Starting a conversation isn’t as easy as it seems, thinking about the perfect line, tone, and even body language could be tasking and somewhat discouraging. There have been times I saw someone I wanted to talk to but after all my thinking of ways to approach this person, the person would have either left or gotten involved in another conversation. This went on for a very long time because I used to be an introvert, a shy one too. It always got to me so I thought of ways, read books and materials, then started practicing holding a conversation with very random people till I got better. It’s the holiday and there’ll be a lot of festivals, parties, events, and hangouts, and you’ll meet people so I selected only a few from the many effective ways to approach people. Let’s ride;
1. Note that there’s nothing like a “perfect line”: So many people never discuss because they spend most of their time thinking about the perfect line. Just talk! Make sure it’s polite, the worse that can happen is that you’d be ignored, that’s all. It doesn’t have to be an outstanding line “I was sitting over there but couldn’t help but notice you”, for some this might be perfect, but others may find it creepy. You might be unfortunate to meet the wrong person, so I’d say you try not to bother about the perfect thing to say.
2. Start with a compliment: Compliments are great starters of conversation because it flatters the recipient, giving rise to a warmer response which is exactly what you need to further your discussion. Guess what? It doesn’t have to be a huge one, just make it sincere and simple. You could say, “Nice shoes”, “You look great”, but avoid saying “Your eyes are pretty” or “You’re hot” because it will be so awkward and the conversation will either not hold, or be uninteresting and you don’t want that to happen.
3. Use the right tone: You’re at a party and you meet someone you’d love to talk to, be careful not to assume that since it’s a party and the music is loud, then you have to raise your voice to be heard. That sounds logical, but here’s a fact, your voice is too loud! You’re shouting and it could be annoying or scary/frightening. People interpret your statements by the sound of your tone, Don’t do that” is a statement but could be interpreted as rude especially when you say it in a harsh tone. Make sure you note this, write it down if that will make you remember it.
Your statement is usually comprehended by the tone of your voice.
4. Mirroring: Mirroring body language is simply mimicry and imitation; crossing your leg, touching your face, or yawning when someone else does. It signals that we are connected to that person in some way but when done wrong can be very irritating.
Start by giving the person all your attention. Focus helps gain proficiency, you’ll be able to predict the person’s actions.
Then make eye contact. You have to be careful because too little eye contact could be doubtful and too much can be weird, just make it somewhere in the middle, if you must look away, do it slowly,
The next thing you should do is agree, and you don’t have to say a word to do this, just nod to show you agree,
At this point, you are already feeling a very strong connection, but to fully complete it, imagine the person you are with is the most interesting person you have ever met and act accordingly. You can stop imaging now, the connection has already been built, enjoy your conversation.
5. Parroting: This is my best and the most effective especially if you’re a better listener. This technique is very easy too, all you need do is make the last few words of your partner a question. I met an interesting guy a few months back and he was telling me of a project(starting a professional counseling institute) he was working on and the difficulty he faced. At a point in the discussion, he said “people won’t listen after all” and I replied, “people won’t listen after all?” then he explained further “I don’t have a degree or certificate in counseling and I can’t” I said, “you can’t?”. And that was it, the conversation went on and on. Additionally, repetitive parroting can become annoying. It can also make the person feel nervous or uncomfortable.
Any of these tricks will work for you if you are courageous enough to try them out. Have fun this season and let me know in the comment section how helpful these tips are and what you’d love me to write about next, bye!