “Ask them questions to which the answer is a number.
There’s always an answer. This is Seinfeld’s secret technique for talking to regular people — ‘How long have you lived here? What time do you start work? When did you do that?’”
Small talk thrives on asking questions and open-ended questions work best. If your conversation partner is answering with a shrug, though, Seinfeld’s tip just might work. The numerical answer might be a starting point to an open-ended question.
Watch the video for the details and keep this tip in your conversation bag of tricks when you’d like to mix up your questions.