Are you confident enough to walk up to someone you don’t know and begin talking about things?
Many people don’t know how to start a conversation with a stranger but secretly wish they were more sociable.
Being social comes more easily to some, but it’s normal to get nervous about talking to someone you don’t know at all.
There are many ways that you can get better at having conversations with strangers, and these tips will help you do just that.
Once you’re done covering the key tips, you can read more about how to befriend strangers with nonfiction selections on Blinkist, a great source of comprehensive book summaries.
How to Start a Conversation With a Stranger
Where do you begin when you want to start being able to have conversations with strangers?
These five tips are a great way to start practicing to become a comfortable conversationalist with practically anyone you meet.
1. Initiate the Conversation
The hardest part of starting a conversation is actually initiating it.
Many people feel awkward at the idea of simply approaching someone and saying hello. Then again, it doesn’t have to be a scary thing!
Focus on these things as you prepare to initiate a conversation:
- Make eye contact and ask yourself: does the person seem open to interaction?
- Think about what you will say before you open your mouth to talk.
- Don’t ask about the weather or anything similarly mundane.
- Introduce yourself immediately.
These four things are all sure to help you create a conversation very quickly.
By being aware of them, you can ensure that you are engaging in a polite but open way, which will help to encourage further conversation.
2. Be Confident, but Not Aggressive
One of the most important things when talking to a stranger is that you need to make sure that you find the balance between being confident and aggressive.
Everyone has been in a situation where they are approached by someone on the street, and they immediately felt uncomfortable because the person is trying to talk to them.
Often, this is because the person is being too forceful. Sometimes, people just won’t feel like talking to a stranger!
If the cues of the conversation seem to suggest that they aren’t up for talking, don’t force it.
One-word answers and glancing away from you constantly are likely signs that they don’t want to talk. Don’t get aggressive; just move along.
Confidence is about knowing that you have something interesting to say and the courage to say it.
Don’t confuse that with aggressiveness, in which you would force a conversation to occur no matter how the other party feels.
3. Start the Focus on Them
People are more likely to engage with and feel drawn into a conversation if you focus on them early on.
After all, it’s a well-known fact that most people love to talk about themselves!
As much as they might want to hear about you down the line, the easiest way to get someone talking first is to get them talking about themselves.
When the conversation progresses, you can then add your own details, and the situation will become more of a balanced exchange.
In fact, people are likely to start asking reciprocal questions about you after you ask about them. This natural progression is sure to make a conversation more engaging.
4. Stick To Common Interests
If you find a conversational point that the other person seems very interested in, try to stick around that common interest.
Talking about something that you have no interest in with someone very passionate about the topic isn’t going to go well.
In most cases, they’ll notice that you aren’t as into it as they are, and that may urge them to move on from the conversation.
So, instead, keep your focus on shared interest points that you stumble across. These will make for the best conversation.
5. Limit Time as Needed
Some days, you might strike up a conversation with a stranger and talk to them for almost an hour.
Other days, someone will only be talking for five or fewer minutes before its time to move on. And that’s okay!
Conversations can be of any length, so don’t fret about how short some of them are. After all, you are talking to a stranger who might have somewhere else to be.
If you have a great conversation, remember that you can always offer your contact information so that they can get in touch if they want to talk more later on.
Blinkist: Learn More To Talk More!
Reading more books can help you to talk more to strangers.
First, there are many books that actually cover the topic of speaking and holding a conversation, so you can learn a lot from those titles.
Second, having a lot of interesting information to share with others can make for a good conversation, as well.
If you don’t have a lot of time to read books, however, it might feel like this isn’t a helpful way to get better at talking to strangers.
Blinkist might be able to help.
Blinkist is a book summary service that gives you the key points of nonfiction books in a quick, easy-to-read outline.
From these summaries, you can begin to understand book concepts and apply them to your life.
How to Talk to Anyone Book Recommendation
How To Talk To Anyone: 92 Little Secrets To Success is a great informational book by Leil Lowndes.
This book takes 92 tips on how to be a better conversationalist and breaks them up into important categories:
- Speak with more than just your words
- Make small talk successful
- Improve your vocabulary
- Get informed about hot topics and relevant industries
- Give immediate praises and create rapport
- Handle phone conversations appropriately
The How to Talk to Anyone book covers many of the tips that, basically, are just common sense skills.
However, they are given in a way that can help you to rethink if you actually apply those skills to your everyday life.
People often know what it takes to be a good conversationalist; they just don’t apply it. This book can help you to see how to better manage your skills.
Prepare for Better Talks
Now that you know more about how to start a conversation with a stranger, you’ll be able to start talking to just about anyone.
What’s more, with the help of the How to Talk to Anyone book and other quick book summaries on Blinkist, you’re well on your way to becoming a great conversationalist.
It’s incredible what a great conversation can do for your mood.
People often feel like it is scary or intimidating to talk to strangers, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
As long as you know what to expect from it, you can help to shape the best conversations around.
In time, you’ll find that you have had what it takes to be a great conversationalist all along!