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The main purpose of a conversation is to interest the interlocutor, so it is better to start with a question. Expressing an opinion works better than just stating a fact. When you say that the bus is late today or how wonderful the weather is, you do not interest another person.
Your statement should contain something that the interlocutor will necessarily agree with since the fact is obvious. Expressing his or her opinion, a person immediately takes an interest in continuation. The statement you formulate must contain some kind of information, and the question that follows will serve as an incentive to dive into the conversation.
About the Situation
Talking about the situation in which you and your partner are now is the best and easiest way to start. Such a topic does not provoke anxiety, like, for example, the story about the interlocutor, and interests much more than the story about yourself.
To start, look around and find something surprising that will surely interest your potential interlocutor and what he or she will gladly talk about. After you have asked a question or expressed your opinion, listen carefully to the answer. Remember that it is better to say something than to remain silent. You can draw an analogy with a college essay: it is better to write something than to submit an empty sheet of paper to your professor.
About the Interlocutor
Most people like to discuss themselves, so they tend to be happy to answer such a question. Before getting into a similar conversation, you need to observe what your interlocutor is doing, how he or she is dressed, what he or she is talking about, what he or she is reading. It is necessary to find a topic that will be of interest to him or her.
Of course, you can try to find it at random, but it can play a low-down trick. If you choose an incorrect topic, then a person can simply refuse to talk to you, and all your subsequent attempts will be in vain. This is the so-called psychological barrier, when a person no longer wants to give you a second chance because you have spoiled such important first impression.
Outdoors: "It looks like you are lost, can I help you?"
After the seminar: "You made a very interesting observation, tell me why you think that solar energy will not be used for a long time?"
During the run: "What sneakers do you have? Why did you choose exactly these ones?"
A good start is some kind of a phrase pleasant for the interlocutor, a little admiration or just a compliment.
If you talk about yourself, especially with incommunicative people, then such conversation has a little chance of continuation. People like talking about themselves much more than about you. Never talk about yourself until you are asked. If the interlocutor does not ask you about your family, profession, interests or property, then it does not interest him or her. If you still decide to begin with the information about yourself, then first give some facts to the interlocutor: "I am a student of this faculty, I study this and this. And what do you do?" The beginning of conversation plays an important role, so you cannot grudge the time to think hard and carefully choose the words to be said.
Ways to Keep a Conversation Going
It is easy if you learn how to extract free information. At the same time, there are many ways of correct communication that will help you achieve all your goals and make a positive impression. By listening attentively, you can easily extract free information that people give out completely unconsciously, and then you can turn the conversation into the right direction.
Therefore, it makes sense to focus on such extraction because it can be very useful. In addition, this is a good way to change the topic without worrying about whether or not you can return to the old one. Only very few topics can effectively keep the attention of interlocutors for more than a few minutes.
To extract information, you can make statements or ask additional questions. For this purpose open-ended questions will be the best choice. To get free information that you missed earlier, you can return to an interesting topic. "You mentioned that you were in Turkey last summer. Why did you go exactly there?" