CONVERSATION STARTERS: What to expect.

I hope you will find this site as a go-to resource on how to start, keep going and stop any conversation you can think of having.  I hope you will find the articles, suggestions and tips valuable enough to visit here as much as you’d like.

Feedback is valuable to me, so I can post what you would like to learn about.

Dennis Hickey

 

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BREAKING THE ICE

BY DEBORAH SHOUSE

Ice-breaking tools-find out what motivates people.

Typical motivators:

  • Personal power
  • Feeling important
  • Recognition
  • Social approval
  • New experiences
  • Love
  • Emotional security

The list implies that people want to make a personal connection, to feel comfortable and to be noticed.

What do you have in common with these people?  Unusual clothes, hats, jewelry and body language.  Surroundings such as books, statuary, furniture, and social things like food, size of crowd, energy level, etc.

Other topics for conversation:

  • Nostalgia-good memories of the past
  • Favorites-books, restaurants, movies
  • How to-e.g. deal with stress, make time to exercise, etc.
  • Common ground-both drinking coffee, in same building, in same line

Openers:

This is my first_______.  How do you do______.

How did you get involved in this line of work?

Do you have any tips on letting go of tension?

Keep a file of interesting topics, openers, and funny stories.

ODES:

  • O-open your body language for your approach
  • D-deliver a wide-open and fast-paced grand opening
  • E-emphatically listen
  • S-share your ideas generously

Active listening:

  • Sit or stand with an open, accepting posture
  • Look at the speaker
  • Stand straight
  • Ask for more information
  • Center questions on the speaker…Do you think, what would you advise
  • Respond to the speaker, repeat something you’ve heard

Exiting:

  • Sum up and show appreciation
  • Explain next step, if there is one
  • Shake hands and leave

 

It’s not rocket science.  Consider this as conversation baby steps.  Who knows, you might be a budding, silver-tongued conversationalist.  Keep visiting this site for more steps.