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Create small talk topics

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Create small talk topics

Build small talk topics that enable your virtual agent to engage in casual conversation with users. A small talk topic provides a response to a casual question that users might ask during a conversation, such as the time or date. A small talk topic can occur anytime within a conversation session and can be unrelated to the original conversation intent.

Before you begin

Small talk topics run in NLU conversations that enable users to temporarily switch topics and return to the original conversation topic. Be sure to define the corresponding intent for a small talk topic in an NLU model.

To see an example small talk topic, preview the predefined Time and Date topic, listed in the Topics page of Virtual Agent Designer. This topic displays the date and time to users, in a format based on their profile setting. The ServiceNow Setup Topics model defines the intent for this small talk topic.

Role required: virtual_agent_admin or admin


  1. Navigate to Collaboration > Virtual Agent > Designer.
  2. In the Topics page, click + Add a topic.
  3. Follow the steps for creating a topic.
    Note the following:
    • When you set the topic properties in the Topics Properties page, set the following NLU properties for the small talk topic:
      Property field Description
      NLU Model Model that defines the intent for this small talk topic.
      Associated intent Intent defined in the NLU model for this small talk topic.
      Category Collection of topics to which this topic belongs. For example, you can select the category Small talk Topics.
      Resume topic flow Switch that enables or disables the option for users to return to the original conversation after changing topics during a conversation. Be sure to enable this switch for small talk topics so that users can return to the original conversation topic.
    • When you complete your small talk topic, remember to publish it when you are ready to deploy it to your Virtual Agent clients.