You just met her. Maybe it was at a party, a networking event or even on the street.
Your heart is racing and your mouth is, too, but just as quickly as it started, your conversation has died like romance on a date to McDonald's. It's best to learn now how to never run out of things to say with anyone, and make new connections everywhere for your love life and career.
I've seen this scenario so many times before. “Hi, um, how are you?” a man asked a shy-looking woman at a business get-together. “I'm good!” Her false enthusiasm barely covered up her disinterest, but she was trying to be engaging. “What do you do?” he asked, right before he started fidgeting, going into full-blown interview mode only moments after meeting her.
Watching this was uncomfortable, and you could see the torment on both of their faces. Any chance for chemistry was getting crushed faster than an iPhone 6 in a hipster's jeans.
Both of them were looking around the room, heads turning like radar hunting enemy craft, or in this case, a chance to escape. “Well ... I gotta run!” she said after several seconds of awkward silence.
You may have experienced it when you met an attractive stranger, or maybe while networking. A few awkward words, or maybe an interview-style conversation, followed by silence and someone uncomfortably pardoning themselves to go elsewhere. “
"What do I say?” or “How can I keep the conversation going?” are two questions you may have asked yourself, ad nauseam.
The awkward silence or interview-style interrogation is a chemistry killer in so many conversations. Each opportunity passes just once; however, failure to act can play over in your mind for a lifetime. Your skin will soon be red from your facepalm hell.
It's easier than many people think to keep a conversation highly engaging and interesting with a new someone. When connecting with a stranger, you should have one mission and one mission only: learn and talk about the person with whom you're speaking.
Not only can you learn so much from the person right in front of you, but you also will be the most interesting man or woman in the world. Why? You focused on what was most important to your new friend or lover: his or her self.
Show genuine interest in other people and you will never run out of friends, relationships or career opportunities. Have you ever tasted a diet soda? It's called fake, and that gross aftertaste is exactly what it's like when someone isn't genuine, so be real.
Trying to manipulate others to get something from them is the best way to become a social pariah. When you're having a conversation, look for opportunities to help, relate and be of value. Don't have an end objective of getting something out of anyone.
This works for both dating and business. When people don't feel like you're trying to get something from them, they will open up and give you their world. Here are a few basic pointers to ensure you have a completely non-awkward and engaging conversation:
1) Engage Powerfully
What the hell does that mean? Basically, you want to have an impact like a meteor, so make a big splash. By going full out in the first few seconds, you can impact other people emotionally right from the get-go. You will be looked upon differently than everyone else who came in boring, slow and average.
Do it properly, and you will make a woman’s heart skip a beat, or captivate the attention of a potential business connection. Don't be timid or act like you're not supposed to be there; own it.
2) Body Language
It's not just what you say; it's how you say it and how you hold yourself. Be expressive with a lot of open palm hand gestures. Don't keep your arms pinned to your body or cross them at your midsection. Placing your hands in front of your crotch is also an insecure protective gesture.
Always use open gestures and let your arms relax by your side. Speaking quietly will give the impression that you have no confidence, and it will make you feel like you don't have it, either, so speak louder.
Lastly, don't forget to smile. A smile is disarming and can go a long way; just don't leave your jaw hanging open. Over-smiling is highly submissive.
3) Show Interest
The performance is right in front of you, so stop selfishly thinking about what you think everyone else is thinking about you. Focus on whomever you're talking to and be interested in his or her life.
The Snowball Technique For Endless Conversation
Finally, here is how to keep the words effortlessly flowing and the conversation running flawlessly.
The subject is whomever you're speaking to. Ask about her life, find out what she does and then take that generic information and turn it into a great conversation.
2) Repeat It In Your Own Words
When you repeat what she said in your own words, you show that you're listening and giving yourself a second to think about it before responding. This basically creates space so you don't have to rush to say anything.
3) Add Content
Whenever you get a new piece of information, you now have content to work with, and you can expand on it indefinitely. For example, you ask, “What do you do?” Boring question, right? What you say next will create the conversation.
She answers, “I'm a lawyer.” Firstly, don't filter yourself. Whatever pops into your mind about lawyers should be what you add to the topic (not a "100 lawyers at the bottom of the sea" joke).
This means that whatever experience or opinion you have gets attached to the subject: “Oh, my aunt was studying to be a lawyer, but she didn't like the office politics. How do you deal with that?" Basically dig deeper, and add a story or opinion.
If you follow this process and don't overthink things, you won't get stuck not knowing what to say ever again. Repeat the above process with all of the info you get in the conversation.
When you listen attentively, show interest and can effectively snowball a little bit of information, there is no reason a conversation has to become awkward or die like disco.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It