How to have and maintain a stunning conversation with anyone: We review 11 science-backed steps (2023)

Do you know how to have a conversation? I don't mean just any boring conversation, I mean you know how to havean impressive, memorable and amazing conversation?

Knowing how to start, maintain and end a conversation smoothly is one of the most important thingspeople skillsyou can have.

The art of lively conversation is one of the most requested topics in Science of People. So a few months ago I decided to do some research on the subject to write this phrasebook for you.

What makes a bad conversation weird and a good conversation amazing?

I noticed a pattern: most bad conversations had avery specific sequence of events leading up to the actual embarrassing moment.This is what we hear over and over again:

  • I signed up for this networking event a few weeks prior and had no idea who was going or what the organization was about, but a friend of a friend recommended it to me.
  • Along the way, I took a few calls and checked my email before heading inside.
  • My calendar marked the start time at 5 pm. m., so I arrived at 17:30. m. waiting to arrive fashionably late.
  • As soon as I walked in I realized the event was a lot bigger (or smaller) than I expected and boy was there someone showing up at the front. I tried to get my badge and check in as quietly as possible.
  • I missed most of what the speaker said, but when he finally finished, people around me started to reignite conversations and talk about what was said.
  • I tried talking to a few groups around me but couldn't really engage or have smooth conversation.
  • Most of the night was uncomfortable and pointless; I didn't make any useful connections.

I want to stop this pattern! How can you strike up an impressive conversation with someone you know? How can you get business, connections, and meeting dates? I want to show you that there is an art and a science to effective communication.

I've broken down the structure of a conversation into 11 steps that will turn your ordinary interactions into amazing interactions.

The step-by-step guide to having amazing conversations:

Step 1: Conversation Intent Gives You Purpose

One of the biggest conversational mistakes is inserting your events, dates,meetingsand aimless parties.

You would never start driving to a new destination without the steering wheel, so why would you start a conversation without a goal in mind?

A conversation without a game plan is like driving without a map.

Like all good athletes, speakers practice, prepare, and perform with the intention of winning. While you may not want to "win" a conversation, you may want to win business, friends, or new ideas.

Before any social interaction, set your intent, know your audience, and do your research. It doesn't have to be anything major. Think of a sentence that answers the following as you prepare for or drive to the event: Who, What, When, Why.

  • Who: Who organizes the event?
  • What: What kind of people go?
  • When: When is it and what time is it?
  • Why: Why are you going?

Even a simple “I want to meet new customers” or “I want to have fun” sets an intention, which means you are more likely to have a purpose when talking to people. Purpose builds trust, increases influence, and is contagious. As humans, we like someone with direction.

Do you really want to make every conversation count? Never have an awkward silence or boring conversation again. Discover the ultimate course to master your self-improvement without losing your authenticity.

How to have and maintain a stunning conversation with anyone: We review 11 science-backed steps (1)

communicate with confidence

Do you struggle with small talk? Do you often run out of things to say or do you feel awkward and awkward in social situations? Our conversation mastery course teaches you the secrets of conversation masters and gives you the skills you need to have confident, engaging, and engaging conversations with anyone, anywhere.

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(Video) Dr. Gina Poe: Use Sleep to Enhance Learning, Memory & Emotional State | Huberman Lab Podcast

Step #2: Approach as a friend, not an enemy

We make our first impression in the first few seconds ofseersomeone, it happens sometimes before you even start talking. Most people think we don't make our first impression until we start talking, but we don't. Make sure that even before starting the conversation, you are approaching it with open and confident body language. When we see someone for the first time, our brain is trying to assess whether that person is friend or foe. You want to point out the "friend" signs early on. Here's how to have open body language when you walk in the door:

  • keep your hands visible
  • Roll your shoulders down and back so they are nice and relaxed.
  • Smile when you see someone you recognize or want to talk to.
  • Make eye contact as you walk up to them or say hello.

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Step #3: Jerry Seinfeld's Conversation Trick

Have you ever seen Comedians in Cars Drinking Coffee? (Best. Sunday. Tomorrow. Deal. Always!)

Jerry Seinfeld gave some amazing social advice for chatting whenever you meet strangers. And this tip ALWAYS works, because there will ALWAYS be a response from the other person.

What is this advice? Watch the video below to find out:

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Step #4: Use conversation openers

What's the best conversation topic you've ever heard?

What's your favorite conversation starter?

The hardest part of a conversation is the beginning. We tend to agonize over who and how to approach someone for conversation. But do not worry! Some conversation starters are the easiest way to start the conversation.

  • First, research has found that the most effective conversation starter is a simple "Hi, how are you?" It's super easy, but it works!
  • Second, you can always use context to help. Ask how the wine is or comment on the venue or event. These are extremely subtle and make it easy to start a conversation.
  • Thirdly, we have57 killer conversation starterscan be used in almost any situation. Keep them in your back pocket.

