Your future growth is limited by the number of people that you currently know. Your potential exists with people you do not know yet. Here are ten ways to start a conversation.
If you are not yet the sort of person that can start a conversation anywhere with anyone, then why not develop that ability to overcome the fears, the hesitation and build the confidence, the motivation and the skill set to get out and talk to people you don’t know. You will then improve your happiness, your life and your success beyond measure.
If you think about it, everyone that has made you laugh, made you smile, given you a pay rise, that you have fallen in love with, made you happy – whatever – other than your immediate family, was once a stranger, so there must be some more great people out there!
You can massively improve your results and your life when you’re able to talk to people easily, freely, and engage them in a conversation that can get you results.
However, besides overcoming the fears around this, one of the biggest stumbling blocks is what to say to get started.
You want to get started in a way that can easily get the other person talking rather than nodding or giving you one word answers like “yes” or “no” which leave you with nothing to easily build the conversation on.
Here are 10 openers for various situations designed to get people more engaged in a conversation:
1. At a networking event
“So, what keeps you busy during the week then?” – I find this is more interesting and more subtle than “What do you do?” the usual opener people use in these situations. Use their name if you know it or they have a name badge on.
2. At a social party
“So, how do you know the hosts?” – this will usually lead to a story about how the other person knows the people hosting the party. In a business environment this could be that they work together, are clients or suppliers. More often or not this opening leads to a series of stories that are easy for you to pick up on and share similar life experiences. (Of course substitute “hosts” in the opener for their names.)
3. At a training course
“What other types of courses like this have you done before?”
4. At a sporting event
Perhaps you are lucky enough to be on the receiving end of corporate hospitality but don’t know your hosts or the other guests very well yet – “What’s the best game you’ve seen here?” will get the conversation flowing.
5. At a business exhibition
At an event where exhibitors are showcasing their latest products, ask “How do you make those?” They may not make them directly, but their answer is likely to be longer than a “yes” or “no” and lead therefore to more engagement with a potential supplier.
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