“Hi,” the simplest word that converts into a nightmare each time you meet new people. Isn’t it?
Whether the first day in a class, one on one with your manager, public speaking, or an unknown party where your parents forcefully take you. In life, there’s a ton of situations hit on your gate, and a brand new face is waiting for you on the other side.
Is it always easy to welcome those faces? Definitely not, talking is quite tough at times.
“Everyone has their own ways of expression. I believe we all have a lot to say, but finding ways to say it is more than half the battle.”
― Criss Jami
How should I start a conversation?
What if I say something crazy?
Will he/she reply?
And the puzzlement ends the conversation before it gets started.
But if you try the following tricks to strike up any chat, you’ll find that it’s actually a snap.
1) Communicating is an art, be an artist
When you talk to new people or address not-so-familiar groups, they only cherish your presence if they easily understand your talk.
But how to make conversation simple yet exciting?
Well, with the right choice of words and way to express them.
Be clear with your speech; use the appropriate tone, and don’t bore others by speaking too slow nor confuse them by talking too fast. Simultaneously, pay close attention to your body language and work on keeping it positive. Make eye contact during the conversation (don’t stare), talk with hands; it indicates confidence, clarity, and also helpful in creating a dynamic and expressive persona.
2) Seek Opinion
Which is the best show to watch right now on Netflix? What do you think about Indian classical dance forms? Italian cuisine or European – what’s your preference? Can you suggest the best market for books?
People love to share their thoughts on anything, and nothing is more comfortable to start a conversation than asking for an opinion. Solicit their viewpoints on light subjects and break the ice by an interesting discussion.
3) Serve up the compliments
“It’s good to receive compliments, and it’s even better to give them.” – Jason Harvey
Who doesn’t like compliments? Start your chat by giving an honest compliment is the most fruitful way to interact with someone. Saying something positive like, “what a cool phone!” or “nice shoes!” make others happy and will work like magic. People will take more interest in your conversation if you genuinely appreciate their choice.
You can end the compliment by asking a question such as I really like your bag, where did you get it? to make your conversation more engaging.
4) Discuss with mutual contact
If you both have any common connection, mention it. It will make people more comfortable chatting with you and change your position from a stranger to a good friend in their life.
For instance, do you know Raman? We both belong to the same college, or your cousin Shushma is my neighbor. It will also help you to earn their trust.
5) Just give an introduction
Sometimes a direct approach can make things happen. Not always but greeting someone with a handshake and introducing yourself is the biggest therapy to start a conversation in some cases.
“Hey! I am Manish, may I know your name?” This gesture makes the other person feel important; they appreciate your confidence and effort to talk to them directly.
6) Talk about interest and expertise
This trick will help better if you know the person a little or find out his/her interests. People love discussing their hobbies or anything they like doing the most. If the other person likes cricket, you could ask about his favorite team or player.
Also, if you know the person’s field of expertise, you can begin the conversation smoothly by asking questions about their profession. For example, if you want to talk to a photographer living in your neighborhood. You could ask about the best camera or the right photo editing app, etc.
7) Go for open-ended questions
What if you start a conversation but get only ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in reply? To avoid this yes-no scenario, be prepared with follow-up questions. It helps in maintaining the right flow of conversation and also saves discussion from getting boring.
Instead of just asking, “Do you listen to Indian classical music?” follow-up with “Can you suggest some best songs available on the internet?”
Starting a conversation is not rocket science. If you follow the given methods, gradually you will notice self-improvement and can interact with anyone at any time without any confusion or fear.