I had a recent conversation with someone and she told me I was good at making conversation. This astounded me.
I remember times hanging out with my good friend Felix. He would naturally talk to anyone and everyone. I remember thinking it was so cool and wished that I could just conversate in the same way.
My mind doesn’t work quite that way. I am not necessarily quick with response. I like to contemplate the words and thoughtfully place them in appropriate situations. This just isn’t always possible in life however.
Naturally as I watched others like Felix, I began to pick up on some things. First of all You have to get over yourself, your feelings that you don’t have anything worth saying. In saying nothing to anyone you are conveying to everyone that you don’t really care and people don’t really matter. So…
1) Passion trumps awkward: People want to share what they are passionate about! If you can find that subject your golden.(getting there is the harder part)
2) You know nothing: The one thing that you know for sure about this person is that you know absolutely nothing about them. The best way to find out is to ask! If people don’t want to talk, or are awkward, just keep asking questions. Talking about yourself is easiest for most people. Then if they are trying to get the attention off theirself they will start to ask you questions as well.
3) Everyone loves a great story: You don’t always have to talk about deep subjects. Keeping up with current trends and news stories always helps for some interesting conversation starters. I like to say things like “Hey did you hear about THIS crazy story” crazy stories usually lead to more crazy stories and that is always fun!
4) Step out and step up: You have to put yourself in the position to talk to people. You have to walk up and shake their hand and genuinely care about what they have to say. Your purpose must be about them and not you.
Basically I am a cheater. I am not good at it. I still fail at times. So I always go in with purpose. I think hard about what to say and what to do if the conversation dies. Maybe you can learn to be a cheater like me and in the process get to know some pretty cool people (maybe some not so cool…). You may even find yourself having to figure out how to get out of a conversation. That one is one I have yet to master.
What are some things you do to get to know people?