Not everyone is good at making conversation. Some are naturally born with it, but for most of us it’s something that we have to work with. I remember of being so scared with the prospect of opening my mouth and having to make conversation with someone i just met, let alone a total stranger. These little tips and guidelines if you will, helped me a lot to be better at making conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I am still not good at it but i am definitely better. So, here are seven tips you can try and practice on.
The first word will open the flood gates more often than not. Talk with strangers, literally. Everyone has their own stories to tell. Just start, what’s the worst could happen? They won’t talk to you? Well you are not talking to them right now. Just say hi and put on a big smile.
Skip the small talk and go for the big talk. Ask more personal questions straight away. Skip the how are you crap. Get down to more personal questions. You will be surprised at how many people would open up and tell you their live stories. People love to talk about themselves, especially something they are good at or proud of. So focus on that, find what they are good at.
Find the me-toos! Make an effort to find what you have in common. It makes things easier. In terms of the physiological side, suddenly you are on the same side and this reinforces positive attitude.
Sincere, unique compliment
By compliment I mean a real sincere one. Not the flattery that you always give to everyone you see. People can sense if you are being genuine or just Pay a unique compliment! People may forget what you said but they will not forget how you make them feel. Put a smile on their face. Give them a genuine unique compliment. In fact, Dale Carneige suggested this 30-second rule in his book How To Win Friends And Infuelence People. Basically, he always give compliment no matter how small it is in the first 30 second of his encounter with other people. Telling a supermodel she is beautiful, that’s not going to work. She is immune to it. Stay away from these generic compliments. Find something genuine instead.
Ask for opinion
Most people are seeking for validation. This is where real conversation begin. Ask their opinion on something generic, something easy. Don’t ask for something too complicated or something that might be controversial. Start off easy and work your way from their response. It’s really important for you to follow up their response, which brings us to the next point.
Listen to listen
Listen. Be present. Seriously, give all your focus and attention to that person. Just for a couple of minutes drop your phone and really listen. Don’t listen to answer. Listen to listen. Do not worry what you have to say next, that will come naturally to you. Just focus on one thing, what the other people is saying. Also, make eye contact to really show the other person that you are giving your full attention to them. Every good conversationalist will agree that listening is the most important skill you will need in order to make good, meaningful conversation. The other people will leave feeling they had a good talk with you and really connect with you.
Remember the small details
This point is very significant. Remember their name, favorite place, pets, things they love, you get the picture. Moreover, a name is music to that person ears. If your are only going to remember one thing from the other person, remember the name! Automatically you become an investor to their well being and your investment will be surely rewarded.