How to improve “small talk” conversation skills with these apps

People socializing over dinner

How to improve “small talk” conversation skills with these apps

If you have a hard time striking conversation with new people or if you are stuck after exchanging the basic warm pleasantries with someone you meet at a party and feel awkward not knowing how to keep the conversation going; that doesn’t really mean you have a social anxiety disorder or you do not have the ability to interact with people. 

There’s no denying in the social anxiety disorders related to mental illnesses people struggle with, but it is also true that some of us have a preconceived notion about ourselves having social anxiety just because we can’t talk to people we meet for the first time. Its just that we sometimes run out of topics. 

To get you through the toughest of social engagements, we’ve collected a few apps for you that’ll feed you with information on various topics, so that when you attend a party next time and meet strangers, you’ll have various topics to make that “small talk” and avoid being inept in social situations.

The Skimm

It’s great for headline news in bite-size chunks

The Skimm is an American media company, founded in 2012 by Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, providing a subscription-only newsletter. The newsletter is a digest of news stories intended to be simple and easy to read.

 The Daily Skimm is the company’s daily email newsletter. It focuses on a short, simple, and easy-to-read version of the news. In March, 2019 theSkimm launched its first daily news podcast, available weekday evening at 5 p.m. ET, the podcast breaks down the news of the day and explains the context and clarity of each story and why it’s important.

All you need to do is just sign-up for their email newsletter, its free

The Athletic

Great for Insider buzz on all things sports, premium content from all-star writers

Founded in January 2016, The Athletic is a subscription based sports website founded by Alex Mather and Adam Hansmann. The Athletic provides ad-free national and local coverage in 47 North American cities as well as the United Kingdom and also covers national stories from top professional and college sports like NFL, NBA, Major League baseball etc.

The Athletic’s coverage focuses on a mix of long-form journalism, original reporting and in-depth analysis. Its business model is predicted on dis-aggregating the sports section of local newspapers and reaching non-local fans not reached by a local newspaper

Although, the access to The Athletic is not free, their plans are pretty reasonable when billed annually. They offer a free trial period, gift plans and special rates for students 


Great for basically everything the internet knows about TV and movies, which is a lot.

IMDb (Internet Movie Database) is an online database of information related to films, television programs, home videos, video games, and streaming content online – including cast, production crew and personal biographies, plot summaries, trivia, fan and critical reviews, and ratings.

IMDb was launched in October 1990, originally a fan-operated website, the database is owned and operated by, Inc., a subsidiary of Amazon. 

The content on the standard site is free to watch without a subscription, and can be viewed on a phone, laptop or a big screen by way of Amazon Fire TV devices. However, the IMDb Pro has a monthly/yearly subscription pricing plans


Great for speed-reads of thousands of nonfiction books

Founded in 2012 by four friends, Blinkist create bitesize content products so people can easily fit reading and learning into their lives. Collaborating directly with the authors and expert readers, Blinkist gives you the snippets of nonfiction books in just 15 minutes, in text or audio format.

Blinkist currently has more than 3,000 books, covering everything from psychology and management to philosophy and mindfulness, with new titles added every day.

Blinkist basic provides a free pre-selected daily reads, but if you want to have access for more of Blinkist you may want to subscribe for their paid premium plans.

Great Big Story

Great for High-quality short videos on pretty much anything

Great Big Story is a cinematic company, headquartered in New York and offices in London. Launched by CNN in October 2015, the company creates micro-documentaries and short films, which have been viewed by millions of people on various websites such as Facebook and Youtube.

Great Big Stories creates videos that go into categories and they have subcategories within them. The five main categories are Human Condition, Frontiers, Planet Earth, and Origins.

You can join them by simply signing up for their newsletter