You’ve heard of fire starters. Now I’m going to introduce the concept of “conversation starters”, a tool which you can use to ignite a conversation!
Initiating a conversation is pretty much like starting a fire. You start it and you want it to burn. You don’t want it to die prematurely and endure the smoky, awkward silence. I would like to think of igniting a big fire as equivalent to starting many small ‘fires’ along the way to keep it going.
The following are some of the sure-fire (pun intended) tips on how to get a conversation going and how to keep it going:
1a. General inquiries about oneself
Questions of these genre include:
How are you?
How have you been?
What have you been doing lately?
You look ________…
You don’t look too _________…
1b. Take it one step further
ie: After saying “You don’t look very comfortable. Stayed up late working?
Human beings are programmed and socialized to be accurate and will seek to right the inaccurate assumption through clarification. And unless they’re genuinely not interested in talking to you, you would be able to strike up a conversation with anyone who starts to talk about why they look the way they do!
It’s a hot day today isn’t it?
It’s raining cats and dogs outside today?
That’s a very bad storm isn’t it?
The keys to weather questions lie in griping. Of course you could talk about a beautiful day too, or about that rainbow you see outside. But nothing gets on people’s nerves more than something they’re really frustrated about… and there’s no gripe topic quite as universal as bad weather.
2b. Take it one step further
Goodness, I’m all soaked! And so are you! Bad weather isn’t it?
My, it’s so hot outside! What’s it, like 40 degrees celcius?
(And my favourite) My, it’s so hot outside! May I have a tissue/napkin? It’s horrbible weather don’t you think?
3a. Appearance Questions
Got a new haircut?
New glasses? etc…
3b. Take it one step further
Nice Shirt! Where did you get it?
Nice pants… Where’d you get it?
Nice … ok… you get the trick
The key to Appearance Questions, is sincerity. Though it’s applied universally to all the earlier two questions types as well, sincerity is especially important in Appearance-type Questions.
You can’t win if you lie, because there may well be 10 other people who might comment that the particular dress stinks. And if you flout the rule of sincerity one time too often, news of your ingenuity is going to spread and nobody will ever take you seriously again. An insincere appraisal of someone is a big insult, and insults hurt. Hurt enough, and you’ll become unpopular. it’s as simple as that.
Never underestimate the power of Sincerity!
For tips on how to keep the conversation going, you may refer to my earlier post on It’s All About You!
Making new friends is fun! Isn’t it time to for you to add more fun to life?