How to Begin a Conversation with Anyone and Know What to Say

Have you ever been tongue tied when you want to talk to someone? You just want to say something but you are at a loss for words. If you can get really good at starting and controlling a conversation, you will find this skill can be a great asset to you.

What exactly is the value in the skill of conversation? It’s the fact that everyone’s success depends largely upon other people. We need readers, customers, clients, buyers and mentors; we need to be able to relate to them and carry on conversations with them the best that we can.

We’ve all been there; you want to have a conversation with someone but the words don’t come out. It could be anyone, anyplace or anytime; from that successful business person you admire to the gorgeous woman you always walk past on your way to work. As communication becomes increasingly technology-oriented, we must remember how to stay sharp when the opportunity to engage in real conversation presents itself.

A long time ago, a successful businessman taught me a technique he used when talking to a person for the first time. This easy method is simply gathering information about a person. I am not sure if he came up with this method or not, but I’ve used it to carry on worthwhile, productive conversations with hundreds of people over twenty years. This technique is gold.

The easiest part is starting the conversation. Simple greetings like “Hi,” “Hello,” “What’s up” and “How’s it going?” are all examples that should quickly come to mind. Easy Right? Nothing new here. The greeting should be accompanied by good posture, eye contact and a smile. The introduction is simple; it’s what comes afterward that’s important. Let’s talk about form. FORM: Family, Occupation, Recreation, Message

This FORMula is a guideline for the start of any conversation you want to have. You don’t have to follow the subject order; I usually begin with recreation or occupation and follow with family. The purpose is to get you comfortable with your conversation, so you aren’t paralyzed by not knowing what to say.

Here are a few examples of questions you can start off with. When discussing family, you can ask, “Are you married?” “Do you have kids?” “How many siblings do you have?”

When moving on to occupation, there are lots of options: “Where do you work?” “What do you do there?” “Do you enjoy it?” After just a few simple questions, you should be able to tell if you can or want to relate to this person. The possibilities are endless.

When discussing recreation, you can say, “What do you do for fun?” “Do you play any sports?” “Do you like to travel?” In no time you will be able to determine if you like the person or are interested in carrying the conversation any further.

You can learn a lot with those few simple questions. All you’re doing at this point is taking…

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