The art of conversation is easy, if you remember some simple guidelines.
If you do, you will never be lost for words again and can approach any social situation with confidence.
Everybody’s at one time or another has found themselves trapped in this sort of situation and for many it makes them nervous shy and uncomfortable:
You are faced with a complete stranger and wanting more than anything to break the silence which makes both you and the person you are with feel awkward.
So how do you do it?
In these situations, you need some ways that are guaranteed to break the ice and start a conversation.
The first Rule of the art of conversation is simple:
1. Ask Open Ended Questions
If you ever are being sold something by a good salesman, they always want to keep the conversation going and they will never ever ask a say no question i.e. one where you can say no to their product or service.
For example, you won’t hear them say:
Do you want to buy this insurance policy?
You can say no of course and that makes the selling harder for them. They will probably phrase the question like:
What do You think about the policy?
Now of course they can say “nothing” but it is highly unlikely.
They will say they like this or they like that or vice versa.
This allows the salesman to keep the conversation flowing and get a close.
They are asking questions that will open up their prospect and while you are not in a selling situation your aim is the same.
So in a social situation how does it work?
Say your at dinner and your eating you would not say “this chicken tastes good”
You would add something into the question to get a response for example:
“This chicken tastes good had a great meal in the Ivy the other night, where do you like to eat?
You force them to take your cue and if there is a silence they will be glad you did, as they may be just as nervous as you.
A silence between two people indicates that neither has the art of conversation, so they will be relieved if you try and talk to them first.
Let’s take another example.
You want to complement a women on her dress. You don’t say “I like your dress” You will probably get a polite “thank you”
“Try I like your dress where did you get it from?”
This forces more than a quick closed response.
Once you have an answer at whatever boutique. You have loads of options to open up the conversation:
“Where’s that?” “my wife shops there” etc “I Really like classic styles did you see so and so on TV” etc
Your aim is to get the dialogue flowing.
Other tips to keep in mind are:
2. Be relaxed
A relaxed person is a friendly person and this immediately puts people at ease. Be Polite, non confrontational and smile a lot, everyone responds to a friendly person.
You’re at ease and that makes them feel at ease to.
3. Take Cues From where You Are
If you are really stick talk about where you are.
The décor might be interesting so say:
Really like the décor what do you think of that color scheme?
Don’t just say you like it ask them what they think and get them responding
4. Use topical subjects
Again if you are stuck for an opener think of something in the news that’s topical and ask them their opinion.
Don’t use controversial subjects that might offend, there are plenty of topical subjects to discuss which they will probably know something about and will get them involved.
The key is involve those you are speaking to and get them to talk to you, once this is done conversation will generally flow.
Keep in mind that if there is a silence they probably feel as awkward as you do and will be glad that you have the art of conversation.