First step of beginning a conversation is to make the other person comfortable. But first you must be relaxed and comfortable yourself. Don't go off of scripts or try to think of things to say. Don't even stress about it because no matter how well you plan your words, you will never be able to control how the other person receives the message.
But be prepared and know what to achieve, what information you want to translate and most importantly what fits you as the "messenger" to maximize each opportunity of communicate.
Here are five keys to making your message count:
Preparation does not mean having a script, but to be very knowledgable in what you will be discussing. Think about a topic you are extremely passionate about whether it's sports, fashion, wine, etc. You don't need to practice or rehearse what to say to a stranger. It comes naturally, the excitement oozes out of you and you can answer almost any questions thrown at you with ease! With topics you aren't that interested in, develop an outline and important facts that you can review. Roleplaying with someone works will honing these skills.
You don't want to bore the other person to death with something that only you care about. Observe their body language, is their body positioned away from you or are they leaning in towards you for more? Do you see excitement in their eyes or are their eyes wandering? As you are speaking, pick up cues on what makes the other person react. You must have a balanced approach to not be too one sided in supporting yourself and not thinking about the other person's position.
Your goal should not be to debate someone, but rather to convince. Take the criticism well and how use it to your advantage. Increase your chances that a conversation goes well by anticipating negative or questioning replies. This lessens the likelihood that you’ll be caught off guard. Ask questions! How would they do it, get their opinion. Don't forget, people love to talk, just give them the right reason where they want to share. I've come across people where they did most of the talking and I only asked a few questions but were really happy of "our conversation".
Don't ramble or build up your story too long, you will lose people's interest. Imagine every person with ADD and you have few sentences to build up the excitement and then send them home with a grand slam.
It's always easier when the other person initiates conversation. So help them, give them a reason to talk about something. Whether it's a nice timepiece you have for those watch lovers, or trendy purse, happy socks, real marble iPhone case, fancy mont blanc pen, luxury MIKOL marble notebook when you are taking notes. So many things you can use to your advantage and get their attention.
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