There are so many different ways to enter a conversation and start a conversation with someone you want to speak with that the options are unlimited. This shouldnt make you feel hopeless, but hopeful!
Conversations can go so many different ways, but you can steer them to go in a positive direction – and ultimately a direction that BENEFITS you, not hurt you.
Here are 3 Tips in starting a conversation with ANYONE of any sex, race, and creed.
1. Have an opener ready for the given situation
An opener? What is that?
An opener is a simple way that you are going to enter the conversation that displays you have social confidence and that there is a bit of intelligence behind the curtain – that someone “is at home” so to speak.
Some are doing this without even knowing what they are doing. My wife will do it all the time when we are out at the store. She is so good at talking to random strangers. She will see someone in the medical aisle, use the OBSERVATION approach (without knowing what she is going) and say something like “Oh, my son just had a cold and it works fantastic! Are your little ones getting this cold too?” Bam – my wife is locked for the next 15-20 minutes. What did she do besides the observation opener? Read number 2.
2. Quickly make the conversation/question about them
At this phase of the conversation, now is not the time to be asking questions that will get one word answers. Those come off as awkward and will create dead space. Dead space = bad. Dead space shows you lack social status and you are TRYING to hard. Having them talk about themselves transitions that. What is really funny was when I was working this stuff out, I would ask a one word answer question, then try to follow it up with an observational question to TRY to get them talking – forget it! You will lose interest almost immediately with one word answer type questions.
Want to be the best conversationalist? Learn how to get someone to talk about themselves.
3. Listen and Respond.
There was some truth about dating, relationships, and conversations that you could have taken away from the Will Smith movie, HITCH. That is when you are engaging in a conversation “listen and respond.” I know that sounds so simple, but it is so hard to do. Listen to what they are saying in the conversation, then respond intellegently, sarcastically, or intrigued. You can really demonstrate your personality in your responses as well. Getting them to laugh will draw instant likability as well. Dont be afraid to share your emotions about a certain topic – mirror them to see what is going to be appropriate – if they are sad – respond/mirror with sympathy. If they are excited – be excited! Mirroring is highly effective and will definitely help you increase your likability in your conversation.
3.5 Have fun.
This one goes along with anything you are working on within yourself – Have fun – for goodness sake have fun, would ya? Lighten up. You get shot down, or it feels awkward – turn and smile – even laugh about a fail. Tell your friends and if they dont pick on you about it – make new friends that will laugh WITH you. Go out and have some fun – this world is too big to be serious all the time.
Until next time!
Andrew G. Wright Sr.
You can get more helpful tips from Andrew in his book, “How To Talk To Anyone!” Andrew shares his wisdom of conversations that he has learned while in the field of life. Struggling with a disability, Andrew had to pay extra attention to conversations and social metrics – if anyone can help you with social anxiety and talking with others – Andrew can.