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How to Start a Conversation: Top 10 Tips

Communicational skills are important for a person’s professional and personal life. Striking a good conversation is the best way to socialize in a formal and informal domain. Moreover, it can help your career growth if you know how to make conversation engaging with a potential client and convince him to take a particular action. Most people can go along with a conversation, but the main trick lies in initiating a conversation. 

Having good conversational power is fundamental to ensure engagement with the people you are around. This helps to establish a healthy and friendly atmosphere in your workplace. We will now look at the ten common tips to know how to start a conversation and make it more interesting. 

Tip 1: Be Confident And Approachable

This is one of the best ways to begin a conversation, especially in a professional forum. 

Positive body language: If you are seeking tips on how to start a convo then working on your body language is paramount. You need to be confident and friendly so that someone can approach you. If you are approaching a person, try to portray a positive body language. 

Confidence and Friendliness: Maintain a friendly tonality. Always speak with confidence and enthusiasm. This will help the person in front be more comfortable beginning the conversation. 

Smile and make eye contact: When the person is talking to you, answer with a smile and listen with interest. This will give them the confidence to continue the conversation further. 

Tip 2: Start With A Greeting And Introduction

One of the most foolproof conversation starters that have been prevalent for time immemorial is beginning with a “good morning,” “hello,” etc., and following it up with a brief introduction. 

Appropriate greeting: Your choice of greeting should depend on the person in front. Be friendly if it is a colleague. However, choose more formal greetings for older adults or higher professionals. 

Introductions: Once you introduce yourself, ask them for the same “And you…” to draw them into the conversation. The introduction will give you more subjects to converse on. You can add relevant information as you introduce yourself and ask relevant questions as they introduce themselves. This method has always proved effective, especially in a professional domain. 

Examples: Few effective greetings are as follows, “hey”, “hi”, “good morning ma’am/sir”, “how are you doing?”, “how is it going?”, etc. 

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Tip 3: Find Common Ground

If you want to know how to make a conversation interesting, find common interests or any other common ground to develop the conversation further. 

Conversation starters: With a basic commonality, starting and extending a conversation can be easier. If the information from the introduction does not provide any common topics, try to look around for an element to start the conversation. 

Open ended questions: You can also start by stating your interest and giving reasons for your choice. The person in front can either share the interest or the reason. This helps in developing a conversation. 

Examples: You like a horror movie for a certain actor. Your conversational partner might like that movie or that actor for another movie or a director. Hence, the conversation has begun.  

Tip 4: Give Genuine Compliments

One of the best ways to learn how to start a conversation is by complimenting a person on their particular characteristics. 

Sincere compliments: You need to know that people are quite self-aware nowadays; hence, passing a stock compliment or an irrelevant one will hamper your image. Genuine compliments improve communication, boost self-esteem, motivate them, etc. Hence, before passing a compliment, make sure you are genuine. 

Compliment on unique qualities: Try to target unique and individualistic features of the person to compliment. Rather, refrain from complimenting if it is not appropriate. However, do not complement them for the sake of complimenting. 

Examples: Some of the best ways of complimenting are – “You are a great listener!”, “You have a creative mind,” “You have great taste in music!” etc.

Tip 5: Ask Open-Ended Questions

The main objective to start chat is because you want to continue talking to the person. Hence, learn the hacks to keep a conversation ongoing. 

Benefits: Through such questions a conversation can be engaging, as the recipient will also voice their thoughts on your questions. This might also lead you to a common shared interest. 

Avoid Yes/No question: The first thing to remember is avoiding the typical yes/no questions. This will easily end the conversation. Rather, ask open-ended questions that ultimately lead to a full-fledged conversation. 

Examples: The best examples here are asking about their hobbies, motivations, dreams, future goals, etc. These will automatically extend the conversation into a wholesome one. 

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Tip 6: Listen Actively And Show Interest

Active listening is another major way to start and enhance a conversation. To learn how to start a conversation, you need to be a patient and active listener. 

Importance: You must listen attentively to be able to ask further questions. If you are not participating it might discourage the speaker from engaging in the conversation any further. 

Verbal and non-verbal cues: You can show interest and active listening in verbal and non-verbal ways. Suppose you do not want to interrupt the person. In that case, you can opt for gestures like nodding your head in comprehension, maintaining direct and continuous eye contact, choosing relevant facial gestures, putting up the right posture, etc. If you are seeking ideas on how to start a chat, this is adequately applicable. In the case of chats, the person is not in front of you; hence, use emoticons to express your attention. This is commonly considered one of the best chatting tips as it convinces the person in front to be more engaged. 

Participate actively: You can frequently ask back questions and add relevant information. Moreover, you can also share related experiences. 

