Starting a Conversation Doesn’t Need to be Challenging
Learn how to talk to anyone by following the simple steps below:
Now I’ve said hello! What next?
It doesn’t matter, but be sincere genuine and honest. Small talk, those two small words drive a stake into the hearts of most of us. The brighter and more enthusiastic you are the more you’ll hate small talk. ‘Entry’ questions are a skill to be mastered. Entry questions put people at ease. Starting conversations is like starting fires, get a spark, dry tinder and build from there. You’d never introduce a big damp log when starting a fire, exactly the same with a conversation. Begin with questions that are fun and easy to answer and build to questions that generate thought.
Listening and looping back to what you’ve heard. You are listening for ‘Experience’, which will help you ask another Entry question. If you want to bring people round to your mood you’ll need to start by matching theirs. Are they bored? Tired? Agitated? Or underwhelmed? Think receiver, what would they want to talk about? The signals are in the body, remember your eyes do most of your listening.
People have always mirrored and copied what their peers and superiors do in what is usually a spontaneous response. Not until recent years, with the study of body language and the emergence of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP – invented by Richard Bandler and John Grindler), have we begun to understand more about why this is.
Mirroring is a very effective technique when used appropriately. Mirroring is reflecting an image of an individual you’re communicating with. It will enable you to build rapport easily and quickly by respecting your partner’s frame of reference and model of the world. To be a master you must learn to listen actively.
Once you’ve looped back and asked two or three entry questions and your conversation is crackling away now’s the time to ‘Enhance’ the conversation and share a little about you. People like people like them!
Get them to tell someone else the story. If you hear a great story, later in the conversation ask them to repeat this to someone else, this can be very flattering! First of all, it shows that you’ve been listening and second it has the effect of making them feel very important.
Use we, ‘If we keep having this hot weather then we’ll have a great summer!’ If we use ‘we’ more in our conversations the barriers start tumbling and strangers are more likely to open up to us, which makes conversation much easier! ‘How are we tonight?’
The more you focus on the person you’re speaking with, the more interesting they’ll find you.
Ever since childhood, our favourite subject has always been ourselves. Let them talk about how great they are, but make sure you listen!