Are you looking to improve your communication and actually be the first to initiate a conversation?
Sometimes you may have so much to say. But don’t know where to begin or how to get the attention of the other person.
This happens a lot every day: Motivational speakers constantly use these icebreakers to capture the attention of their audience, men use them while trying to get to know a woman they like, and so on.
It just goes to show that learning this skill cuts across both the corporate and non-corporate world. And would be a great addition to you.
Here are some of the best communication starters that you can begin using right away!
1. Use The F.O.R.D Technique
F.O.R.D, in this case, means Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams.
Most people use this technique to build and sustain rapport with their friends, loved ones, colleagues, etc., by learning about them using questions around these areas.
Let’s go over them together!
Think about it; Everyone has a family, and if the person you’re talking to was adopted or is an orphan, that is a great place to build an emotional connection with them. You can start a conversation around this subject and ask the person about their family while you talk about yours.
Occupation is the next thing. Most people will be interested in talking about what they do to earn a living, even if they don’t discuss how much they earn. For those who are not yet working, asking about their educational pursuit and background is also a great place to start.
Recreation: Ask them about what they do to relax. Didn’t we say all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! You’ll be amazed at what the other person prefers to do while relaxing. In addition, ask about their hobbies, and you can be sure there’ll be so much to talk about.
Dreams: We all have dreams. Where we want to be in the next 5 years, the impact we want to leave in our world, etc. Help the other party feel comfortable about sharing their dreams with you.
Acknowledge them with positive affirmations like, “Yes, you can, and I’ll be rooting for you!” Ask them about where they see themselves in the next 5 or 10 years; they’ll be excited to let you know.
2. Ask for a small request
Everyone likes to have that feeling of importance, and it’s interesting to know that as little as asking them to pass something to you will make them feel more at ease around you.
For instance, if you’re on a date with someone you’re just getting to know, you can politely ask them to pass the salt, sauce, or something you think you could need.
Remember to say Thank You. Then, you can build up a conversation from there and observe the difference.
3. Find Out About Their Job
This works best when the person you’re trying to talk to has a chest tag. If their name is inscribed on it, you can call their name and ask questions like, “oh do you work at (company name).”
Since their answer will most likely be yes, follow it up with a bit of what you know about the company, then continue with questions like “Do you love your job; How long have you been working there.” You’ll already have them talking by then.
4. Comment On a common Situation
If there’s a long queue at the cafe, and you’re both waiting to gain access. Ask a question like, “Does this always happen at this cafe?” You’re likely to get a yes or no answer and some other supporting answers to your question. That’s enough to build up a conversation.
5. Give A Compliment
When you meet a person for the first time, try looking out for what you can say something nice about. Now, don’t say their shoes look great when, in the real sense, it doesn’t. The person may think you’re trying too hard.
Let your compliment be genuine; that’s all we are trying to say.
Say something like, “You’ve Got Very Pretty Earrings, You look Sharp, Your outfit is lovely.”
You’ll get a reaction; it’s either the person smiles back in return or says Thank You very calmly.
That’s a sign that you’ve won them over, and you can continue a conversation from there.
6. Ask About Their Name
To do this effectively, you can say something like, “Hello, my name is Nick, what’s yours?” Wait for an answer. Then build up the conversation by saying things like, “Sandra, you have a lovely name; where did it originate from.” You can be sure she’ll talk about the origin, the meaning of her name, and other details.
This is a sure conversation starter!
7. Simple Greeting
The easiest way to start is by saying, “Good morning (or whatever time of the day it is), and how are you doing?
Insert a smile while saying it, and you’ll appear nice and friendly to the other person. From there you can get to know them some more and talk about other interests.
8. Avoid sensitive topics
This is an important communication starter rule that you need to know and practice. R.A.P.E is the acronym for Religion, Abortion, Politics, and Economics.
Avoid bringing up any discussion concerning these sensitive topics. You’re unlikely to build a conversation or a connection that way, and most times, questions in these areas breed arguments.
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