Starting a conversation is not always easy; especially when you don´t feel comfortable with the people that you are engaging with. There could be an eerie feeling of awkwardness at the start of the interaction unless you know how to incorporate these five secrets.
One good conversation can shift the direction of change forever. – Linda Lambert
Here are five secrets to starting a great conversation with a group of people:
1. Get Everyone Involved
- When starting a conversation, introducing people to each other could be necessary if everyone in the group is not familiar with one another.
- Then, connect one of your group members to the topic you are talking about by inviting them to contribute. Or you might simply relate one person to another with their commonalities to encourage dialogue.
2. Choose a Topic
- When starting your conversation, choose a general topic. One that everyone can relate to. This will let everyone feel that they belong. This is a great way to encourage everyone to share ideas. (great conversation topics below)
3. Do not Drill with Questions
- This should be avoided especially when asking one person only. The person may feel that he or she is facing a firing squad. Asking too many questions could make the individual uncomfortable. By doing so you might give that person a reason to withdraw from the conversation. The others may also feel uncomfortable and decide to leave the conversation also, so do mindful of your approach.
Nothing compares to a beautiful conversation with a beautiful mind. – Unknown
4. Break the Ice
- Initially, there may be awkwardness among the group. You can use a group check-in question that allows everyone a chance to respond to break the ice. An example could be: if you a world championship boxer what would be your theme song? Or you crack a funny joke to make them laugh. You can also start by telling a story. This may lead them to share their story, too. Then, everything will follow.
5. Ask Open-ended Questions
- These types of questions require more than yes or no answer. These questions will make the flow of your conversation much smoother if done intelligently. These questions can often lead you to another topic.
- Asking questions allows you to quickly test the waters to see which topics people are interested in discussing. Just be careful to ask with a pleasing tone.
It is not necessary that you use all of these tips or to use them in this order. You can simply choose which ones are most appropriate for the situation(s) you find yourself in. What matters is using these tips to kick off a conversation on a positive upbeat tone.
Once you start experimenting with new ways to start conversations you will notice what works best for your personality. At this point, it will all be much easier and before you know it you may even enjoy meeting new people.
Be sure to check out our growing catalog of self-directed personal growth and development courses that are available online 24/7. I would love to hear your ideas of how to ignite great conversations in a group setting – drop your ideas below in the comments.
Until my next post, remember to think big, dream big, and always allow your purpose to be your passion!
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