11 Foolproof Ways to Start a Conversation With Absolutely Anyone
"Excuse me, do you know what time the next session starts?"
Even if you already know the answer, asking for information can be a great way to start someone talking with you, because everyone likes to feel helpful.
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"This dip is delicious!" "Nice turnout for this event!"
There's something positive to say in nearly every situation, so find it and say it. Don't say something negative because it's much too risky.
The one exception to the no-negatives rule is the weather.
If you're in the midst of a heat wave, cold snap, or torrential downpour, remarking on the unusual weather is often a good way to start a conversation.
"Could you reach that item on the top shelf for me?"
Requests for assistance are another way to make someone feel helpful. Just make sure whatever you ask for is something the listener can provide without much inconvenience.
"Can I help you carry that large box?"
The listener will be inclined to like you and trust you because you've helped out. Be careful not to be intrusive or excessive.
"What did you think of that speech?" "Did you get a lot out of this workshop?"
Most people like knowing that others are interested in their opinions and will be happy to respond.
Naming someone you both know will tell the listener you are part of his or her extended social circle.
Many people will begin thinking of you as someone they know or should know. Be careful, though, that their relationship with your shared acquaintance is on good terms.
Does the listener come from the same town or region like you? Did you attend the same high school or college?
Any common ground is a good way to start someone talking, especially if you use it as a reason to ask for information or advice.
This works when you're wondering what to say to someone prominent. You'll never insult someone by saying, "I really love your work," or "I thought your last blog post was very insightful."
Three caveats: Don't fawn, don't make the mistake of critiquing the listener and only offer praise if you genuinely mean it.
"That scarf is a great color on you." Most people like it when others appreciate their taste, so they will likely want to engage with you.
Don't comment on the listener's own physical appearance - it has the potential to be creepy.
Walk up to the person, stick out your hand and say, "Hi, I'm so-and-so. I just wanted to introduce myself."
The fact that you went out of your way to meet will make the listener feel important. It will probably make the person want to talk to you, as well.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Use bookmarks to end well. Examples:
After an event ask yourself what went well, what did you learn and who should you follow-up with so you can keep learning and honing your ability.
This can help you identify patterns and remember to follow up on bookmarks, LinkedIn connections and promises.
Use the ‘Bookmarking’ technique to create a deeper connection by adding verbal markers or emphasis to parts of the conversation:
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After having introduced yourself, you should find something in common that connects you right away.
It opens the door to more conversation--and keeping words up is key when you f...
... an anecdote, or a well-timed story in order to show other people that you understand them.
Perhaps it's a connection about a mutual friend at work or a common breakfast spot you shared growing up. It's the one spark that ends up transforming the interaction from being acquaintance-like to a true friendship.
The only icebreaker question that'll work every single time: Tell me about yourself.
It is more effective than "So what do you do?" Posing a broad question lets people lea...
After the initial breaking, you have to really listen to how the other person responds. What are they excited about? Ask them more questions about that.
Pay attention to body language. You will be able to tell if someone is losing interest, for instance, eyes wandering, crossing arms or turning away from you.
Not every conversation will be a big hit. You will run out of things to say. Be honest. Say you've got to go to the bathroom or say hi to your other friend. Then go.
Even though it might feel rude, remember that it will free up time to start another potentially interesting conversation with someone else.