I have been known with my group of friends for quite some time as the girl who will walk up and start a conversation with anyone.
And I tell you this, not to brag or anything, but it's just something that I've done for so long that I don't even realize that it's weird. But then other people tell me it's weird. It's like, “Oh, that's weird, Monica.”
But I have a certain skill set around this that I've developed over the years and I think it started, not really in high school cause I grew up in a smaller town where a lot of people know people…
But when I went to college, I joined a sorority and in recruitment they taught us like all these things and you had to meet new people and you had to instantly build rapport with them.
And while that's an environment that that's expected, it's sort of bled into other things in my life.
Part I – So, I wanted to give you ‘How To Start a Conversation‘, the steps that I use.
I thought about it and I broke it down how I did it and also some tips for like if you're really nervous. To me, I get sweaty and I'm like, “Okay, can I do this?” But those are usually the best people to meet.
So I wanted to give you some tips on how to do that…
#1 – Tell Your Brain, You're NOT Nervous
I learned this from Mel Robbins who wrote the book the ‘Five Second Rule', which I just finished on audio book. It is amazing if you haven't read it. I was like, how do you really create a whole book around this? But she did.
And it's got so many insights and this was one of them that was in the book that's not like in her Ted Talks and stuff and at least none of the ones I've seen.
But it is that when you're nervous, you've got that energy. But the thing is that your brain assigns that energy a label. And that label is either nervousness or guess what? You can choose a different label.
Here's the fun part…
So when you're nervous about it and you're like, “I got to breathe, I can't do this.” I want you to take that energy and tell your brain “You're not nervous. You're excited” because it's the same energy.
That energy gets to be whatever you want it to be. So just tell your brain, “Hey, your body is in this state because I'm excited to meet this person. “
Now it takes a little bit of practice and you might not get it right the first time, but try it.
When your body is like freaking out or doing something that you don't want it to do, tell your brain, “Hey, brain, this energy, this is excited energy, not nervous energy or anything like that.”
So that's step one is to take your energy and shift it in your brain from something bad to something good, right? Go from nervous to excited. Okay? That's step one.
#2 – Think About a Good Opening Line
Now, I'm not talking about hitting on anyone, although you can definitely use those. And, I mean I've used it back before I was married. And I have one that worked every time, by the way. If you want me to tell you that one, I will.
So I'll get to that. But look at the person that you want to talk to you and if there's something that they're wearing or something unique about them, that is something that they chose. This is really important.
I want you to compliment that thing, but it needs to be something that they chose.
Don't compliment them on something like how tall they are, They didn't choose that. That is something that is in their genes.
If it's a woman and she's wearing this really cool pair of earrings that looks like they're handmade, that is a great thing to compliment her on it. And you can walk up and just be like, “Oh my goodness, those earrings, they look handmade. Did you make those?“
Which is not really a compliment, but it is because you're saying, ‘did you make those' means, ‘Are you that talented', A and B, it gives that person the ability to start a story.
So that's really a fun opening. If they're wearing something unique or if they're wearing something that you have something in common with…
Like, anytime I see anybody in a Tennessee Titans tee shirt, I'm like “Go Titans!” And then I can be like, “What part of Tennessee are you from?” Or “Why are you a Titans fan?” So that's something that they're wearing. You can use that as a conversation opener.
Also, I've used this one to meet Kurt Warner, who if you're not a football fan, then you probably don't know who he is. But, I was a Saint Louis Rams fan for a really long time and Kurt Warner is like an amazing quarterback. Amazing! Like crazy amazing!
And he led the team to so many great victories and I was a huge fan of him in that aspect, but he also spends a lot of his money supporting this camp. The summer camp for children with disabilities is called Camp Barnabas and my sister goes to it.
So, you may not know, my sister has down syndrome. My sister goes to this camp and I knew that Kurt was a huge supporter. So I'm inline at LAX, which an airport in Los Angeles. I'm inline behind Kurt Warner and his stunningly gorgeous wife; by the way, the camera does not do her justice, but I'm literally right behind them.
