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7 Ways to make a conversation with anyone

The process you must follow

By Ugochukwu victorPublished about a month ago 3 min read
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7 Ways to make a conversation with anyone
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Hello, everyone. Let me begin with a question: How many of you were familiar with the person next to you before today? Interesting. Now, do you remember your first conversation with them? Conversations are like links. Imagine each conversation as a tiny metal link. Every time you talk to someone new, you create a link. With every subsequent conversation, that link strengthens. Daily, we encounter many strangers: the grocery clerk, the cab driver, the receptionist at a new office. Each conversation we have with them builds new links, creating a vast World Wide Web of conversations. Conversations are powerful; they can start wars or bring peace and shape our identity as humans.

Think about this: everyone you know was once a stranger. You knew nothing about them until that first conversation. So, I'm here to encourage you to talk to strangers and show you how. Here are seven ways to start a conversation with almost anyone. As a radio presenter, I love talking to people. Every morning, I speak to 1.6 million people I can’t see. My biggest challenge is time—20 minutes in a four-hour show to make listeners feel connected, informed, excited, and happy. How do I do it? How do I talk to strangers? Here’s what I’ve learned in nine years of radio.

Strangers are everywhere, and we've been told not to talk to them. But I believe every stranger presents an opportunity to learn something new, gain a new experience, or hear a unique story. We've all had that moment where we see someone we want to talk to, but the first word gets stuck. My advice: just say it. What’s the worst that can happen? The first word acts as a floodgate, and once it's out, everything else flows. Keep it simple with a "Hi," "Hey," or "Hello." Now, turn to someone next to you, stick out your hand, and say hello.

We face time constraints every day. We might waste 45 seconds on small talk. Instead, skip the small talk and ask personal questions. People are often willing to share if you ask. Questions like, "Interesting name, is there a story behind it?" or "How long have you lived here?" elicit unique, personal responses. My favorite is, "Where are you from?" Every time I sit in a cab, I ask this. I once asked a 60-year-old Pakistani cab driver, and we talked about his life in Peshawar. He even proposed I marry his son by the end of the ride. The point is, what starts with a "Hello" can lead to unexpected outcomes.

Find the "me too"s. When you meet someone, find something in common. It makes the conversation easier and creates a connection. It could be anything: being in the same place, liking the same season, or sharing a hobby. Pay a unique compliment. People may forget what you say or do, but not how you make them feel. Avoid generic compliments like "nice" or "awesome." Instead, be specific and genuine. For example, "I love how your entire face lights up when you smile."

Ask for an opinion. Everyone has opinions and wants them validated. This opens a two-way street of communication. Ask simple, non-intimidating questions like, "How do you like your coffee?" or "What did you think of the last movie you watched?" Listen to their answers—not to reply, but to understand.

Be present. When someone is talking to you, be there wholeheartedly. Make eye contact. Eye contact creates a connection and makes the conversation more engaging. Remember the little details about people—their names, places they like, their pets' names. This makes them feel important and valued.

There you go: seven ways to start a conversation and seven reasons to use the upcoming break to talk to a stranger. A conversation is like reading a book; you can choose any page or chapter and read as long as you like. Every person is a fascinating story. Don’t reduce human interactions to brief, catchy snippets. We are full stories, not summaries. So, in this big world we call a library, are you going to just read the titles or open a book and read the story? You decide. Thank you.

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About the Creator

Ugochukwu victor

Passionate about changing the world and empowering others to create wealth. Firm believer in the power of belief. Let's work together to make a difference and inspire others to believe in their dreams too."

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