These individuals have a knack for making others feel comfortable and relaxed, and always seem to know just what to say. They seem to have an innate gift that enables them to make friends easily and connect effortlessly with others. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, you aren’t alone. The good news is that with preparation and practice, you too can be that interesting person. Here are some tips and conversational topics that will help you make the most of your next meeting, social encounter, or networking event.
Listen actively: Make eye contact and use positive body language to show that you are listening attentively and actually hearing what is being said to you. It’s amazing how being a good listener equates to being a good conversationalist in people’s minds.
Do some research: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms can provide a wealth of information about people’s interests and activities. Use shared passions and interests to strike up a conversation and connect. You may also discover that you have mutual friends or colleagues.
Ask, ask, ask: Most people love to talk about their jobs, their families, their pets, their hobbies, their vacations, and their favorite hangouts or restaurants. With a little prompting, people will often open up, and a rich conversation can flow from there. Every successful business encounter starts with a conversation that grows into a connection—which may eventually become a solid relationship.