Published By: Satavisha

Do You Struggle To Engage In Small Talks? Learn The FORD Method To Have Better Conversations With People

The FORD method stands for family, occupation, recreation, and dreams. You can ask questions based on these four topics to master the art of small talk in various social settings. Follow these simple series of questions to have more meaningful conversations with people.

Many of us often get nervous thinking about being in social situations where we might have to engage in small talk with people we just met.

Some people are not fond of small talk because discussing seemingly insignificant topics frustrates them. Concurrently, others are either shy or afraid that they might end up saying something offensive or run out of relevant topics of conversation.

If you are someone who feels uneasy in social settings because you don’t know what to talk about to a stranger, try the FORD method—all you have to do is—remember four topics that you can talk about with just anyone.


Almost everyone has a family—therefore, this topic serves as an icebreaker. Since a lot of people enjoy speaking about their families, you may use it as a tool to ask some thought-provoking questions.

Note that family is not always about blood relatives—a lot of people consider their pets, friends, and even partners as their family.

Questions you may ask about family

You can ask them if they have siblings; if they are married, you may ask how they met. If you know that the person you are speaking to has kids, you may ask about them too.

Questions about family that you should avoid

It is essential to remember that family-related topics can often be sensitive. Avoid poking or prodding personal issues. Do not ask if they are expecting children; Never dig deep into the nature of the relationship someone shares with their parents, siblings or spouse. Simply avoid any question that is too personal.


Next, if you are speaking to someone who has a job or runs a business, you may want to learn more about it. We spend most of our time at work, so inquiring about a person’s job is a reasonably foolproof question.

Questions you may ask about their occupation

Ask them what they do for a living, and then move on to the favorite aspect of their job. You may also inquire what inspired them to choose that career path. If you are conversing with someone who is yet to join the workforce, ask them what subject they are majoring in or what kind of job they would like to seek.

Questions about occupation that you should avoid

An individual’s professional life can be personal, and it is best to avoid overstepping their boundaries by asking uncomfortable questions, such as: How much do you earn? Is the organization ethical? What is your role in the company?


You can gather a lot of information about a person by learning what they enjoy doing in their spare time. Additionally, it is a brilliant way to find out if the person you are speaking to shares the same hobbies or interests as you.

Questions you may ask about recreation

You may ask them what they do for fun or if they follow a specific show or sport on TV. If you find similar interests to talk about—this conversation will instantly offer plenty to discuss and will become more enjoyable for both parties involved.

Questions about recreation that you should avoid

It is almost impossible to “mess up” a conversation related to recreation. But always be mindful when asking questions, and do not make negative remarks or impolite comments about a specific hobby. It may sound insensitive.


Learning about a person’s dream about the future can reveal a lot about them on a deeper level. This topic may lead to a deeper conversation, enabling you to learn more about their aspirations and future goals.

Questions you may ask about their dreams

You may ask them how they are planning to achieve their goal or what steps they have already taken toward their dream.

The FORD method will enable you to establish a meaningful conversation, around a fixed set of subjects. These topics are universal and can work in every social setting or situation.