In order for us to move along and succeed in life, it is necessary for us to network with other people around us either to build personal relationships or for business purposes.
For a lot of us, starting conversations with a stranger and building relationships may seem like an uphill task, and the consequences are evident in our social life.
In reality, you don’t need to be a comedian to be able to get people’s attention but you do need to go out of your way.
Being able to meet new people and build a relationship is a skill set that may seem difficult to hone, but with determination, dedication, and much practice, meeting new people becomes a lot easier and fun.
Whether it’s in a business meeting, a social gathering or you just need a bit of insight, here are few tips on how to strike a conversation with anyone.
So you are seated close to someone you will like to be friends with or you are trying to strike a conversation with an acquaintance from work, you can break the ice with these easy conversation starters.
– Introduce Yourself
Once you are conversing with someone who you are meeting for the first time, introduce yourself and do well to remember their names.
Keep it simple, names and portfolio are all that’s needed, no point in giving out too many info about yourself, you will need to save that for another meeting.
– Make A Remark or Comment On The Location, Weather or Environment.
Take for instance you are seated at a wedding reception and you desperately need to talk with someone, you can use the interior decoration for starters
” the event planner sure did a nice job with the interior decor, I like the choice of colors or what do you think”?
– Avoid Asking Questions That Results In Yes Or No Answers.
Questions that start with who, what, where, and why, that tend to provide longer answers and stir more conversations are appropriate.
– Learn To Combine Compliment With Open Questions.
For example instead of just saying I like your hair, or what a wonderful presentation try
“I like your hairdo, I think it’s the in thing now or don’t you think so” and “I really enjoyed those slides you put up, am looking forward to the next presentation, that is if there is going to be another”.
Notice how using compliments with open questions stretches the conversation further providing more things to talk about.
– Try Keeping Yourself Updated On Current Happenings Around You.
They are great ways to start conversations with people. For example,
“Have you heard the government’s new policy on petroleum products, I seriously don’t know how the average man stands to benefit from it”
There is a high chance that the other person is also aware of the new policy and will also let you in on his/her opinion.
– Ask Simple Questions That Are Easy To Answer.
You need to try as much as possible to make the other person feel relaxed at all times.
Asking complicated questions can put someone on the edge, which is enough to affect the flow of the conversation.
“What will you like to do for the rest of the day”
“are you gonna be free this weekend” are examples of simple questions.
Keeping The Conversation Going.
Now you’ve succeeded in breaking the ice and establishing common grounds, here are few tips on keeping the conversation going.
– Make Use Of Small Talks.
Small talks, in this case, has nothing to do with politics, disasters, religion or should anyway be related to the present location or event.
Small talk centered around personal experiences, the kids, vacation, a new research you carried out are perfect examples of small talks.
– Be Attentive.
Try and keep your attention centered around the conversation, listen when the other person is speaking, and occasionally ask for clarifications.
This gives the person the impression that you are very much interested in what the person has to say.
– Occasionally Repeat Their Name From Time to Time.
Along the line mention the person’s name when asking a question or opinion, this makes it easy for you to remember their name and also make the person more comfortable chatting with you.
– Also Occasionally Give Acknowledgments.
During conversations especially when the other person is speaking occasionally give acknowledgments, you don’t have to say anything a simple nod is enough.
– Be Yourself.
Try to be original, smile occasionally and laugh when the other person says something funny, don’t make it seem like you are trying too hard to keep the conversation going, be yourself and just flow with the conversation.
When Things Go Wrong.
We can’t always tell whether the person we are interested in talking with is in the mood to chat with us.
No matter the outcome you did well at least you made an attempt to reach out which is better than not taking a shot at all.