Public speaking is often rated the number one thing people are afraid of. But while speaking in front of the audience can definitely be nerve wracking and many people find striking up a conversation one-on-one just as intimidating.
May be he is the CXOs of your company, a new colleague, your neighbor, an stranger or any one. Whomever you want to talk to, there’s a way to strike up a conversation.
-- Weather, sports or politics are bad cheesy pick-up topics when it comes to starting a conversation. Avoid tired topics and try find out a unique conversation starter.
-- Ask for their opinion. Everyone has one! For someone you don’t know well, start with light topic "Did you watch PK?" "Have you seen MSG video" or " Did you like Gangnam Style?"It’s probably best to stay away from really sticky subjects like politics unless you already know the person very well.
-- Ask for their advice or recommendations. This works very well when praising some one's choice like “Hey! Nice tie! Where did you get it?” or on the food “Everything looks good. What are you having?”
-- Ask them a question — that’s easy to answer. Like IT guy of your company, e.g. ask him whether "Are you the one who installs hardware or software?" Avoid asking the explanation of any thing until he himself starts of doing it.
-- Comment on the environment. No matter where you are, there are things to comment on: the music, the food, the lights, the guests, and so on.
-- Ask for an update. If you know someone a little or know them by reputation, ask for an update on something you know they have been doing, for example, “Oh, my wife was talking about or paining classes, How’s that going?”
-- Ask open-ended questions whenever possible. If your question can be answered with yes or no, that's the thing you will always get. Always have follow-up questions ready that can help to lead the flow of your conversation. Almost everything can be followed up with, “Why?” Just don’t ask it too many times and end up sounding like a kid!
-- Ask about their kids, pets, or hobbies. People love to talk about the things that are important to them. If you know that your boss loves to drive, asking him about his latest trip is a surefire way to get him talking.
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