How to break the ice and start a conversation

“The first step for any skill is the most important” – Maty Brennan

The first few seconds or moments when speaking to another person can be a little awkward or even weird. The thought of approaching a person can be even tougher, not knowing what to say or do. This first few steps are ones that are needed if we want to meet new people in our lives, network and create experiences with others.

A major reason I use to not start a conversation with a stranger was I didn’t know what to talk to them about. I would overanalyze the situation and try to think of something great to begin the conversation. After not being able to find the right thing to say I would not go and speak to the person. As time went by, I started to find hacks to approach people. I began to realize that the opening lines to start most conversations were not relevant and that approaching people is not as scary as my mind makes it out to be. Yet even as times went by, the idea of having something to begin the conversation held me back. Like anything starting is the hardest part. I developed a hack for myself to begin starting a conversation with others much easier and with less pressure or over-analyzing. I learnt that by having rehearsed lines or scripts to open a conversation, it made the initial conversation start much easier.

That is what I want to share with you today. The opening lines to start a conversation are not as important as we think and in my experience, it was generally the reason for stopping me starting a conversation with random people. I want to share with you some conversation starters and lines that I have developed over the years that has helped me significantly to begin conversations with others.

1. “Hey my name is ____” – (very simple, works almost anywhere)
2. “Hey, can I ask you an usual question” – (throws people back, but at the same time curiosity)
3. “Hey can I get your opinion on something?” – (people always love to share there opinion)
4. “Hey what brings you here?” – (great at an event or social gathering)

There are many out there. Here is a great list of ones to use:

Something that worked well for me was having 3-4 lines to use for each situation I generally found myself in eg: events, bars, elevator, waiting in lines etc. Now whenever I’m in practically any situation I know how to start the conversation with someone and not have to worry about the first step.

This is a very important, if not most important step to master to meet new people. In the next post we will cover what to do after opening the conversation to develop rapport and connect with others.

As you start to become comfortable opening people then you could start to leverage the environment to begin conversations also apart from the lines you have.

See you in next weeks post 🙂

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