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Conversation Starters

[ Personal Enrichment : Social Skills : Conversation Starters ]

The ability to start conversations is a critical social skill, yet it remains one of the most difficult and feared actions we perform. Here is a list of tips to help you break the ice and begin conversations with confidence and pizzazz!

  • The weather is still the number one icebreaker subject! Try always to keep it positive. If there's nothing positive about the current weather, talk about how good the rain will be for the garden, or how nice it will be when it clears up!
        75 of 186 people found this tip helpful.
       
  • There are many good ways to start conversations, but they're all only as good as their delivery. Therefore, it is a very good idea to plan out and practise a few that you could use a variety of situations. Make sure you not only practise WHAT you're saying, but HOW you're saying it. Make sure your voice rises enthusiastically and sounds friendly, and that you're not speaking too quickly or unclearly. If you can stand it, record yourself and listen back to yourself objectively.
        82 of 102 people found this tip helpful.
       
  • An easy way to get a conversation off to a good start is to begin by asking the person a question. The best kinds of questions are those that flatter the person or pique their interests. For example, you might say "those are great shoes -- where did you get them from?". This will immediately get you off the hook in carrying the conversation, and will get the other person involved right away. If a person is a complete stranger, make sure not to make it too personal! How and why questions tend to provoke longer responses than the easily answered what, when and where questions.
        96 of 110 people found this tip helpful.
       
  • What you say is usually not nearly as important as what everybody thinks. Just as important is your tone of voice, body language, demeanor and disposition, and other nonverbal aspects. These things often have a very profound effect on setting the other person at ease from the outset. If you are verbally communicating a lot of tension to the other person, it will be very difficult to develop small talk into a good conversation. Alexander Technique is excellent for easing tension in these sorts of situations.
        39 of 47 people found this tip helpful.
       

 

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