Amazon Alexa Helps You Practice Small Talk Skills

For all those upcoming summer gatherings

Amazon Alexa can help you practice your small talk before this summer’s influx of social gatherings. 

Amazon announced a new Alexa feature on Monday, available immediately, that will share tips about having engaging conversations with people. Simply say, "Alexa, help me small talk," and you’ll get expert advice on how to navigate the perfect conversation. 

Woman and child talking to smart home device

Getty Images / PonyWang

Amazon said Alexa will provide tips like asking follow-up questions, using your surroundings, and utilizing a technique known as "mirroring" to encourage other speakers to talk more. 

The tips were created in conjunction with author Akash Karia, who wrote Small Talk Hacks. 

"This past year of virtual communication has been hard, and it’s normal to feel nervous as you prepare for social gatherings and face-to-face conversations after so long," Karia said in the announcement. 

"I recommend listening to the whole series as a crash course in small talk before your first gathering, and then asking for a tip as a reference and confidence boost as you head out the door this summer."

The small talk tips will work on any Alexa-enabled device, including the Echo Show, Echo Buds, and the Echo Frames. In addition, Amazon said you also can access small talk tips on the Alexa mobile app. 

"This past year of virtual communication has been hard, and it’s normal to feel nervous as you prepare for social gatherings and face-to-face conversations after so long."

The tech giant said the tips are necessary following more than a year of pandemic life, citing a recent Harris Poll of 2,000 adults in which more than half said that the idea of small talking with strangers makes them nervous. 

Other recent Alexa updates include self-care routines by saying, "Alexa, give me self-care tips"; HBO Max recommendations; sound detection routines; shopping list collaborations; and more, all of which debuted last month. 

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