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The Art of Conversation

Adults are used to hearing the same old things when they meet up with people. So what do you do for a living? Hey, what’s up, hows it going? To further complicate things, people are all unique and on all different social levels. They lead different lives, and some people find it very difficult to be social. Aside from finding it difficult to be social or strike up conversations, each person being a unique individual means there are plenty of things to talk about and discuss. You just need the confidence and the knowledge to help break the ice with conversation starters in social situations.  In this post, you will find some interesting conversation topics that are safe to use in most situations.


Get Past the Uncomfortable Silence

Starting a conversation can be uncomfortable at first, but with some practice, you’ll get the hang of it.  You’ve got to relax and get a

art of conversation

Art of Conversation

realistic perspective on things.  Seriously, what is the worst that would happen if you opened your mouth?  Unless you unleashed a stream of inappropriate or rude comments, there’s very little danger that you would do any damage.  You might even end up enjoying yourself and making a new friend.  For example, if it’s close to the weekend, ask someone what their plans are for that weekend. You can ask them if they have family.  If they do, ask if they use their weekend time to do anything special or fun.  If you do something interesting with your free time, this could be an opportunity to give some basic information about yourself.

Real Life Examples
Here is some video of actual meetings with new people using “safe” conversation topics. It isn’t anything too complicated, as you will soon see!

Tell Me About YOU!

You can also ask where they have traveled recently or if they have any kids.  If they have kids, there is a very good chance that they’ll have things lined up to keep them busy as a weekend approaches (practices, games, activities with friends).  Most parents will be happy to tell you about how busy they are.  Let them vent.  It takes the burden of talking off of you and it could lead to some interesting conversations.  People also love to talk about their pets! Even people who don’t currently have any pets can usually dig up a story about some favorite animal friend from their past.

If you are really stuck for things to talk about, check this out.  It is actually meant to help out people learning to speak English, but they’ve got a ton of great ideas for simple conversations.

Don’t Leave Yourself Out

Remember to occasionally ask questions that relate to yourself in some ways too so that you can identify with the person (don’t take over the conversation though). Certain social settings make conversation easier, but you can be a master of starting conversations just by getting practice and putting a little thought into what you say.  You might strike out a time or two, but the bottom line is practice makes perfect. Get used to starting conversations by using some of these tips.  Don’t overlook obvious topics of conversation. Perhaps someone has the latest smart phone attached to their ear. Ask them about their phone, and next thing you know you’ll be chatting about all sorts of things.  Listen to other people as they hold casual conversations.  Pay attention to what they say.  These other people will give you free lessons on how to make small talk.  You hear it every day, but you probably never really paid attention to it before.  You just never know where things will lead if you’re willing to try and break the ice.  Run through some sample meetings in your imagination.  Visualize how the conversation will go.  Plan for a few contingencies.  Before you know it, you’ll be feeling more comfortable because you’ll have some experience and practice under your belt.  Give it a shot.  As long as you keep the subjects you are speaking about relatively neutral, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

How to Make Small Talk

The Best Tips On How To Make Small Talk

Conversation is an art. Almost everyone can talk, but to be able to converse with anyone, at any place, and at any time, takes a making small talklittle more strategy.  It isn’t a bad idea to give a bit of thought to possible topics of conversation before you find yourself facing awkward social situations.  If you know that you’ll be attending an event where you might be expected to meet new people, you could spend ten or fifteen minutes beforehand looking over some interesting items in the news.  Try to find something interesting, but not depressing, to read about and stash it away in your memory before you head off to meet new people.

What is small talk?

Small talk is like a small conversation. It is not meant to go in depth into any subject matter. It is used to pass the time away while you and others are waiting for something, as an ice breaker at a party, or as a way to get to know someone just a little better.

Topics of small talk are usually light-hearted. These topics should not set off any intense debate on politics or religion. Small talk is supposed to make people feel comfortable.  It may lead to more serious discussions and relationships, but that really isn’t its main purpose.  It is like filler material to take up the space that would otherwise be filled with awkward silence.  Some people refer to this as elevator conversation.  If you’ve ever been trapped on a long elevator ride with perfect strangers, you know how uncomfortable things can get.  Just remember that those other folks are probably feeling just as uncomfortable.  They’d probably welcome some harmless form of icebreaker.

I came across this video about how to make small talk, and thought it made some good points. It’s short, give it a look.

Hitting the Social Scene

When you are in a social situation where you think small talk will be welcomed by others, make sure that you are comfortable and calm. You should have an easy-going manner about you. Look around you and notice the special qualities in the small things. Comment on something that will open up the topic for others to chime in.

For example, if you are outside, you can make a remark on the lovely landscaping that you see. Comment on the weather or on the traffic around you. The tone that you use should be lively and full of energy. Avoid initiating small talk with negative comments because no one really wants to hear about problems (unless they are theirs).  There are tons of interesting topics to talk about if you look around.


