>  Blog   >  How to initiate small talk without saying a word

I gotta admit, I’m pretty lousy when I open up to strangers.

I think a large part of that has to do with my personality where I’m usually more quiet and reserved than the norm. And I’d rather listen in to a conversation than jump in and “hog” the spotlight.

But nevertheless, initiating small chat with strangers is still a useful skill to have. What I’ve found that instantly gets someone to talk to you, without you saying a word, is this:

Bring something that screams attention.

A pair of sneakers with light up soles.

Photo Credit: Skitterphoto

A cartoon backpack.

Photo Credit: Moooh

Double-frame sunglasses.

Photo Credit:

Your dog.

Photo Credit: Andy Omvik

People find it much easier to approach you if you give them something interesting to comment on.

Like the other day, I was shooting a video for my vlog at Bangkok’s popular mall, Terminal 21. Just when I was about to film the top floor, a tall, blonde guy walked up to me.

“Hey, what tripod are you using?”

He was talking about my gorilla tripod, an essential tool almost every famous vlogger uses.

Apparently, he wants to be a Youtube vlogger too and share his adventures around the world. But he just didn’t know anybody who shared the same excitement as him.

After 15 minutes of talking with him, I got his YouTube link, a place for free songs as well as a new friend.

It was a very memorable conversation, one that sinks deeper than talking about the weather. And I don’t think I could’ve initiated such a fascinating conversation without my Gorilla tripod.

So if you want to make small chat with strangers but you’re too scared or nervous to initiate, bring something that screams attention.

It’ll make a better, more natural conversation.

If you want to hear about my adventures as a digital nomad in Southeast Asia, check out my vlog. 🙂

I’m rebuilding my life by discovering who I am, learning what I’m capable of after a 9 year heartbreak that left me stranded in China.