Do you always end up with boring small talks? How to come up with the best conversation starters when meeting someone new?
“The happiest conversation is that of which nothing is distinctly remembered, but a general effect of pleasing impression.” – Samuel Johnson
Imagine you have just got an opportunity to talk to your crush or a potential customer for the sales pitch and you say something weird or silly or go for extreme political debate that led to a bad first impression. Forget about a memorable conversation, the person would never want to meet you again. The result is – REGRET.
We have all had an experience of talking to that person who is easy going, can talk about any topic irrespective of your age, and gender, make you feel comfortable and finally leave you smiling. Now, this is art of conversation. Such people have a knack for good communication and you will always be interested to talk more and spend time with them. You may also end up falling in love with that cool girl or guy.
You need good communication skills to modify an ordinary topic into something that is interesting, engaging and enjoyable. Such discussions are memorable and open opportunities to connect with potential partners or business referrals.
But, that happens when you have a goal in your mind. It can be anything dating, selling your new products, sharing experience, extracting new ideas for your upcoming presentation, just have fun, know about new investment ideas or anything else.
Think about why millions of people watch TEDx Talks. What keeps us hooked on till the end?
Besides good verbal communication skills, you do need strong non-verbal cues such as appealing body language and facial expression. Cracking a funny joke with a serious expression doesn’t make sense. Right? Your smile, tone of speech, eyebrows and eye contact also add to the dazzling conversation.
If you want to come off as an interesting person instantly, you must master the art of conversation.
Read on to know the traits of good and bad conversations in any situation and you will never struggle to make new connections or build successful relationships.
What makes bad conversation?
Asking the same standard questions that are ages old, doesn’t lift the mood and cannot spark a conversation. People who are less friendly and enthusiastic are highly likely to be a boring conversationalist. Asking your girl “what do you do?” can shut her brain but not if you ask “what are you passionate about?”. The second question helps you find out more about her.
These are conversations that can make even a bold and strong person uncomfortable. They may want to run away and never look back. For example, “How would you plan your ideal funeral?” or “Has anyone told you that you should lose some weight?” Such conversations lead to embarrassment and can end the relationship before it starts.
When you ask questions that are none of your business or implies a value judgment. For instance, “Are you virgin?” or “How much bank balance do you have right now?”. Such rude conversation starters can annoy anyone including loved ones.
You know them; these are close-ended questions that just elicit “yes” or “no” answer. “Do you like traveling?”, “Are you enjoying the weather today?” and so on. It is a clear sign that you want to be polite and make no efforts to know the other person at a deeper level or keep the conversation going.
Now you know what makes a bad conversation. So, avoid it all costs.
How to make conversation with anyone? You may like this interesting video
What makes a good conversation?
You talk more than just climate, hobbies or job. For example, “If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?”. These are meaningful questions that will jolt the person you’re talking to out of autopilot.
“Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” – Oscar Wilde
You can start with questions that are timely, relevant and specific. It will make the other person easier to contribute. But don’t forget to pour in emotions. Taking about the latest happening in the world – technology, business, movies, fun facts from social networking can evoke excitement and prevent small talks.
These questions happen when you want to know the person at a deeper level. But never make the conversation partner uncomfortable or embarrassed. You know what topic suits your friends, family members, and corporates. For example, “Why was your best boss your best boss?”
Asking broad questions is the surefire way to keep the conversation going. For instance, “Are there any skills you thought would be crucial to your job that turned out to be unimportant?” is something that cannot be answered in one word. Such conversation starters typically generate interesting discussion.