WHO IS SUNWAY BIG TALK?
Anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski noted in his essay that a great deal of talk does not serve any purpose of communicating ideas but establishes bonds of personal union. This concept holds the foundation for the fresh club that kicked off at the beginning of 2020-SUNWAY BIG TALK. ‘Human Connection’ is an important aspect that a simple conversation always fails to emphasize. Small talk, or better known by the Oxford Dictionary as a polite conversation about unimportant matters, does not fit the description to connect with people on a profound emotional and intellectual level.
HOW IS THE ACTIVITY CONDUCTED?
Do not fret, Sunway Big Talk is the key to skip the small talk and engage with conversations in the extreme. The club is a conversation based club that focuses on creating a conducive chat room that flexibly works either physically or virtually for deep conversations to materialize. Now imagine the setting of their weekly core activity. The club pairs two members randomly and provides every pair with a Menu. This time instead of food, 3 curated questions based on 3 categories are on the Menu. Those 3 categories are Light and Casual, Controversial and Vulnerable. The questions on the Menu serve as a guide for every pair to start and enhance their conversations steadily. These guided conversations between pairs aim to create a safe space that fosters empathy, respect, and understanding among one another. Voila, just like that, deep meaningful conversations on a large scale are happening all across the room at the same time.
If it is as simple as it might seem, why is it common for people to start with small talk in every social encounter? Small talk is the simple way out. Instead of throwing a bunch of information about ourselves in a conversation, big talk nurtures a chummy connection with your partner on a personal level.
TIPS TO IMPROVE THE EXPERIENCE
Here are a few tips from Sunway Big Talk for all to master the art of deep conversations. First, never sway from the global rule of being oneself. As cliche as it sounds, the best version of oneself is simply being true, and the partner will be comfortable engaging with the true self. Second, the trick is to ask, ask and ask. Don’t take yes or no for an answer. The more asked, the more learned. Finally, a conversation does not have to be perfect. A deep conversation is not a flexing contest or a debate competition. The ability to be genuine and embrace one another’s differences can lead to a limitless conversation filled with pure intention and soul. All these tips lead to Sunway Big Talk’s great goal and sight. The goal is to master the art of conversation by finding one’s inner philosopher. Whereas, the sight of the club is to learn from others by seeing the world through another set of eyes.
OUR EXPERIENCE WITH BIG TALK
On the 29th of March 2021, two Sunway Echo Media members, Alex and Jamie tuned in to one of Sunway Big Talk’s weekly meetings and gained the opportunity of experiencing deep conversations first hand. The 3 curated questions discussed during the session are on the Menu above. The sharing of their experience is insightful to reap.
Jamie: Hi, I’m Jamie. I’m grateful to Sunway Big Talk for giving me insight on skipping the small talks and going straight for the real deal. During the session, they paired me up with Hayley, the lovely Vice President of Sunway Big Talk. We started light, talking about our family and parents given the question from the Light and Casual category. In the beginning itself, I learned about Hayley’s roots and origin. If we were to start with the small talk, I’m sure I wouldn’t have discovered Hayley’s unique mixed culture. Moving on, the curated questions helped guide our conversation by giving it purpose. Given the way the club meetings are engaging, I feel much alive compared to other club meetings with members having to listen alone. Not only did I feel closer to Hayley, but these deep conversations kept me thinking about my interests and thoughts as well. Somehow, speaking my interests verbally made me realise how important my thoughts were and gave me affirmations into knowing myself better. However, if members aren’t a good sport, the conversation might not be interesting and therefore, participation is of the essence. Overall, I enjoyed the deep girl talk we had. It was interesting to learn about Hayley’s views and also interesting to see how my views affected Hayley. If you are an open-minded person willing to share your thoughts and learn from others, Big Talk is the perfect club for you.
Alex: Throughout the 30 minutes, almost non-stop conversation with the club president (Jordan), it was a unique experience. We started the process with a normal and casual conversation as both parties were strangers beforehand. As time went on, the topics got more complex and serious between the two. Hence; it became easier to engage, and eventually, a meaningful conversation was established. The appeal of Sunway Big Talk became clear that different individuals were able to connect by having a rather deep discussion. This process does not require its members to prepare much as compared to other clubs or societies. All they need is to just open their minds and be ready to speak. However, this also meant that each member had to be as talkative as one another because it takes two to tango. Besides, people are shy and might not be able to express much about themselves as it makes them more vulnerable.
UPCOMING BIG TALK RECRUITMENT
Here’s a direct quote from the club president, Jordan,
“The basic premise for any club is to meet new people and make new friends. The problem with most clubs is that it centres around an activity such as dodgeball or workshops, which makes it hard to actually hold a delightful conversation with someone. And even if you manage to, it’ll end up being one of those dreadful small talks. “What course are you studying? Which year are you in? What sem are you in?” Does it really matter which sem I’m in? I don’t want to talk about that! This leads us to Big Talk. We are a conversation-based club. You can think of us as like an online chatroom but in actual life.”
Written by: Alex & Jamie
Edited by: Pei Zoe