Caught up in a situation where you want to talk but just can’t? Being a conversationalist is not that easy, especially if you are the ‘introvert’ types. To start with an open-ended conversation with anybody, there is no need to get clammy and feel awkward. If you think you need to tread on those silent zones and start talking, here are some useful tips that will help you break the ice:
1. Put Forward A Pleasant Personality
If you show yourself as an invincible and ‘ready-to-fight’ personality, then you have very low chances of ending up with fruitful conversations. If you really wish to get someone talking to you, step forward with a pleasing and friendly attitude. A smiling face is rather welcoming and makes the people at ease. Body gestures too can go a great deal in expressing your readiness to mingle. Dress up in what makes you comfortable, not in what people think is perfect for you. To have a lasting impression, keep a regular routine of body and oral hygiene. Make your presence noted by a wearing a good smell. Look straight into the eyes while talking.
2. Start With A Topic That Revolves Around The Other Person
People generally love to talk about themselves or voice their opinions when asked. If you really want the person in front of you to get going, it is better to concentrate on them in your talks. Ask about his or her opinion. Ask for advice or recommendations. You can also throw in some open-ended questions which have to be answered more elaborately than a simple ’yes’ or ‘no’. Questions like “What do you like to eat?” or “Which places are your favourite shopping destinations?” are more likely to strike the chord. It reflects about the interest that you are showing in them and may get them talking more freely and happily.
3. Look For A General Topic
You can start with comments on the weather, a recent movie review or some popular television show. If you look around keenly, you will surely find certain noticeable things which you can talk about. Take for example, “What a beautiful view!” or “This is a very comfortable place”. Talking about current affairs is another good option. Keep yourself abreast of the latest that is happening in the world. If the other person knows about it, an easy discussion may flow in. If not, then also it is a good chance to talk in an informative manner and update about the latest news.
4. Recollect Bits Of Previous Conversation
If the person is not a complete stranger to you and it is not the first time you both are talking, try to pick up pieces from the last conversation you have had. Do not dismiss someone if they do not appear interested in you. A good way to start off is to start from where you ended last time. It might be about a health issue, a bad day at school, moving into a new house, or the loss of a loved one. Try to pick up the same topic. It will definitely prompt the person to open up. This makes the discussion open and also shows how good you have been as a listener. Listening well to what others are saying is equally important.
5. Make Some Conversation Goals
If you really want to get into the business, decide your own goals. As a social interaction exercise, communication skills can come to your rescue if you want to build relationships. Pertaining to certain pre-decided goals can fetch far better points during conversations. Goals can be varied, depending upon the interest of persons involved. You can converse with the idea of impressing the opposite sex, or you might try to lure a client with a professional discussion. Working back on a broken relationship can be another aim for conversation. You may try to bring out your subdued and less interactive personality traits by learning to chit-chat in public. Whatever it is, goal oriented conversations are easier to start and also end up more successfully.
6. If You Fail, Learn From It
Don’t get disheartened if you are ultimately unable to make a good conversation. It happens with all of us! Learn from your failures. Try to analyse what went wrong. Maybe, you tried to overdo it. Next time, talk less, listen more. You might have become too invasive, trying to dive very deeply into the other person’s personal life which was never welcome. You might have dismissed someone, biased on appearance. Let go off judgemental thinking. Another reason can be too much of self-consciousness; especially if you are an introvert by nature. Next time, don’t think too much, just do it. Starting off is almost half done in this case? Keep a backup plan ready if your first line fizzles.
Pre-decided conversations are an impossible. You cannot have pre-written and memorised scripts for every situation in life. But yes, conversation starters are something that you can prepare beforehand. A practice about self-introduction, some common taglines, body attitude, and a little homework about the person you are going to talk to, can be figured out beforehand. Work up on these key points to your comfort level and see how you will reach new dimensions up the social ladder.