1. Introduce yourself to people you meet as a conversation starter. Tell them your name and something about yourself. Try to tell them something you think will be relevant to the current situation. This will help you start conversations with people.
You might say, “Hi, I'm Jamie. This is my first time coming to one of these events,” or “Hey, my name is Lola. I was hoping there'd be snacks here.
2. Give someone a compliment and try to keep the conversation going. People like hearing good things about themselves. Plus, giving people compliments will make them think you're nice. Look for reasons to offer someone a compliment. Then, keep the conversation going by asking a follow-up question.
Say, “That's a great dress! Where did you get it?” or “That story you told was so funny! Did you ever find out who pranked you?"
As a general rule, it's best to compliment things people can control, like their hair, clothes, skills, and talents. Try not to compliment their innate qualities, like their eye color or facial beauty, because this can make some people feel uncomfortable.
3. Ask a question about the location or weather as an ice breaker. This is an easy way to make small talk with people you've just met. Don't worry about saying anything important. Pick out something in your environment and ask a simple question about it. When the person responds, try to keep the conversation going.
It's okay if the conversation doesn't go anywhere. This is a lot like fishing; sometimes you'll get a bite, and other times the person just isn't interested.
For instance, you might ask, “How are you coping with all this rain?” or “Have you been to this restaurant before?”
Try to ask open-ended questions because they encourage the other person to keep talking. Open-ended questions require more than a “yes” or “no” answer, so they make it easier to keep a conversation going.
4. Show interest in people by asking them questions about themselves. People love talking about themselves, so showing interest in them is a great way to maintain a conversation. Even better, people will like you more because you listen to them. Ask the person you're talking to open-ended questions, then listen to their response with interest.
You might ask, “What do you like doing in your free time?” “How do you know Sam?” or “What's the last movie you saw?”
5. Make fun of yourself in a playful manner to make people laugh. Self-deprecating humor helps people relate to you and shows everyone that you don't take yourself too seriously. Tease yourself with jokes about your quirks, your mistakes, and the things you like. Then, laugh along with everyone else.
For example, let's say you drop your drink. You might joke, “And the award for clumsiest person goes to…me.”
As another example, you might say, “I would've been here sooner but I need an excavation team just to find my shoes because I'm so disorganized.”
Sprinkle this type of humor throughout your conversations, but don't do it too much. People might get uncomfortable or perceive you as being negative if you make fun of yourself too often.
6. Practice telling funny stories that you can use in conversations. Telling amusing stories is a casual way to show people you're funny. Pick stories from your own life or things that happened to people you know. Then, practice telling them until your delivery sounds natural.
For instance, practice them in the mirror or film yourself telling your stories.
Keep in mind that you can repeat the same stories to different people, so don't feel like you need to constantly be finding new stories to tell.
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