Tip 7: Share Interesting Stories Or Facts

This is mostly applicable if you seek ways to start a conversation over text since you might not always have the advantages of surroundings and others to begin the chat. 

Benefits: Narrating interesting stories or facts can be great conversation starters. The shared information can prove to be a common interest. This can hence lead to engaging conversations. 

Keep it concise: When beginning the conversation do not beat around the bush. Rather share the incident at once and make it compact and concise. 

Example: As it is done totally over a mobile, you can start by stating a common incident like cricket matches, entertainment news, etc., based on the age and interest of the person in front. Once the conversation has begun, you can share funny or interesting stories. For instance, one of the common topics is cricket. Let us show you a conversation example for this. 

First – yesterday’s match was nerve-wracking! Don’t you think?

Second – Yes, indeed! (cricketer name)’s played amazing. Wish I could see him play live. 

First – I have, though, once! I had to wait for four hours before I could get into the stadium.

Second – Seriously? But why? …

Tip 8: Be Mindful Of Context And Audience

You must be very careful about what you say in front of your listeners. Usually, no one deliberately misspeaks. However, there are various situations where we might need to be careful. 

Adaptability: Along with knowing the tips on how to start a conversation, you also need to learn how to do it properly. You need to speak in relevance with the contemporary situation. 

Consider age, background and interest: You must first learn the person’s choices before beginning with a conversation. If that is not the case then start with very common topics like hobbies, goals, etc.

Example: Suppose, you are talking to someone your age about a recent song you love. Meanwhile, if an older adult sits nearby, you immediately need to change the tone or, if necessary, the topic. Either you disrupt the conversation and walk away or change the topic and engage him in the discussion. Several times, we do not pay heed and continue with our discussions, which are not correct, especially in a formal domain. 

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Tip 9: Embrace Moments Of Silence

Another artistic piece of advice to learn how to start a conversation is cherishing silences in communication. 

Value of pauses: Remember, pauses and gaps are not always meant to be fulfilled; sometimes, they can speak for them. There are multiple important pauses and silences in conversations. They can convey emotions and build deeper connections, reflect understanding, etc. 

Avoid filling silences: Do not try to fill them up with and rush the speaker. Getting interrupted by a filler is not appreciated. Rather, the speaker might be discouraged or become less engaged. The most you can do is nod your head in understanding.

Importance of silences: Silences can be for the listener to process the information provided. Moreover, it can also be used by the speaker to search for an appropriate word to depict the emotions accurately.

Tip 10: Practice And Learn From Experience

You might be unable to correctly follow and apply all the etiquette on the first day. However, once you have learned how to start a conversation, you can keep practicing them regularly until you improve. 

Importance of practice: Constantly practicing will help you to improve your communication skills. It will make you more confident and increase your smartness. 

Learning from success and failures: Additionally, try to learn from your mistakes and don’t be resistant to feedback. It is necessary to understand their point of view for a better conversation. 

Feedbacks: Striking a good conversation involves more than just techniques. Rather, it is about how the person in front perceives your behavior. Hence, receiving their comments and feedback constructively and with an open mind is very necessary for you to improve. 

Bonus Tip: Be Yourself And Have Fun

The most basic and primary tip to know how to start a conversation is never to pretend. Remember, you can only keep up with the pretense for a while; the day you are revealed, it will hamper your image. 

Authenticity in conversations: Do not try to align with someone’s interest to strike a conversation on common interest. Moreover, stating untrue facts to sound interesting is another pitfall. 

Unique personality: Let them know what’s unique about you and appreciate it. Learn to be authentic. Differences can also strike an engaging conversation.

Enjoy the process: You should engage in a conversation not only  to socialize but because you want to converse. You must enjoy connecting with others through their thoughts and interests. 

Conclusion

Initiating a conversation is more difficult than it seems since people need to break through the awkwardness first before approaching someone. If you are one of those, these tips on how to start a conversation might be helpful. 

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FAQs On How To Start A Conversation

Q1: Why do I need to know how to start a conversation?

Ans: Conversational skills will help you effectively deal with clients, employees, and the management staff

Q2: What are some formal conversation examples?

Ans: Some of the formal conversation starter examples are – “Are you speaking at the event?”, “Am I late?”, “How was your weekend?” etc. You can also start with a formal greeting, ask for an opinion, help, etc. 

Q3: What are the best ways to learn how to start a conversation?

Ans: You can either follow the given tips or enroll in communication skills training programs 

Q4: What are common conversation starters?

Ans: Enquire about family, friends, hobbies, plans, dreams, movies and TV shows, basic introduction, etc. 

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