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Step #5: Tag

Some of the most talented chatters do something called "Marker" during conversations. This is an advanced technique that I love, but it takes some practice. The tagging technique is when you add bullets or emphasis to a certain part of the conversation that can create a deeper connection. Bookmarks are verbal bookmarks that you say to make it easier to follow up or have something to talk about in the future. Here are the different types:

  • future mentions:Let's say you're talking about conferences and someone mentions that they're going to the same one you are in a few months. If you like the person, you can "tag" them by saying something like "I'm on my way there too, we should get coffee after one of the sessions". This is a bookmark that you can follow later.
  • inside joke:These are my favorites: they are very rare, but they are beautiful when they happen. Let's say you're talking to someone and something interesting or funny happens. You can create a bookmark and mention it to repeat the laugh later. I also call it 'Milking the Joke'. For example, I was on a long cross-country flight where everyone was given a small bowl of nuts before takeoff. For some reason they put the bowl in front of us and took it away not even a minute later because they had to "clean up". I literally had time to eat a nut from the entire bowl. So when they took it away, I turned to the guy next to me and said, "Budget cuts and recycling are really ruining the experience." And he laughed and I laughed and we got into a conversation. During dinner, we both made a joke about having to eat quickly in case he was taken away. Every time we were given coffee, we laughed to hide the cup in case they had to 'clean' it. I gave him my card and he followed up with an email with the subject line: "Don't pick my balls!" and said he should call him next time I'm in Dallas for a free dinner at the steakhouse he owns - free steak! I credit the joke for this free meal.
  • same same:Sometimes you can verbalize a 'same-same' moment. The same moment is when you both discover that you have similar interests, backgrounds or commonalities. He bookmarks it exclaiming how crazy he is, they have that in common. For example, I met a woman at a party and found out that we are two older sisters and have a 12 year gap between us. I bookmarked it, exclaiming, “WOW! I don't think I've ever met someone with the same family situation as me. Next time my sisters ask me to get her out of trouble, I'm going to have to send you a Facebook because you might be the only person in the world who understands this." She agreed and we shared several stories about it. We became friends. from Facebook and sure enough, he sent me a screenshot of a text message from his sister requesting a ride.
  • You must see:Sometimes you can tag with a follow-up mention. I often mention books, videos, or articles I like to people while I'm talking to them. If they raise an eyebrow at me and seem interested, I'll tag it saying, "I'll tweet the link so you can check it out!" I love doing this because I can share something I like and they often send me recommendations.

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Step #6: Find Sparks

Once you start the conversation, you'll want to keep going. The most charismatic people look for conversation sparks. They raise topics, look for ideas, and ask questions that energize or excite the person. If you focus your questions and intentions on teasing, it will be much easier to keep the conversation going and avoid awkward pauses or meaningless small talk.

Sparks usually come from asking someone about topics that trigger dopamine. This is a chemical that makes us excited and engaged. I recommend activating dopamine by bringing up topics that will help someone feel joy. Here are my favorite provocative questions:

  • Do you have big vacation plans coming up?
  • Are you working on something exciting lately?
  • What's the best part of your week?
  • Have you tried a new restaurant lately?
  • Are you working on any personal passion projects right now?

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Step #7: The secret is in the eyebrows

I want to teach you one of the easiest and most fun non-verbal conversation tricks.The raising of eyebrows.In all cultures, raising our eyebrows is what we do when we hear or see something interesting. When you see someone doing this in conversation, it usually means you said something interesting or brought up a topic that piqued their curiosity. The raising of the eyebrows is the physical indicator of a spark. It gives you clues about a topic they would like to discuss.

I had a great eyebrow raised example happen to me the other day. I was sharing a story at a networking event with a marketing executive. I was telling him about a great commercial I saw while watching a Portland Timbers game. He was shaking his head as I talked about the commercial, but when I mentioned it was during a Timbers game, his eyebrows shot up. After I finished the story, I asked him if he was a football fan. Sure enough, he said his son was trying to turn pro, and that started a great conversation about football, sports and kids. We've exchanged letters and I'm looking forward to doing a workshop for your marketing team.

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Step #8: Captivate with stories

I listen to A LOT of podcasts. One of my favorites is the Tim Ferriss podcast. He interviews the most fascinating people and asks some really interesting questions about deep diving. in one of yourpodcasts com Jimmy Chin, professional climber, Jimmy talked about the advice he would give to beginning climbers. That was interesting, but then he started to tell a story to support his advice on one of his first climbs. As soon as the story started, I was sucked in. I leaned in, gasped at the surprises, and held my breath for the finale. The story not only captured me mentally, but I felt a physiological response as I told it. I'll remember his advice much more from the story than his advice, although the story wasn't as straightforward.

