Effective Discussion

Effective Discussion

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Member since 1 year


Effective Discussion

2 conversational skills worth pumping up

The skill of starting a conversation
Starting a conversation is difficult because we can't think of the right phrase. All the usual options sound trivial, and the original greetings are even worse than the standard ones. In fact, you need to take one small step: put aside your doubts, walk up and say "Hello!" No one needs magic phrases, everyone communicates in simple and understandable words. 

If you don't like the short greeting, here are three good choices:

  • "Hi! How's your morning going?"
  • "Hi! I don't think we've met yet. My name is Nastya."
  • "Good morning! How are you?
  • The value of such starter phrases, of course, is not in their originality, but in their universality. Anyone can use these expressions, they imply a positive response and help strike up a conversation.

The skill can be practiced. Just find the right person. For example, most bartenders or waiters are very nice to talk to. Sure, it's part of their job description, but that's the beauty of it. Try to strike up a conversation with these phrases:

"What's your most delicious thing here?" The response you'll likely hear is, "Everything." You have many options for continuing the conversation. For example: "No, really, what kind of coffee do you drink yourself when no one's looking?" And then: "Great, I'd love to try it." Or make your usual order and add, "I'll definitely try it next time."

Make a joke. Surprisingly, the joke doesn't have to be hilarious. A good joke for a short conversation should be simple, understandable and enjoyable. Nothing offensive or beyond the bounds of propriety. Make an amusing remark.
"I wonder what's the craziest order you got this week?" By narrowing the question with "this week," you'll help the person you're talking to answer quickly, without having to think about it. At this point in the conversation, it's not necessary or even dangerous to ask deep questions or ones that make you seriously dig into your memory.
Of course, you should not have such a conversation if there is a long line behind you, or if you are in a cafe with many visitors and waiters knocking you down. The dialogue should be pleasant and relaxed. And be sure to smile.

Know how to join the conversation
Talking to multiple people can be a real nightmare. You show up, see a lot of strangers, get scared and shut down. It seems that if you speak now, it will sound stupid and nonsensical. Probably, in such a situation it is better to keep silent. Why would anyone want to listen to you?

Use one of the three phrases you have prepared. The trick is to join the conversation by adding something useful, interesting, and informative.

"I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but I can tell..." When you're standing close to those already talking, it's obvious that you can hear their conversation. There's nothing wrong with joining the conversation and being a breath of fresh air.
"I'm sorry, I'm not quite sure what you meant?" Confessing their own ignorance is something people usually don't like to do. Use this fact to ask a question that's on everyone's mind, but that no one dares to voice. The curious newcomer will not look silly. But it will make the interlocutor feel at ease and explain what everyone is curious to know.
"Excuse me, I've been in this field a long time, but I haven't heard such an original opinion yet." A compliment can be a reason to continue a conversation if it is not trivial and shows your interest in the other person. But the duty compliment will not help to cut into the conversation and even interfere.
Join the conversation can be at any time, especially if your statement will make the conversation more interesting. It can be a remark, the right question, or a good compliment.