Having a good conversation or small talk with strangers involves having better communication skills. You need to learn some ice breakers or conversation starters to get the person talking to you. In this Skillopedia’s self-improvement video with Michelle you will learn about some small talk and communication tips to gain that much required self-confidence on how to talk to anyone or how to talk with strangers. In this video Michelle would suggest you some small talk topics and conversation starters for having a good conversation or chat that would impress the other person. Pay close attention to these communication tips as they are useful for your self-improvement and to better your communication skills.
We often think hard about how we should create a great first impression. We prepare our dress, we prepare our hair and almost everything but sometimes we forget about the way we talk. And that is the most major part of our personality. When you meet someone for the first time, they think about you from the words of your mouth. The way you talk actually makes them know the kind of person that you are. And in this session with me today, you are learning some strong ways to have a remarkable conversation, which means an excellent conversation with a person that you meet for the first time. So keep watching, this is Michelle and you’re watching Skillopedia, the place to learn skills for the real world.
Talk less & listen more
Do you think a conversation is only one way? Do you only need to keep talking? No, a conversation is always too way which means that you need to talk and you also need to listen very carefully. You might be very good at talking but you may be a bad listener, which means that when the other person is talking to you, you’re looking around and you’re so excited planning what you’re going to speak next that you do not hear the other person at all and this is a sign of disinterest. It shows that you’re not interested and not keen to listen to the other person. You don’t want to know what happened in their life while you’re so excited to tell what happened with you. You might be tapping your hands, you turn away from the person or you start looking around, thinking about what you’re going to speak. But this is the point where the cord breaks and the listener does not want to talk to you anymore because you just go on talking. So what you’re supposed to do is, you’re supposed to talk but as well, you should listen to the person carefully and then the conversation gets going. So make sure that you’re hundred percent there when you’re talking to a person.
Lock tiny pieces of information
A good listener does not only listen carefully but he or she also remembers information. What I mean here is when you meet a person for the first time; listen carefully for all the details they tell you about themselves. For example, where do they come from? What do they do? What are the names of their children and what is the name of their pet? Yes, that’s a really tiny piece of information but it’s good if you remember it. So that the next time you speak to them, your conversation flows much better. They will remember how they told you this the last time and you still remember it. And this is really gonna excite them cause they’ll feel that they’re very important to you and they created a lasting impression on you the first time. May be the person you spoke to, told you about how his daughter is due for her exams or how he or she is taking up guitar lessons as their hobby. If you remember this the next time, then you will have a reason to talk about and then you can definitely have a great and remarkable conversation.
Break The Ice
In order to have a great conversation, it’s really necessary to know some icebreakers but what are icebreakers? Icebreakers are usually words, phrases or questions that you can use in order to get to know someone. So if you want to start a conversation with someone, you need to break the ice which means that you need to get talking. But how do you do that? So there are a certain set of questions that you can ask in order to break the ice to get to know someone better. When you’re meeting an acquaintance which means a person that you’ve not met many times. May be a person who’s not a friend but not a stranger either. Somewhere right there, in between. You’re still getting to know them, possibly in the process of making him or her your friend. So if you want to break the ice with them, you could say, where are you from? And what do you do? And something like that. So a very general question, you can ask that to an acquaintance but what if you want to catch up with a friend? If you want to catch up with a friend, we have some icebreakers for this as well. You could tell your friend, hey how’s your job going? And that’s where your conversation will get moving. You’ll have more topics to talk about from job onwards. And not just that, you could also ask how’s your family? And what did you do for fun last weekend? So these are some general questions that you can ask in order to break the ice for a remarkable conversation.