  • What are your favorite stories to tell?
  • What's a story you can tell to support a claim?
  • How can you respond with anecdotes?

Notice:Stories are great, but don't be aconversational narcissist- make sure you speak and listen equally, asking for their stories as well.

(Video) Skills for Healthy Romantic Relationships | Joanne Davila | TEDxSBU

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Step #9: Encourage reciprocity

It doesn't matter how good your body language is or how many funny stories you tell, if you commit a conversational sin, you will turn people off. The biggest deciding factor is'Conversational Mooching'.

You know when you ask someone a question and they answer you, but they don't answer you? You ask where they're from and they say “New York”… and then silence.

We expect reciprocity in the negotiations.

When we share something, we want someone else to share something. When we ask a question, we want them to respond and ask us back. It doesn't have to be an eye for an eye, but we are coded to seek and be treated equally. Make sure you are not a thief and return whatever you receive.

My three favorite words? Not "I love you", although those are good too! Always ask people, "What about you?" after you finish answering. These three little words are perfect for encouraging reciprocity.

  • Special note: Another conversational sin is being superior. A superior is someone who constantly needs to outdo you or your story. You had a bad day, well they had an even worse one! You've traveled to 20 countries, well they've traveled to 25 AND they've traveled to all 50 states! Let people enjoy their moment and celebrate with them, don't overwhelm them.

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Step #10: Exits

You started a conversation, generated stories and met, now just finish it. Sometimes the art of the last print is just as difficult as nailing the first print. The art of ending a conversation is easy. I have a whole post about the art of alasting impression, but I encourage you to use bullets to finish it off nicely.

  • future mentions:“Well, I can't wait to see you on that ___ coming up. I'll send you an email!"
  • inside joke:“It was great laughing with you. I will make sure to ___ in the future ;)”
  • same same:“I am so happy to have met a fellow ___ fan. You made my night!"
  • You must see:"Be sure to send that link your way, it's great talking to you!"

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Step #11: The Post-mortem

I know after an event or date you can be tired and all you want to do is turn on Netflix and call it a night. But take a few minutes to do an autopsy. This could be in your head while driving home, talking to your spouse or roommate, or writing in a journal. Answer the following three questions:

  • What went well tonight?
  • What did I learn?
  • Who should I follow up with?

The art of conversation is a skill - you have to keep learning and improving your skill. Your autopsies can help you spot patterns and remember to keep track of favorites, LinkedIn connections, and pledges.

How to have and maintain a stunning conversation with anyone: We review 11 science-backed steps (3)

communicate with confidence

Do you struggle with small talk? Do you often run out of things to say or do you feel awkward and awkward in social situations? Our conversation mastery course teaches you the secrets of conversation masters and gives you the skills you need to have confident, engaging, and engaging conversations with anyone, anywhere.

article sources
    1. Joseph

      (Video) A simple way to break a bad habit | Judson Brewer

      Hi, my name is Joseph and I'm 23 years old, I've been bullied for being gay since I was a kid, and now that I'm older I tend to be unsociable and it's really hard for me to talk to anyone. , I still don't know what to say after "hi, how are you"?

    2. Santa Claus snow

      What other non-verbal cues should you look for when trying to start the conversation?

    3. Mujeriala Martin

      It is a pleasure to have interesting and sympathetic souls in this universe. Many blessings and thanks to author Vannessa Van Edwards for giving people a sense of self-worth. You are such an inspiring human being.

    4. Hi, I think your site may have browser compatibility issues.

      Whenever I look at yoᥙr's blog in Safari, it seems
      that's fine, but when it opens in Ӏ.E., it has some overlapping issues.

      I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Separate
      frⲟm thɑt, fantastic site!

      1. Kensi Human Science

        We appreciate the input! -Kensi | people science team

    5. helena

      Thank you Vanessa for taking the time to share informative lessons. The first time I saw you. I know you are my role model I wish I can learn and how to share with people.

    6. davies

      Thank you Vanessa for the informative lessons. My approach to public speaking and interacting with new acquaintances has improved since I started following you.

    Comments are closed.

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    What is the key to conversation? ›

    Regulate Speaking.

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    What are conversation techniques? ›

    The thing that most people want to hear in a conversation is their own voice. You can use this to your advantage by asking opinion type questions. Leave the other person a way to elaborate. After you ask, shut up and listen. If you keep talking, and do not allow the other party to answer, you will be seen as rude.


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    Introduction: My name is Errol Quitzon, I am a fair, cute, fancy, clean, attractive, sparkling, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.