How to Keep A Conversation Going When You’ve Just Met Someone
November 15, 2016 6:00 AM EST | 5 min read
Always wondered how to keep conversation going with new people?
Getting better at socializing is mostly a matter of enough practice.
With every next attempt to approach new people, discuss a new topic, speak up in front of a group, you get better, start feeling more comfortable in your skin, and see what works best so that you can do more of it in the future.
But what happens when you’re having your very first conversation with someone?
Here are some tips on how to make the most of talking to someone for the first time:
1. Look on the bright side.
Some of us are terrified of talking to new people simply because we think there’s nothing to talk about.
But it’s exactly the opposite.
You don’t know anything about this person, and that’s what makes it interesting.
You can ask anything you want and be excited to hear the answer.
You can’t try to predict their behavior simply because you have no initial information.
Instead of being shy and trying to ask the right question, realize that nothing you say will be wrong.
Looking for ways on how to keep conversation going?
Give any line a try.
2. How to keep conversation going? Get them talking.
Life is too short to wait for the other person to speak up.
So YOU go first.
Ask questions, but choose open ended ones.
This way you give the other person ideas to talk about, learn more about him, and keep the conversation going.
3. Focus more on what interests him.
After a few such questions, you’ll see that he’s more passionate about a topic or two than he is about the rest.
So encourage him to tell you more about these areas of life.
4. Get better at recognizing body language signs.
Learning more about body language will help you in two main ways.
First, you yourself will stop acting in a way that shows low self-esteem, and will start faking confidence.
As a result, you’ll really boost it.
Second, you’ll know how the person you just met is feeling by looking at his posture, eyes, actions, etc.
You’ll know when he’s feeling discomfort, and will then change the subject.
Also, you’ll notice signs of interest and will know you’re on the right track.
Body language is a powerful tool when used wisely.
5. Use the power of storytelling.
Stories are powerful.
They grab other people’s attention, can make the other person do something in particular if told the right way, evoke all kinds of emotions depending on your goal, and can turn you into a super interesting person.
Findings on the neurology of storytelling show that stories are useful in every aspect of life: from business to relationships.
Whatever the situation and goal, starting the conversation with a story is a good idea.
In the case of how to keep conversation going when talking to new people though, you can think of one or more stories, practice telling them, and get better at how convincing you sound or what feelings you evoke with each.
This should make your encounters more successful.
6. Say whatever comes to mind.
What often blocks our ability to hold a conversation with someone new, either in the real life or online is that we’re constantly trying to figure out what they think, worrying they won’t respond well to our next question, etc.
Such uncertainty and doubts can be easily overcome by simply sharing what you’re thinking about right now (if appropriate, of course).
It will break the ice.
7. Embrace curiosity.
If you turn the conversation with someone you’ve just met into a learning experience, you’ll be able to let go of the social anxiety and actually have fun.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Know you’re practicing your social skills – now’s the time to give a new technique a try and see how it goes.
- Ask for advice – sometimes, a stranger can give practical tips on how to deal with a situation in your life. He’s objective and that’s great. It means he’ll honestly say what he thinks, or what he’d do in the same situation, or share priceless knowledge and experience.
- Get to know the person – that’s a new individual you’re having the chance to spend time with, and with that come many new opportunities. Ask questions and listen carefully. Read between the lines and try to enter his world for a while.
Remember important details and get back to them later in the conversation.
That shows you pay attention and care and it will mean a lot to the other person.
8. Just keep going.
Don’t let silence create awkwardness.
Be the initiator every time.
When you two are done with one subject, begin another one.
Keep in mind that he might be shy in general and need encouragement to open up.
Help him by not taking his silence personally and focus instead on how to keep conversation going.
9. Give a compliment.
As long as it doesn’t sound fake, compliment the other person.
To make it more interesting and relevant, ask a question about the same thing right after that.
So that’s how to keep conversation going with a new person.
It doesn’t need to feel like a scary experience, but something to look forward to.
When done right, it will leave you both in a good mood and with useful information.
Did you find these tips on how to keep conversation going helpful?
It can be tough to break the ice with folks you just met.
But by simply being yourself and being genuinely interested in other people, it’s possible to get a good conversation going.
How about you, do you have additional tips in mind?
Write them in the comments below!