You’re not particularly comfortable engaging in conversation when you meet people you don’t know, and you dread the awkward silence that can sometimes occur? No worries ! With these few tips and a bit of good will, you will soon be able to start any discussion, no matter who you are talking to.
1. INTRODUCE YOURSELF
If you don’t know the person in front of you yet, that’s a good start. Whether it’s out of shyness or fear of self-centeredness, it’s sometimes hard to remember that introducing yourself is a basic rule of politeness, which can’t harm you. Your interlocutor will undoubtedly be receptive to it and this will encourage him to do the same.
2. TAKE AN INTEREST IN YOUR INTERLOCUTOR
Do not hesitate to ask the usual questions when you meet someone for the first time. Ask him what he does for a living, if he’s from around, etc. Most people like to talk about themselves and it’s a safe bet that he will return your questions to you.
3. ASK QUESTIONS THAT REQUIRE MORE THAN A BRIEF ANSWER
We speak of an open question when it begins with “what”, “who”, “when” or even “why”, and when it requires a more developed answer than a simple “yes” or “no”. Closed questions usually begin with a verb.
For example, you can ask “What kinds of plants do you like?” rather than, “Do you like plants?” “. These little tricks can make all the difference and open up a conversation more easily.
4. LOOK AT THE ELEMENTS PRESENT IN THE ENVIRONMENT
Use your environment to fuel the dialogue if necessary. If you’re in a cafe, ask that person, for example, if they’re used to that place and what drinks they can recommend. If you are into nature, the flora could be a good ground to trade.
5. FUEL THE CONVERSATION
Gossip ! If it is not recommended in classrooms, we will not deprive ourselves of it when it comes to getting to know each other! It’s a way to keep the conversation going with ease. Be light-hearted and avoid topics likely to provoke confrontations such as politics, religion, criticism. Prefer to talk about the rain and the weather, your last reading, your children’s extracurricular activities, etc.
6. USE ACTIVE LISTENING
To do this, do not hesitate to rephrase, to summarize what your interlocutor has told you, this will show him that you are interested, and he will no doubt be sensitive to it.
You can also say his first name on certain occasions, this will establish a close bond and prove to him that you are listening.
Finally, you don’t have to constantly comment on everything he tells you. Also use body communication to indicate that you are active and receptive to what he is telling you. Simple nods are enough, or short words such as “Ha yes”, or “Ha bon?” help keep the thread of the conversation going.
You can also encourage her with short questions like, “How did you do?” or “What did she tell you?” »
7. MIX GENERAL REMARKS WITH OPEN QUESTIONS
You can choose an element of her outfit or a personality trait to compliment to start the dialogue. The important thing is to be sincere, otherwise, your interlocutor could realize it and believe that you take him for a fool. Add an open-ended question like “I really like your shoes, where did you buy them?” » Use this type of questioning as much as possible and avoid talking about a person’s physical appearance, it could embarrass them and they could be offended despite your best intentions.
8. USE IMAGINATIVE WORDS
Some verbs would encourage more conversation. This is particularly the case for so-called “sensitive” verbs, such as “imagine”, “say”, “feel”, “see”, etc. So you can ask questions like:
- “Where do you see yourself in a few years? »
- “Tell me about the time…”
- “How do you think he felt when he asked her that?” »
- “What do you think of the current restructuring plans? »
9. SPEAK POSITIVE AND SMILE
It may seem elementary, but a smile can be heard as well as seen. If you start the conversation by talking about negative events, chances are that your interlocutor will not feel comfortable and will not fuel the discussion. If, on the contrary, you approach things with a smile and positivity, it will cause the person in front of you to open up with more confidence. For example, you can say that you like something and ask her if she likes it too. Don’t be afraid to take the first step, even if you’re shy: in front of someone who opens up, you often want to do the same!
10. EVOKE YOUR PASSIONS AND YOUR COMMONALITIES
It is well known, passions loosen tongues. If you manage to ask your interlocutor what makes him vibrate in life, and as long as his answer brings you back to one of your own hobbies, you may be gone for hours!
If this is an area you don’t know anything about, here’s a good opportunity to learn more! Ask him what a beginner needs to know to start on his subject, he will probably not be stingy with advice.
If you don’t know how to address passions, bet the pop culture card. Everyone has a minimum, and you will certainly find books, films or series to discuss.
11. KNOW HOW TO BOUNCE BACK
If you practice active listening, your interlocutor will undoubtedly have slipped information concerning him into the conversation, a perfect opportunity for you to bounce back. If he tells you, for example, that he has bought a new vehicle, ask him for more details about it, or if he tells you that he is going on vacation soon, do not hesitate to ask him about its destination. In addition to making him happy (who doesn’t like to talk about holidays?), it may give you the opportunity to exchange personal experiences!
Also read: How to change super funds in easy steps