Good Conversation Starters - Topics To Enhance Your Skills
How To Start Conversations
Starting conversations can be tricky, especially when you're talking with someone who you do not know very well or just met. I'm not going to give you a list of things you can make small-talk about, because I know that's not necessary and not helpful. Good conversation starters aren't cliches or boring observations on scenery. In fact, at the end of this, I'm going to give you a pretty terrifying challenge, so I hope you're up for it, but first let's take a look at the concept of communication:
Whether you're a businessman looking to close a deal, or a boy trying to start a conversation with a girl, all communication follows the same basic principles. Let's explore how it all works and how we can find things to use when we're talking with others to enhance our ability to communicate.
What Is The Purpose Of Communication?
To know how to start and maintain a good conversation, we need to understand what the purpose of conversation is. People are very social creatures, and we communicate in a variety of ways. It's interesting to note that the majority of conversations do not even use words! These are called "non-verbal communications". If you send a signal to another person, and that signal is received, that is a communication. It's purpose is to transfer a thought or emotion. That is the basic purpose of any communication, and when you're trying to figure out what to say to someone, it helps to know what specifically you are trying to convey to them.
How To Start A Conversation
So, that's the first challenge: Decide what it is you want to get across.
Once you've decided upon what you're trying to convey to someone in that particular moment, you'll be ready to start your conversation in a way that aligns with this purpose. One thing you should be aware of is your body posture. That's going to be the real "conversation starter" when you think of it, because it's the first communication you'll be sending.
You want to convey with your body whatever emotion or thought you're trying to get across to the other person. Just focus on that emotion or thought, and you'll know how to express it best with your body.
How To Find A Topic Of Conversation
It's great to start a conversation, because this shows that you're confident and proactive, but many people aren't sure what to say and how to say it.
I could give you a long list of things to comment upon such as the weather, what the other person is wearing, the news, the scenery, the time, etc. That wouldn't be useful, because who needs a guide to point out obvious subjects of small-talk? Worse, It would be completely unremarkable, so I'm not going to do that. That's not what is going to help you to make an impression.
Small-Talk Free Topics
Instead of choosing your topics on whatever random things are about you, or whatever you heard or saw on the way to meeting someone, you can take a whole different approach. Earlier we looked at this idea of having something to convey, and being aware of what your message you are trying to send.
If you're meeting a new girl (or boy) for the first time and you really like them, what you're trying to convey is probably affection. If you're meeting a potential employer for the first time, you're likely trying to convey competence. If you're just getting together with a friend to hang out, you might be trying to convey enthusiasm at your plans. The great thing about this is, when you're comfortable with your environment and the situation, this all takes place naturally, and you don't need to put any attention on it to make it work. It's all on auto-pilot.
You probably realized this yourself, because it's unlikely you've ever wondered about what you're going to say or what topics or conversation starters you should use with one of your friends, who you already know.
When you're comfortable, you know exactly how to express yourself, and you just convey what it is you are thinking or feeling. You just put it out there, and that is genuine and so effortless you probably aren't aware you're doing it.
So, I'm going to ask you to be brave here, because I'm going to tell you a way to find your topic that's going to require courage.
Realize that if you're looking for things to say to "break the ice" or "get the conversation started", you're thinking about a conversation that you're not fully comfortable having to begin with. You're not operating with that same natural, genuine approach you would use with someone you knew well. The truth is, you already have a topic of conversation. You have that emotion or thought we talked about earlier, and if you could be totally comfortable, you'd just convey it directly. And, that's exactly what I'm going to suggest you do.
Be Direct - You Can Do It!
Instead of dancing around what you actually want to communicate to a person, just communicate it directly. It sure will make an impression and it will make you remarkable, plus you'll be surprised at just how easy this is once you get into the habit of doing it.
Start your conversations with that thought or emotion you want to convey. Just get it out there. Don't trickle it out. Just communicate it directly. Make your first words really count, by just telling that person why you're there. That makes sense doesn't it? Just say "I really like you.", or "I'm the one you want for this job". Go for it. Be direct. It doesn't need to be easy, but it will get easier the more you practice.
I know you might think you need to "warm up" before you get to your point, or that being subtle is going to give you better results, but I'd challenge you to try this approach and see what it does for you.
If you're thinking this just isn't for you, I want you to realize something. You weren't looking for ways to "respond to a conversation". You were looking for tips on how to start one. Well, you're pretty proactive then! And if you're proactive enough to want to start conversations, you've got what it takes to be direct about what you want to communicate!
Go ahead, and be brave. If there's one thing that will make the world a better place, it's people being more direct with others. Besides, aren't you tired of talking about the weather?
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