Respect Personal Space

As a rule of thumb, avoid any remarks of a very personal nature. If you really want to praise someone about a personal quality that you perceive, do so with honesty and respect. Some people do not take compliments very well because they do not want to be the focus of attention, so watch for that to avoid making a person feel uncomfortable.

Potentially interesting small talk can be initiated by asking a generic question. Asking someone to recommend a good, local place to eat or for his opinion on a purchase that you are making is a good small conversation starter.

Always be mindful of your physical distance from the person with whom you are conversing. People closely guard their person space. Therefore, keep a distance of about an arm’s length.  Remember the television series Seinfeld?  You don’t want to be a “close talker”.

Knowing how to make small talk well can help you blend in all types of situations and environments. This is something that you can improve with practice. The more you do it, the more natural you will become at it. Who knows? You might even end up making friends with someone new after you learn how to make small talk.

Small Talk for Professionals

Sometimes you really need to put your best foot forward.  Professionals often find themselves having to chat it up with people who could potentially be very important to them and their business.  For the most part, the basic rules of speaking to others will apply.  For a deeper look at speaking to others in a professional capacity, check out Career Builder.  They have some helpful tips that you might also be able to put to good use.

How to Talk to Girls

Talking to Girls Isn’t So Bad!

There are plenty of interesting things to talk about with a girl or woman you want to know better. The problem is, most guys forget every single one of those fascinating topics the very moment  their opportunity to speak arises! Feeling nervous and not knowing exactly what to say is totally normal though. Accept that fact, and realize that the world won’t end if you slip up and say something silly. If nothing else, you’ll be a lot less stressed out on a daily basis.

pressureGuys put a lot of pressure on themselves. They make the mistake of watching movies and television shows and taking direction from them. Don’t ever try anything you saw on a screen. Those cheesy pick up lines just don’t work most of the time. At best you’ll come across as someone who isn’t genuine. If the girl you like happens to have seen the original version of what you are copying, you’ll just come across as a rather pathetic joke. Even if you are slightly nervous, it’s best to be yourself. Girls will be able to sniff out any insincerity. Coming across as a phony is the kiss of death when it comes to meeting someone new.  Be as sincere as possible and try to have some interesting conversation topics in mind before you start talking.

If you aren’t sure about what to say to the lady you’re interested in, try finding out more about what she likes and enjoys. Pay attention to the clothes she wears and the people she spends her time with. If she belongs to a club or is passionate about something in particular, showing an interest in that area could provide a convenient way to break the ice with her. Also, be sure to take a look at her group of friends. What do they like? Give this some careful thought and don’t base your approach on some idealized image of her that you built in your mind.

Watch for Signs!

While you’re talking and hopefully listening, be sure to pay attention to what her body language is telling you!  Here is a short video with a few helpful tips on what to look and listen for in your next conversation.

Be Thoughtful

Being funny is a great way to get a girl to pay attention to you. Do you know some funny jokes (that are not crude or offensive)? Do you have a talent for coming up with amusing comments in social situations? A good sense of humor can get a girl interested enough to give you a fighting chance! Stick with lighthearted humor that anyone can relate to. You don’t want to come across as mean spirited or vulgar, so put a little bit of thought into what you’re saying.  Try to relax a little bit.  What would you say if you were talking to her on the phone?

Get Interested

Try asking some questions when you start a conversation. This direct approach can be a refreshing change for a girl or woman who deals with cheesy pickup lines on a regular basis. Why spend time guessing what she likes? Ask her about it, then dig a little deeper. People love to talk about themselves and their interests. Safe topics include things like recent movies she has seen, hobbies she enjoys and favorite music.

When you learn something new about this person you are interested in, look for some common ground. Relate what they like to something you enjoy. Resist the temptation though to make it all about you. That is a trap. You’ll feel wonderful as you ramble on about what you like. The problem is, doing this gives the impression that you are a person who only thinks about themself. Besides, having a common interest or two will make for a much better relationship if things should ever get that far.

Get Real

Some guys try to compensate for their anxiety by showing false bravado. This is only a good idea if you want to come across as an arrogant jerk. Girls will recognize that you are putting on an act. Most girls operate from a much less desperate place than guys do. While women do like guys who are confident, no one wants to spend their time getting to know a flaming idiot.

Like so many things in relationships, the challenge of talking to girls comes down to being genuine and showing some courage and confidence in yourself. If a girl is interested in talking to you, she will probably make an effort to make your job a little bit easier. She’ll try to make you more comfortable while you’re talking. If it seems like she is trying to escape your presence, it is probably best to move on and learn from the experience.  Don’t get offended if this happens.  Just think of it as something else to talk and laugh about later on in life!


 

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Mike

One Comment

  1. Sometimes I completely freeze up when it comes to dealing with other people in social situations. I get so nervous and worry that I’ll say something profoundly stupid.

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