Learning the art of conversation will revolutionize your dating success.
Because it makes you more attractive to the opposite sex and builds connection. Being able to have a great conversation is a skill and it can be learnt!
Think about a good conversation you have had that was great – it generally flows smoothly and is natural.
So let’s take the time to look at what to say when you are face to face, whether it is at speed dating or on a date.
Ten life hack to learn the art of conversation:
- Don’t Take it too Seriously
What I have found from running speed dating for 6 years is to not take conversation so seriously. The most memorable conversations at speed dating are the ones where people talk crap! Think back on a good conversation you had with people you have just met, generally they are light hearted and fun! Throw in some light teasing.
- First Impressions
First impressions count and you only get one chance to make one. So make yours count! How often have you heard people say that you need to be yourself? What does that even me – we all have multiple sides of ourselves. We have the friendly version, the chatty version, the funny version, the grumpy version, the moody one etc. So simply saying be yourself is not helpful. What you need to do is put your best self forward – make eye contact, smile, stand up straight – good posture is important. Dress well, have manners and be enthusiastic no matter how you feel. Fake it til you make it – I can tell you that confidence is the thing everyone thinks attractive,
- Think about the Location
To work out what type of conversation to have you need to consider the location. I hate someone trying to have a deep conversation in a noisy pub, especially someone you don’t know – light hearted works best. Deep conversations with someone you don’t know feels uncomfortable.
- Play on Similarities
We all like people who are like us. So what you need to do is play on your similarities. In a study sales people were told to imitate the body language of the people they were talking to and their sales increased by 20%. The great thing is that it was rarely noticed. So when you are talking to someone mirror their body language.
- Make it about the other Person
It is easy to get nervous and feel like you need to talk about yourself but this doesn’t work or build a genuine connection. Don’t be the person who talks endlessly about themselves – that is boring and you don’t want to be memorable for being boring! A great conversation is where you show interest in the other person. Take a sincere interest in them, notice things and use that to start the conversation.
- Active Listening
This is a common phrase but what is it? Instead of thinking about what you are going to say next active listening is hearing what the other person is saying and repeating it back to them. It makes a person feel heard and everyone likes to be heard. It does feel a little weird to start with and takes a bit of practice but it works.
- Open ended Questions
The questions you ask can make or break a conversation. Don’t ask questions that people can only answer yes or no to – instead use open ended questions. For more details on open ended questions read How to Ask Open Ended Questions. Tips are to start open ended questions with when, what , where, which, who and avoid why altogether.Here is an example of an open and closed question:
Do you like this?
Have you done this before?
You will only get a yes or no!
Which things did you like the best about … ?
What happened when you did this before?
- Talk about What People Love
I know people want to dream up the perfect question but there is no such thing. My advice is to ask what the person you are talking to is passionate about and what they love. When people talk about what they love, their eyes light up, they get excited, everything about them changes. People will remember how they felt talking to you and when they talk about what they love they will feel great. There is a misconception that you should tell someone as much about yourself as possible. However, this doesn’t build a connection (read is it possible to click in 5 minutes) with the other person. Whereas talking about what they love will.
- Don’t Interview People
It’s simple – no-one wants to feel interrogated or interviewed it doesn’t build a connection and makes you memorable for all the wrong reasons! Men don’t like women trying to work out what they earn, drive or own or whether they want babies on your first meeting. Women don’t like to be asked how long they have been single for or why – it makes them feel like there is something wrong with them. Relax learn to enjoy meeting new people! I think that people generally have conversation skills in other areas of their lives, but can put so much pressure and expectations on the conversation that you mess it up. So take the expectation out of it and have fun.
- Make People Feel Good
Studies show that people like likable people over competent people. So offer sincere compliments about something unique to the person – this will make the person feel good. Everyone likes to feel good.
People are always asking for conversation starters and I did write Help I am Going Speed Dating What do I Ask.