The Story of Big Talk – Building Deeper Connections
Updated: May 19
Studying abroad invited further travel opportunities and whilst on a weekend away in Kuala Lumpur, where my mate Yash had recently bought a new camera, we ended up having one of the most memorable days that has gone on to positively influence my pre-existing relationships with people as well as the new relationships I build.
During a sunny Saturday afternoon Yash and I were logistically organising how we should spend our evening. Because he had his camera we started joking about the idea of us filming our night. But what started as a joke, swiftly turned into a genius idea.
Having the camera gave us an excuse to pose as travel vloggers, who interviewed fellow travellers. We had both watched a TedTalk from a lady named Kalina Silverman, who spoke about the concept of Big Talk (which you can watch here) and thought this would be a good premise for our interviews. Big Talk is the concept of moving past small talk and instead asking more meaningful and deeper questions. An example Big Talk question is, “what is one thing you want to do before you die?”
Later that evening we found ourselves on a lively strip filled with bars and restaurants. A place like this is traditionally a prime location for social interaction, but in reality it can still be quite hard to have any interaction with others at all, let alone anything that goes beyond exchanging pleasantries. But equipped with our camera and our questions we pursued our idea.
We spoke to a French couple, an Italian owner of a bar and three teachers, 2 of them were from Australia and the other was from Ireland. Not only were they all more than willing to speak to us, but our Big Talk questions allowed us to connect with them in a more meaningful way. Asking deeper questions forced them to go deeper within themselves, which naturally evokes a deeper response and we found ourselves transfixed to their stories.
We had such an enjoyable and fulfilling time engaging with random people and ended up spending the rest of our night with the teachers. A few hours previous, we couldn’t have imagined our night turning out as unforgettable as it did, all because of the camera and the questions.
Since that evening, I started using Big Talk more. Whether I was talking with my friends or new people I had just met, I found that asking Big Talk questions resulted in me getting to know people better, build deeper connections and grow stronger friendships.
Questions like, “what is one thing you want to do before you die?” allows you find out about peoples passions, “who would you most like to have as a dinner guest?” lets you find out about someone’s interests and what type of people they find interesting and asking, “what is your greatest achievement?” allows you to find out what someone is most proud of.
Some of my other favourite Big Talk Questions are:
· Who is the most fascinating person you have ever met?
· What is the most spontaneous thing you have ever done?
· What is the best advice you have ever received?
· What is a ‘perfect’ day for you?
· What do you value most in a friendship?
· If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?