I was recently reading some of the research on connecting and opening up conversation. There’s actually science behind it. (check out Vanessa Van Edwards who does a lot of this kind of research)
I think many entrepreneurs who are building their business can often feel awkward or unsure of great ways of connecting with others that feel authentic.
- Do you have a hard time making conversation?
- Do you feel awkward and unsure what to say to engage with someone?
- Whether you feel awkward or shy in social or business settings, the approach is very similar for both
2 ways to become a great conversation starter are:
- Setting an intention
- Get clear on your approach
Best conversationalists always set the intention for the conversation by asking yourself what do you want to bring to the event? Are you there to seek out business, to meet a significant other? Just have a good time or are you there to learn something? The intention helps you guide your conversation.
When you initiate a conversation, Set yourself up by having open body language.. where your hands are visible instead of inside your pockets, shoulders back instead of turtling….shoulders crouching looks like you’re feeling anxious and a great smile warms them up.
Introduce yourself and then look for conversation that sparks something engaging…, look for topics that make them go..” oh really /”where they raise their eyebrow.
For networking and meeting professionals, here’s some opening questions, to sizzle up the conversation, instead of the typical…what do you do?
Great conversations starters
1.What passion project are you working on right now?
2. Working on anything exciting lately?
3. How do you know the host?
4. Have you been to an event like this before?
5. What was the highlight of your day today?
6. What was the highlight of your week?
7. What was the high-point and low-point of your day so far?
8. Is this your busy season? Is this a busy time for you?
If you ask, what do you do…continue with…..
- “What drew you to that line of work?”
- “What do you like about your work?”
- “Why are you interested in working in that industry specifically?”
Remember to keep it simple; start with a simple hello and maybe compliment them on something. And once you find a spark. Go deeper with that topic……
You’re on the way to being a sizzling, engaging conversationalist who makes great connections!