Tuesday, 23 November 2010

How To Start a Conversation

This is a great article. What do you think about the advice?


Key Points
1. Begin by introducing yourself.
2. Be aware of your internal monologue.
3. Understand the secret to a good conversation.
4. Know how to ask an open question.
5. Put the location comment together with the open question and your conversation will be underway.
6. Know the stuff of small talk.
7. Use words of a sensory nature.
8. Synchronize.
9. Respond thoughtfully to someone who remains awkward or uncomfortable in your presence.
10. Maintain the equilibrium.
11. Practice getting conversations started.

• Speak with clarity and purpose. If you're mumbling, it makes conversing a lot harder.
• Reflect before speaking if it's your turn to talk and allow silence to also have its rightful place in your conversation. Don't be afraid of pauses – use them to change topics, re-energize the conversation, or to take a short breather even.
• Relax. Chances are that whatever small-talk you're making isn't going to stick out in anyone's mind a few months from now. Just say whatever comes into your head, so long as it's not offensive or really weird (unless, of course, the person you're attempting to converse with is into weird stuff).
• If you think of something in your head while you're talking, it's probably related.
• It will help if you watch some TV, listen to radio shows, and/or read a lot – newspapers, magazines, and/or books. Doing this will ensure that you have some idea of what's going on in the world.
• Remember and plan to share anything you like, think is funny, or find intriguing. This is a way of building up your own inner library of things that might be helpful to another person during a conversation someday. It can be amazing how you thread these interesting things when you least expect it, and make conversation an adventure instead of a dreadful task. If you take it to the next step and say things that you want the person to think of as adding value, and keep to yourself things that the person might not, you're actually honing your own personality to be appealing to the other person, and what is a greater act of kindness than that?
• If you're shy, it is helpful to have thought about a topic or two in advance that you feel comfortable talking about.
• A great entry into starting a conversation, especially for a guy approaching a girl, is to mention you can only talk briefly as you're meeting up with other friends. This relieves the girl of any fear of being uncomfortably stuck with someone she does not know, and gives you both an easy out if things don't progress well. If the conversation does progress well, you can always delay leaving your new friend for as long as you like. Remember not to overdo it, because she might think that you don't want to talk to her, but prefer to be with your friends.
• Follow the lead that your listener is expressing. If he or she appears interested, then continue. If he or she is looking at a clock or watch, or worse, looking for an escape strategy, then you've been going on for too long.
• Interesting and funny quotes or facts can lighten things up, and make way for things to talk about. You could also use a set of conversation starter question cards for inspiration.
• If talking over the phone, keep the person involved in the conversation at all costs. If you can't come up with a good topic, try the "questions" game. Just keep asking them questions; random questions work just fine as long as they are appropriate. This technique can save a phone conversation. The questions should be open ended questions that do not require a yes or no answer. For example "How do you know the hosts?" This way you can ask questions about what they just said or follow up with how you know the hosts (for example) instead of acting as if the conversation is an interrogation.
• Half of an effective conversation is the way you non-verbally communicate, and not necessarily what you say. Practice better non-verbal skills that are friendly and confident.
• Take a mental note of some amusing things that you saw or heard througout the day. For example, something funny someone said, a fun activity you did with your friends, or anything interesting. This can give way to future conversation.
• Watch some stand-up comedians or comedy shows to get an idea of how to start a conversation humorously. Usually, the leads you find will be funny, and you will not need much in common to talk about them.
• Remember, whoever you are talking to, you always have something in common. We all experience the weather, like good food, and enjoy a good laugh. When in doubt, just talk to them about what they are there for. For example, if you meet them at a bus stop, ask them where they are going. If they are from out of town, ask them about their life at home.

How To Add Google Gadgets To Your Blog

Thanks for this helpful "How to" tutorial:

Homer Simpson Quotes

• Operator! Give me the number for 911!

• Oh, so they have internet on computers now!

• Bart, with $10,000, we'd be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like...love!

• Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand.

• I'm normally not a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me Superman.

• Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They're about to announce the lottery numbers.

• Well, it's 1 a.m. Better go home and spend some quality time with the kids.

• Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'Sir' without adding, 'You're making a scene.'

• Marge, don't discourage the boy! Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals! Except the weasel.

• Doughnuts. Is there anything they can't do?

• You know, boys, a nuclear reactor is a lot like a woman. You just have to read the manual and press the right buttons.

• Lisa, if you don't like your job you don't strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American way.

• When will I learn? The answer to life's problems aren't at the bottom of a bottle, they're on TV!

• Son, when you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose: it's how drunk you get.

• I'm going to the back seat of my car, with the woman I love, and I won't be back for ten minutes!

• [Meeting Aliens] Please don't eat me! I have a wife and kids. Eat them!

• What do we need a psychiatrist for? We know our kid is nuts.

• Marge, you're as beautiful as Princess Leia and as smart as Yoda.

• Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.

• The only monster here is the gambling monster that has enslaved your mother! I call him Gamblor, and it's time to snatch your mother from his neon claws!

• When I look at the smiles on all the children's faces, I just know they're about to jab me with something.

• I'm having the best day of my life, and I owe it all to not going to Church!

• Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such.

• I'm not a bad guy! I work hard, and I love my kids. So why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to Hell?

• Getting out of jury duty is easy. The trick is to say you're prejudiced against all races.

• It's not easy to juggle a pregnant wife and a troubled child, but somehow I managed to fit in eight hours of TV a day.

• Lisa, Vampires are make-believe, like elves, gremlins, and eskimos.

• I want to share something with you: The three little sentences that will get you through life. Number 1: Cover for me. Number 2: Oh, good idea, Boss! Number 3: It was like that when I got here.

• Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that.

• Remember that postcard Grandpa sent us from Florida of that Alligator biting that woman's bottom? That's right, we all thought it was hilarious. But, it turns out we were wrong. That alligator was sexually harrassing that woman.

• Old people don't need companionship. They need to be isolated and studied so it can be determined what nutrients they have that might be extracted for our personal use.

• How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?

• Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover.

• Homer no function beer well without.

• I've always wondered if there was a god. And now I know there is -- and it's me.

• Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream?

• If something goes wrong at the plant, blame the guy who can't speak English.

• I'm never going to be disabled. I'm sick of being so healthy.

• I like my beer cold, my TV loud and my homosexuals flaming.

• [Looking at a globe map...country being Uruguay]
Hee hee! Look at this country! 'You-are-gay.'

• All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals.

• Dad, you've done a lot of great things, but you're a very old man, and old people are useless.

• But Marge, what if we chose the wrong religion? Each week we just make God madder and madder.

• I think Smithers picked me because of my motivational skills. Everyone says they have to work a lot harder when I'm around.

• Dear Lord.. The gods have been good to me. For the first time in my life, everything is absolutely perfect just the way it is. So here's the deal: You freeze everything the way it is, and I won't ask for anything more. If that is OK, please give me absolutely no sign. OK, deal.

• That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!

• Beer: The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

• If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing.

• I'm in no condition to drive...wait! I shouldn't listen to myself, I'm drunk!

• 'To Start Press Any Key'. Where's the ANY key?

Homer's words, not mine, but some are funny.