Billions of people are doing it every single day. In fact, you could say it makes the world go round. Some of the people who are doing it are very young. Some are very old.

And billions of hours are spent on it every single day.

What is this activity that is so common that nearly everyone is doing it every single day? It's taking part in conversation! Making small talk! Conversing.

Yakking. Making chitchat. Shooting the breeze!

This type of conversation isn't very deep, and it's not about anything important.

In fact, you could say that on the surface, most conversations between two people are often very trivial. Because these conversations seem to be so trivial, you might think that they are not important, but they actually play a big part in how we get to know other people, and how they get to know us in return.

You can have a chat with someone you've known for years. Or with someone you just met in a lineup at the bank. You might want to share the latest gossip or talk about sports. Your conversation partner might ask you how you like the weather, or what you do for a living.

This kind of idle conversation might last five minutes, or it might last half an hour. In many cases, small talk conversation doesn't lead anywhere. It just disappears without leaving much of a trace.

Are all those billions of hours that people spend every day making conversation a waste of time? Not necessarily.

Even though small talk conversation can be a big time waster, it also helps the time go by. It helps people get to know each other better. Small talk can be a lot of fun and extremely enjoyable.

And even though most small talk conversations might not be about anything important, a few may lead you to form deeper relationships with some of the people that you chat with. Or these conversations might lead to new job opportunities.

Small talk actually has a purpose. The purpose of small talk is that it helps you to get to know other people in a fairly safe and predictable way.

And having good talk skills is actually important. A lack of conversation skills can lead to problems in creating new relationships. Poor conversation skills can even hold you back in your career.

The purpose of small talk is to let other people know just a little bit about you, while at the same time you get to learn a little bit about them.

During the course of making introductory small talk, you may find that you have some interests in common. Or you may discover that you don't have much to talk about!

The next time you encounter someone that you've already chatted with before, you both will know just a bit more about each other. The more you talk, the more you may find that you have in common.

Not every one is good at making conversation with people they don't know very well. Some people find making small talk very difficult, even agonizing.

People who are very shy and people who have poor self esteem often have difficulty starting these conversations and keeping them going.

Sometimes very smart people are the ones that have the most difficulty in making idle conversation with others.

People who aren't good at small talk will find that they don't make nearly as many friends as people who make small talk easily. A lack of conversation skills can make you look socially awkward.

People who are not good at making conversation can end up feeling very lonely.
If you have problems making small talk and other forms of conversation, what should you do?

First, you must ask yourself whether improving your conversation skills is something that you really want to do. Ask yourself why improving your conversational skills could be important to you.

Would your life be better if you could make conversation easily with other people?

If the answer is yes, the good news is that you really can improve your conversational skills. It will take practice and commitment to make your conversations better, but when your conversation skills improve, it can open up a whole new world of social opportunities for you.

Author's Bio: 

This article is by Royane Real, author of the popular report "Your Guide to Making Friendly Conversation" Learn much more about how to improve your small talk skills when you visit her new website at http://www.royane.com