Avoid Flat Responses
In order to have great conversation, you should avoid flat responses. What are flat responses? So responses like yes or no or hmm… these are called flat responses. The first one here is to ask a question like, do you like sports? What could be the answer, yes or no, right/ you should avoid such questions. But what if someone throws a question like that on you? Do you like sports? What would you reply? Yes, I do and that’s where your conversation stops. To keep it moving, you should add more information. You could say that, yeah I like football. I’ve been playing football since I’m a young child and my favourite memories are from the school. What about you? Which sport do you enjoy? And then it goes on. And we also have conversation stoppers. Let’s say that you’re engaged in a really good conversation and your partner is telling you about an amusing story. A very exciting story and you could be like, yeah that was funny and he goes, yeah, hmm…and then it’s over. But you could also say that, yeah but I have a more interesting story to tell you. There was a time when you could say something that you have experienced. So in this way, you can prevent that the conversation stops and you can go on with a very interesting conversation. So, avoid flat responses, do not ask yes or no questions and add more information.
Don’t force, let the conversation flow
Take the pressure off. This means that you don’t have to force yourself to take the conversation on. You can just let it go on. Let it take the path that it’s supposed to take. If you put in too much effort to make the conversation going, then that’s where you’re actually losing the fun out of it. If your friend is telling you something about their experience and you are actually thinking about what you should say next that’s when you’re not listening to them carefully. So there you need to stop. You need to exactly listen to what they are saying and you don’t have to force yourself to go on. So don’t be too pressurized when you are in a conversation. but sometimes it happens that when we are talking, there are awkward silences, this generally happens when someone has told you a story recently when they have shared about an experience like when they went cycling to the beach or something like that. So when they share that experience and they suddenly stop, which means that they have shared the experience and there’s nothing more. You’re like, yeah that was great and then you don; t know what to say next. That’s what we call an awkward silence. At that time you can ask them a more personal question. You could ask them a question like, what did you do on your last vacation? Or where was your last vacation? This way your conversation will have a fresh start and a new direction. So, keep the conversation going, fill in the awkward silences but you don’t have to be pressurized.
Pop-up some general questions
If you see some slight boredom in the conversation and you feel that you and your partner are getting really bored and you don’t know what to talk about next, that’s when you can pop in a very general question. Here you can ask that person about their opinion. Obviously, you should ask this question on a very general topic. You cannot ask a question like, what’s your opinion about Africa’s political scenario? Because they definitely won’t have an opinion on that and even if they do, that’s an even more boring topic to start the conversation on. So you could ask their opinion on a very general topic like what do you think about the last movie that you saw? How was it? Did you like it? Or you could ask them, which Paulo Coelho’s book have you found the most interesting one? And this is where you can ask them your opinion and get the conversation going further.
End conversations with a unique compliment
People can often forget what you spoke to them, maybe they don’t remember what their last conversation was about when they met you but they cannot really forget how you made them feel. So it’s very important that you make a person very happy when you end the conversation. You should leave them smiling, on a high but how can you do that? You can do that by paying a unique and really nice compliment. Now when I say, a unique compliment, I mean that you should not give a very general compliment. For example, if you tell a model that she’s beautiful or you tell an entrepreneur that he’s successful, they’ve heard it so many times and they’ve got immune to it. So what you should tell them, maybe could be, something like your smile makes me like I’m at home. This means that you know, this is a unique compliment and they may not have heard it earlier and you would definitely leave them smiling when you end the conversation. So make sure that at the end of a conversation, you give a unique and nice compliment.
Exit conversations gracefully
My final and last tip for you is that you should have a graceful exit in the conversation. Some conversations are really nice where you’ve really enjoyed but some conversations are not so fun and you could have had a bad experience. But if you had a nice conversation, you could say, I’ve really enjoyed the conversation but I’d like to take a leave now. And if you’re in a hurry and you just want to get out of the conversation, you could say, it was really nice talking but I gotta rush. So this way, you can bring an end to the conversation whether it was good or bad and I have shared with you some amazing tips to have a great conversation.
So here we are at the end of the video and today you have learnt some wonderful ways to have an excellent conversation. Don’t forget using these in your next conversation and make sure that you pay a unique compliment to your partner at the end of the video and the most important thing is to remember the details so that you know what you must talk about in the next conversation. So thank you so much for staying in this session with me. this is Michelle signing off, bye and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel Skillopedia and when you subscribe please click on the bell so that you will receive notifications every time we upload a new video, thank you so much, bye.