It can be a little challenging to start a conversation with someone you’re meeting for the first time. You have no idea what they like, what gets their attention or turns them off. So, you want to be careful not to say the wrong things to them yet dealing with the awkward silence between you two can seem like an even bigger problem. Well, I guess finding smart ways to start a conversation seems to be a better option. But how?
Well, there are several ways to start a conversation. There are also a variety of topics that can be used to start a conversation. However, you have to identify which approach or topic is best per time.
So, let me show you 5 smart ways to start a conversation with a person (whether you are just meeting them for the first time or not).
5 smart ways to start a conversation:
1. Start a conversation by paying a compliment
One of the best ways to start a conversation is to pay a compliment to the person. Paying people a compliment makes it easy for them to warm up to you, making it easy to participate in the conversation.
You see, your goal isn’t only to just say something but to say things that will make the other party willing to open up to you and converse with you. So, start by saying something really nice to them.
Note that it is important to be sincere when paying people a compliment. You are not trying to flatter them. So, make sure you are sincere with your compliments.
Also, when paying a compliment to a stranger or acquaintance, try to avoid getting too personal like their skin, the colour of their eyes, shape of their face, etc. Instead talk about something they did, their outfit or perhaps their hairstyle.
Here’s an example. “I love how you did your presentation. Good job simplifying most of the marketing terms. I totally understood it better.”
Another example; “I love your haircut. It suits you so well.”
2. Ask for their opinion or information
Another smart way to start a conversation is to ask for a person’s opinion on something.
Here’s the thing; everyone likes to feel valuable and useful to others. We like to know that we can be of help to others. So, asking people for their opinion on something makes it easy for them to open up because they feel valued. However, in seeking their opinion, it is important to stick to relevant topics.
For instance, if you are at a seminar, conference, workshop, etc., you can seek their opinion on something centred around the event not random topics about politics.
Here’s an example; “I was thinking of going to the so and so session of this workshop, what do you think?”
“Which of these two colours do you think compliments so and so better?”
You can also ask for a piece of information. For instance, “Do you know where I can pick up one of the seminar registration forms?” “Do you know where I can get any nice coffee around?”
3. Look for a common ground to start a conversation
If you are at an event or a place where nearly everyone shares a certain interest, you can pick a topic in that subject to start a conversation.
For instance, “How long have you been blogging?” “What’s your favourite so and so novel?” Or “have you watched their most recent movie?” “What year did you attend school here?”
4. Start a conversation by offering to help with something
Everyone likes to hang around nice people. So, a good way to start a conversation and keep the conversation going is to do nice things for people. Offer to help them with something.
For instance, you can offer to help them carry one of their bags. You can help them with a description of a place if you notice that they seem lost.
5. Point out an observation
You can start a conversation by pointing out an observation. For instance, you can raise an observation about the weather or it could be something about the venue; the interior, the views, scenery, etc.
Here’s an extra tip to help you start a conversation. Always show interest in the conversation otherwise, the other party might get a little irritated.