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Never talk about the weather! How to be more interesting and to steer smalltalk like a pro

WWB Area | Learning field
Work and management techniques | (Self-)Management for science

Starting point
More than ever, the art of smalltalk is crucial for young scientists. Through smalltalk and by connecting with peers and colleagues, you increase sustainably and systematically your professional network. Light-hearted and meaningful smalltalk open doors. And it is good fun, take my word for it!

All it takes to master the art of smalltalk is to join this webinar – and some relaxed practice afterwards. The course is mostly inspired by witty, engaging and inspiring examples of great smalltalk from the US and England, which we will discuss and pratice in various group exercises. The webinar is mainly practical and interactive, so be ready to exchange your ideas with the other participants and to participate a lot. Looking forward to meeting you!

At the end of this online course, all participants will have a toolbox with numerous smalltalk techniques which they can apply independently after the course in different contexts and situations.


  • There is no second chance for the first impression: Creative ways to present yourself and to start a conversation
  • The importance of individual communication style and personal appearance
  • The do‘s and dont’s: The TOP 10 rules of engaging small talk
  • Understanding what people really want and need: Connecting with people in small talk through social intelligence and using the principle of reciprocity
  • Best-practice example and techniques from podcasts, radio and talk shows and other formats
  • How to deal confidently with silence, mishaps and other situations in smalltalk
  • Improvising in smalltalk and using humor and witty situative remarks
  • The magic of deep questions: How you can truly connect with others, while appearing more interesting and pleasant

Interactive and practical individual and group exercises, smalltalk simulations, structured group discussions, individual feedback and input sessions from the trainer.
Max. number of participants: 10

Student workers are welcome to participate in the training, subject to availability.

Course information

DateMon, 28.03.2022, 9:00am-3:00pm
Scope6 hours, 8 working units à 45 min
FormatOnline course. Participants receive login data by email prior the course
ToolsVideoconference. Participants who want to prepare prior the course are invited to visit our Praxisblog and our Wiki.
InstructorsDr. Michael Gordian
Course languageEnglish
FeesFor employees, assistant lectures, registered doctoral candidates at TU Berlin and junior scientists at HU Berlin, FU Berlin, Charité, the course is free of charge. If you do not belong to these groups of people, please contact wwb@zewk.tu-berlin.de for information on fees.
RequirementsParticipants should have English language skills at least the B2 level.
Participants please keep a laptop/ PC with video and audio function or a webcam and headset ready.
CompletionAssuming successful participation, you receive a certificate of attendance.

For registration, please fill in the provided form. In case of any content questions regarding the course, please contact Stefanie Giljohann.
In case of any organizational questions please contact wwb@zewk.tu-berlin.de.


Your binding participation is very important to us. On the one hand, our courses are connected with high costs. On the other hand, we plan much group work and work interactively with you. Hence, should you be unable to attend the entire course or should you be prevented from attending the course at all, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can allocate the place to other interested persons. In the event of multiple unexcused absence, we reserve the right to exclude you from further ZEWK courses.
Please help us to develop our program in a targeted manner. Your data will not be disclosed to third parties.











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