I was nervous and I'm fan girling. I don't fangirl a lot. So, I just tap him on the shoulder. And I was like, “Hey, I'm Monica. -so by the way, if you could introduce yourself to somebody like that, say your name first, it's not totally creepy. – And I just said, “I really want to thank you for how much support that you give to Camp Barnabas. My little sister goes there every year, she loves it. I also donate money to them and I've been a huge fan of yours for a long time and like I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to thank you.”
And it led to this beautiful conversation between him and his wife and I. And then we all went and sat on the airplane together.
I flew a lot so I would get upgraded to first class all the time. And so I just had this amazing conversation with Kurt Warner and his wife all because I used a compliment to introduce myself.
So that's a really good way to introduce somebody or to meet somebody.
#3 – Ask Them For A Favor
The other thing you can do, and this is if you are a female… actually, it should probably worked for the men too, to like meet the opposite sex if you'll hit on somebody even if it's not the opposite sex is to ask them for a favor.
So I use this all the time. I'm like, “Hi, excuse me, you look like you'd be a really great photographer. Do you mind taking a picture for us?” And then you hand the person your phone.” It's so easy. And you can also say your name with this one too.
That's one of my easiest opening statements.
So when you're preparing to meet somebody that you're nervous about, I want you to think about your opening, what are you going to say to this person? How are you going to have an end? And, asking for help or complimenting them on something they're wearing or saying thank you for something that they've done. Any of those things.
#4 – You Can Also Use the Environment Around You
Try to be a little bit more unique than, “Oh, this is a fun party.” Think of something like, “Oh my goodness, can you believe that they brought in 16 disco balls for this party?”
Just look around and see what you can take and make unique so that you stand out when you say hello.
Part II – Then I want you to think about ‘How You're Gonna Keep This Conversation' Going'.
So you've introduced yourself and that's why I tried to give you conversation starters because a lot of times you feel like, “Hi, I'm Monica, I just want to introduce myself.” What do you say now? What's next?
If you use one of those other openings that it's generally good to start a conversation and keep it going.
Now when the conversation kind of lulls, you can either gracefully exit or you can continue with sort of a fun question.
So for example, as I was at the airport with Kurt Warner and I was like, “Where are you guys headed?” Which was kind of a silly question because we were going on the same plane.
But then I was like, and I remember saying, “Oh, that was a silly question. Obviously you're going to Saint Louis.” I was like, “You guys going back home? What were you doing in Los Angeles?”
So even if you stumble, you can flip back around to something better. Just think about the next step of the conversation and have a few fun things in your bag of tricks, like the things that you want to talk about.
And I would say like skip over the weather. Skip over the boring stuff and go straight to something a little bit more meaningful.
And if you want those tips and tricks, send me a message and I will tell you my favorite conversation continuer's.
So you're ready, right? You've prepared your nerves, you have taken them and shifted them.
You've thought about what you're going to say when you open to this person. You have an idea of how you think you can keep the conversation going…
Part III – And now it is time to ‘Take The Action'.
So I'm going to give you the other Mel Robbins current step because I normally just took a deep breath and did it, but she actually has this great thing which is the Five Second Rule.
And you just say five… four… three… two… one and physically move.
So I want you to do that to go talk to the person. So five, four, three, two, one physically move towards the person, smile, approach them, interrupt their conversation, whatever it is, and give your opening.
So that is how you can have a conversation with anyone, even if you're sweating just talking about it.
So to recap…
🗯 Prepare your nerves, shift that energy into positive energy.
🗯 Prepare your opening.
🗯 Then think of an idea of how to keep the conversation going.
🗯 Gather your courage and then head on out and do it.
So if you want more conversation tips, like how to keep the conversation going, how to exit properly, or if there's a specific like, “Hey Monica, this situation, what would I do in that?”
I want you to ask me, I want you to hit me up in a private message, and just let me know your situation and let me know where you stumble in this.
And I will give you personalized tips to help you because I want you to be able to talk to anyone because it's really key for your business.
If you can have a conversation with anyone, think about all those people out there that could use your help and if you could just talk to them, you'd be able to help them.
So again, you've got the tips, write them down, use them, put them to action, let me know. And then also if you want additional tips, send me a message and I will be happy, happy to help you. All right, have a great day.