Your friends will be late…
…so there’s no one familiar.
- Stare at your phone?
- Get a drink and stay at a corner?
- Wait for your friends outside?
Why not talk to someone?
If you think that’s hard to do…
Anyone can learn how to start a good conversation.
All it takes is confidence, smiling and…
Getting people to talk about themselves.
Here’s a preview of AJ Harbinger’s speech on charismatic conversations at this year’s Menfluential (StyleCon 2017).
AJ Harbinger hosts the Art Of Charm. This amazing podcast is designed to help guys master soft social skills in a short amount of time. You can also tune in to learn tips on relationships, lifestyle, and confidence. AJ has interviewed guests such as Ramit Sethi, Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, and other experts in those fields.
AJ Harbinger: Step #1 – Ask The Right Questions
There are different ways you might encounter someone new at an event. Maybe you’re introduced by a mutual friend. Or you’re seated next to each other at a dinner party.
The easy part is saying hi, giving each other’s names, and shaking hands. It’s all about opening the platform for conversation.
(If you lack the confidence to talk one-on-one with unfamiliar people, it might help to try power poses before going to social events.)
But what good is that platform if it’s filled with awkward silence? Oh – were you hoping the other person would start off? That’s the first mistake you can make.
It should be you who gets the ball rolling. You don’t actually have to prepare some witty joke or amazing story. To start a nice conversation and make the other person comfortable…you just need good questions.
So what qualifies as a good question? The main rule is it allows the other person to talk about themselves. Nobody admits it, but we enjoy sharing facts about ourselves that we’re proud of. It’s a favorite topic for most.
The best open-ended questions have what we call the ORCA framework (Origin, Recreation, Career, Aspiration). Think about what that person would most likely dish out that makes them more interesting. Examples include:
- Where are you from?
- What field/industry do you work in?
- What are your hobbies?
- What are your favorite movies/TV shows?
- Where would you want to go for a vacation?
Remember to use a clear and confident (but still friendly) voice when you ask those questions. You’re getting them to talk…but you shouldn’t sound like you’re doing an interview! So try to rephrase your questions in a more casual manner.
#2 – Listen AND Observe
Here’s the deal with charismatic conversations. You can come up with great questions or fascinating topics…
But if you don’t know how to listen with your eyes AND ears, you can’t really connect with someone.
The phase the follows once you’ve asked a question – when the other person does the talking – is your time to do some detective work.
Don’t just hear their words and understand them. Look at their smiles and facial expressions. Watch if their voice sounds a little higher while they say certain things.
Why is that important? Your goal is to pick up non-verbal cues about “key” topics. These are the topics they talk about passionately. Topics with a strong positive emotion tied to them. That’s the foundation for Step #3.
Discover what topic that is…and you can connect more with that person. You’ll be able to express that same emotion (whether it’s happiness, enthusiasm or a sense of achievement). The reason this works is although we come from different backgrounds, we can all share similar feelings. We bond better with others who know how we feel.
Also, you’ll need better observation skills when you meet women. There are plenty of non-verbal signals that a woman is interested in you (which imply they’d most likely say yes to a date). You’ll want to practice detecting those.
#3 – Make Good Follow-Up Statements
The last step is to touch further on a topic with a positive follow-up statement.
Not only does that prove you’ve been generous enough to listen to the other person. It also makes them feel better about sharing that stuff.
You must be really smart!
Wow! That’s an incredible experience.
Nice! I’m a Game of Thrones fan too!
Those are statements which help break down the “friendship barrier” between two complete strangers. As long as you’re genuine when you say them, the other person will appreciate those words. They’ll be open to chatting with you more.
Do words really matter that much? Words alone aren’t powerful. But the reality is they often carry emotions – so one feels something by hearing one word or series of words. Emotions are the real power there. People may not remember everything you say, but people remember how you treat them and make them feel.
Asking Good Questions + Listening To Answers = Talking With Charisma
This is the basic trick to starting conversations with anyone. I’ve seen it work with friends of friends, strangers, and attractive women in most situations. Follow this formula and you’ll find that your conversations with people start to flow naturally. It’ll help you expand your network…and double your chances of scoring first dates!
Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Do you want to start a podcast? Or grow your own social media channel? Those are some of the things you’ll learn from digital influencers like AJ Harbinger and the rest of the gang at Menfluential 2018.
This 2-day conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia this February. Hang out with the big names in men’s style like Sven Raphael Schneider, Barron Cuadro, Aaron Marino – and be inspired.