You are at a party or conference or just down the street when you see someone you would like to talk to. It can be someone you admire, a good potential client, or an investor for your company. You turn around what to say to talk to that person. You must think of something good to start a conversation with a stranger.
How to start a conversation with a stranger
You can start a conversation with anyone and. There is only one secret: say something that the other person would like to hear. With this in mind, today, we bring you ten ways to start a conversation with a stranger without causing problems.
1. Take note of something nice
This is delicious! A good ending for this event. Did you hear that? I thought it was great. There is something positive to comment on in almost every situation, so find it. Say nothing negative because it is risky.
2. Talk about time
The exception of negative comments is time. If you are in the middle of a heatwave, of cold, torrential rains or an unusual climate it is always a good way to start a conversation. It is an experience shared between you and the other person. If it is a good day, it is also a good way to start.
2. Ask for information
“Excuse me, do you know when the next session begins?” Even if you already know the answer, asking for information is a good way to talk to someone because people like to feel useful.
3. Ask for help
“Could you please help me get that from the top shelf?” “I dropped the ring, and I think it went under the table, do you mind looking if it is?” Asking for help is another way to make you feel useful to the people. You just have to make sure you ask for something that the person you ask can do without causing much discomfort.
4. Offer help
You will hardly find yourself in a condition where you can help someone you want to talk. But if it happens, don’t miss that opportunity. “Can I help you carry that bag?” “Do you need to sit down? There is a free seat there”, “Do you want a program? I have one more.” The other person will trust you because you have helped him.
Be serious not to be too nosy or excessive: “I could not help hearing that the card is not accepted, do you want to try mine?” It is of no help.
5. Ask for an opinion
“What do you think of that talk?” “Has this workshop served you?”
6. Mention a common acquaintance
“You used to work with David? We have done many projects together.” Naming someone in common includes you in the social circle of the other person. People may think they know you about something or should know you. Be careful, therefore, with the relationship between the third person and your listener, do not go to name someone whose relationship did not end well.
7. Comment on a shared experience
Does your listener come from the same town as you? Did you go to the same school? Have you worked for the same boss? Any topic in common is a good way to start a conversation.
8. Praise the listener
It works when you wonder what to say to a celebrity, an acquaintance, or someone important in your industry or company. You will never fail by telling someone: “I love your job” or “I think your last post is very deep.”
9. Praise the listener’s appearance or accessories
“That is a very original tie, where is it from?” “That scarf suits you very well”… people like to hear that they have good taste. But do not comment anything about the physical appearance, it is something disturbing that a stranger tells you that you have very beautiful eyes. The only exception is hair. If the person to praise has recently changed their hair or has cut their hair, it is okay to make a compliment about it, but if someone has started to dye to hide the gray hair better keep the comment for yourself.
10. Introduce yourself
It won’t always work, but frequently, if you really can’t think of anything to say, you can try a direct approach. Approach the person, reach out, and introduce yourself. That you do that will make the other person feel important.