After over a year of virtual gatherings, Americans are ready to start going to parties again, but getting back out there can be tough. An Amazon Devices survey*, conducted online by The Harris Poll among over 2,000 U.S. adults, found that more than half of Americans say starting conversations with people they don’t know well makes them nervous, and they are nervous about saying the wrong thing in social settings.
To help people feel more comfortable, Alexa teamed up with author of Small Talk Hacks, Akash Karia, to share tips for having more engaging conversations with confidence—just say, “Alexa, help me small talk.”
“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. “I teamed up with Amazon Devices to make my tips accessible to everyone with the Alexa app or an Alexa-enabled device. 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.”
Akash wears a navy suit as he stands outside and smiles for the camera. He has dark hair and wears black-framed eyeglasses.Akash Karia, author of Small Talk Hacks.

Tips to confidently make small talk with the help of Alexa and Akash Karia

You can easily access Karia’s tips by saying “Alexa, help me small talk” on any Alexa-enabled device, including the Echo Show or Echo Buds and Echo Frames if you’re on the go. You can even get tips via the Alexa mobile app. Here’s a sampling of the helpful and actionable tips you’ll receive:
  • Ask follow up questions. Like a good tennis match, a good conversation flows back and forth.
  • Use your surroundings. Topics for conversation are all around you.
  • Repeating someone's words back to them, or mirroring, encourages the speaker to talk more.

Alexa can be your party co-host

Three in five Americans admit they think that hosting a party will be more stressful than before the pandemic. That’s why Alexa’s support in returning to normal life doesn’t stop at small talk. Alexa can help keep you prepared, entertained, and informed as you return to attending and hosting gatherings this summer. For more information on all the ways Alexa can help, download the free Alexa app. But before you do, here are some helpful things to ask or say to Alexa that will make hosting this summer a breeze:
  • Smart Home: “Alexa, turn on patio lights” or “Alexa, show me my Blink outdoor camera.”
  • Reminders: “Alexa, remind me to clean the fridge tomorrow” or “Alexa, remind me to make an Amazon Music playlist today.”
  • Shopping: “Alexa, give me hostess gift ideas” or “Alexa, add plates to my shopping list.”
  • Weather: “Alexa, what’s the UV index today?” or “Alexa, is it going to rain on Friday?”
  • Calendars: “Alexa, what’s on my calendar for today?”
  • Recipes: “Alexa, show me flag cake recipes” or “Alexa, show me summer BBQ recipes.”
  • Entertainment: “Alexa, play a motivational podcast” or “Alexa, tell me a joke.”
One last tip: As you get ready to invite people into your home again, don’t forget to spruce up your space, including your digital space. Did you know you can say, “Alexa, review my privacy settings” for a refresher on your device privacy settings? We recommend trying it out this summer.
Now you’re ready to have your best summer yet—armed with advice and support from Alexa. Remember to just say, “Alexa, help me small talk” for a tip and confidence boost as you walk out the door.
*Survey method: This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Amazon Devicesfrom June 3 to June 7, 2021, and involved 2,032 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact