Bring up a shared experience

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.

@emmettv273

🗂

Career

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Make note of something pleasant

"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.

"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.

"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.

Offer assistance

"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.

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.

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP:

RELATED IDEAS

Step #3: Bookmarking

Use the ‘Bookmarking’ technique to create a deeper connection by adding verbal markers or emphasis to parts of the conversation:

  • Future Mentions: saying something that will require follow up on later.
  • Inside Jokes: making jokes that refer to something interesting or funny you and the listener was involved in.
  • Same Same: exclaiming how crazy it is you have something in common and talking about it.
  • You Have to See: saying that you will share something they are interested in with them later.

6

IDEAS

Although focusing on shallow topics to start--such as the weather or sports or your favorite new film--makes breaking the ice easier, your goal should be to move on to deeper topics as you gain familiarity with the other person.

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 lead you to who they are.

© Brainstash, Inc

AboutCuratorsJobsPress KitTopicsTerms of ServicePrivacy PolicySitemap