Sometimes you’d almost rather sit in silence than make mindless small talk. Sometimes you just crave a proper, meaningful conversation, you want something with a little more depth and a tad more meaning. Sometimes you just want to know a little bit more about people. and want them to know a little more about you. There are times when you require a little more from your interpersonal connections than Instagram or Facebook can provide.
Enter Kalina Silverman, an American Research Scholar reinventing small talk and transforming it into BIG TALK.
I was first introduced to Kalina’s “Big Talk‘ concept in one of those inevitable small talk situations… a group outing. Not just any group outing, an outing full of people I didn’t know.
Midst all the small talk and bog standard get-to-know-you chit chat, one of my new acquaintances dropped a bombshell … she’d come armed with great conversation starters and was willing to use them … “If you knew you were going to die on Monday, what would you do tomorrow” a far better conversation than where do you work and a much more interesting way to learn about someone.
She’d discovered BIG Talk while watching Ted Talks on YouTube, and had taken heed. Kalina’s TedTalk talks about leaving home, starting college and feeling a tad lost. Kalina introduces the concept of skipping small talk and instead making meaningful conversations… she literally says “screw small talk” and talks about how when travel she seems more open to new experiences and approaching life from a different angel. Kalina literally approached strangers with the aim of having meaningful conversations with them.
It cuts through the bullshit and that desire to be universally liked and accepted, drilling down to what make each of us unique and human. The concept of BIG Talk gives back some of what social media has taken away… proper, meaningful conversations.
Kalina’s initial video for BIG Talk was picked up by the Huffington Post and went viral, it turned into a thing, getting picked up by all kinds of sites from all over the world. This concept was transcending boarders, religion and life stage, people were wanting to join her “movement“.
The rise from a video on Facebook to a movement lead to the creation of BIG Talk conversation cards, an idea I love. What could be better than few wines, some nice food and great conversation with new friends and old friends. What better way to reconnect with old friends and form lasting friendships with new acquaintances. Small talk and meaningless chit chat isn’t just something that occurs when we first meet someone, somehow coupled with liking posts and tagging one another in Facebook memes it’s become the only form of conversation with some of our friends.
The vision for BIG Talk is to…
“Use BIG Talk to build global empathy
through the power of connection over
sharing stories about our universal
But is also to use BIG Talk as a means of connection with yourself.
Too often in life we sit around discussing other people, making small talk, and mentioning tid-bits from our day. We skip the more in-depth and meaningful conversation and opt for an easy breezy light option instead. I don’t mind a good debate amongst friends, I don’t mind talking through a difference of opinion.
I often think … I’m more interesting than small talk would lead you to believe, but how would anybody know.
This idea of Big Talk has got me thinking… but not quite sure what to do with this notion of big talk. Do I start a club? Do I stroll around work and social gatherings asking the big questions or do I simply just work it into everyday conversation. I keep waiting for my chance or opportunity to make an impact on the world but don’t really know what or how I’m actually going to do to make this mark.