We at Bright Side have decided to teach you how to break the ice. These 13 tips will help you make a good first impression and always be able to talk to someone you’ve just met.
1. Show your interest in the person you’re talking to. People just love to talk about themselves, so to break the ice, let them talk. Listen carefully, and try to look interested in what the other person says.
2. Avoid Yes/No questions. When talking to someone, try to ask more open-ended questions. For example, instead of asking “Are you having a good time?“ ask ”How did you find out about this event?“
3. Let the other person explain things you don’t know. If the person you’re talking to mentions something new to you, ask him or her to explain this thing to you. Thus, your conversation will last longer.
4. Read the news. You may not like reading the latest news very much, but you’ll find it very useful to revive a conversation that has come to an uncomfortable silence. Try a simple “Did you hear about what happened there?
5. Share your experience. If the other person mentions something familiar to you or you’ve also gone through the same situation, don’t hesitate to share your experience. This way you two will become closer.
6. Use the F.O.R.D. technique. Remember these letters. They’ll come in very handy when you’re making small talk.
- F-amily: How many children do you have? Have you been living here for a long time? What do you like most about this city?
- O-ccupation: What do you do for a living? What are you currently working on? What is the most difficult part of your profession?
- R-ecreation: What do you do in your free time? Where can I get the fabric you used to create this? How long have you been playing tennis?
- D-reams: What is your biggest dream? If you could travel anywhere, where would you visit? What have you always wanted to do?
7. Be honest. If you like having long pleasant conversations, just say so. Some personal questions are okay too, for example, “What are you afraid of?“ or ”What do you like most about your life?”
8. Learn from the best. Watch famous conversationalists on the TV, or follow their channels on the Internet. You’ll learn how to ask questions, which questions to ask, how to use pauses, and which jokes are appropriate.
9. Feed their self-esteem. A compliment and a smile can go a long way. Compliments immediately draw people’s attention and interest. But be honest, and don’t exaggerate!
10. Practice makes perfect. Whether it’s a person sitting next to you on the subway or the cleaning lady in your office, talk to them. Only practice will make you an expert conversationalist.
11. Remember the R.A.P.E. rule: never talk about religion, abortion, politics, or economics. Some people believe that “E“ stands for exes. Yes, exes are also conversation stoppers.
12. Use a better version of the typical ”What do you do?“ For instance, you can ask “What keeps you busy these days?” This way the person you’re talking to can focus on the sphere they’re more comfortable with, be it family, work, studies, etc.
13. You aren’t alone. Remember that you are not the only one who feels strange or shy in a situation where no one knows each other. Even those who look very confident may feel the same way you do. So be the first to break the ice. It’s worth it!