Chit chatting is simply continuing a conversation after greetings and introductions are made. Ok, you have greeted the guest, completed the necessary business (such as checked the guests in, asked them to have a seat while their table in being prepared in a restaurant, or given them their order at the bar). Now What?
People, being the social animals they are, many times feel uncomfortable just standing around and not interacting in anyway. Let’s face it, almost nobody likes to be ignored. But how do you continue social interactions during these awkward moments? Chit chatting is the solution.
Chit chatting is a natural and very common form of communication between strangers. With some one you know, continuing a conversation is easy. You would naturally talk about things you both have in common, such as the job, other friends, sports, etc.
With strangers, such as guests, chit chatting becomes a little more difficult. It is harder to find common areas of interest. Also some topics should not be asked about because they would be too personal. Such topics include:
Are you married?
How much money do you make?
What is your religion or political affiliation?
These types of topics are too personal and should be avoided, unless of course the stranger brings them up first. Even then, be leery. So what can you talk about? Below are a few safe suggestions.
Is this your first trip to (….Thailand)?
Are you enjoying your stay so far?
How do you like the weather (…on the island)?
What country are you from?
What’s the weather like in your country?
What have you done so far since being here?
Are you getting a lot of good photographs? (if the person has a camera)
Have you been to any interesting places since you arrived?
Have you had any local dishes that you particularly like?
Have you purchased many souvenirs yet?
Have you been to many (…beaches on the island)? Which was your favorite?
How was the flight here? (for a guest first arriving, but don’t ask this if they have been in the
hotel for a few days)
To continue a conversation in a natural manner it is important to listen to the other person very carefully. Many times, what they say will give you ideas or suggestions about what you should say or ask next. Look at the following dialogues between people chit chatting.
Staff: How do you like the weather on the island?
Guest: It’s very hot, much hotter than I expected.
Staff: So, what’s the weather like now in your country?
Guest: It’s cold and snowy.
* Note that the staff’s second question was a natural follow-up to what the guest first said.
Staff: (seeing a guest with numerous shopping bags): Did you have a good time shopping?
Guest: Yes, I spend all morning in Patong.
Staff: Were you buying souvenirs for the folks back home?
Guest: That, and a few personal items.
* Note that the staff’s second question is a natural follow-up from the guest’s first response. Just be sure NOT to ask too personal questions- such as what specifically they bought.
Practice Conversation Activities- Chit Chatting
Practice chit chatting with others in your class. using the above expressions by having a dialogue similar to the ones above with a partner, use some of the topics listed above or come up with your own.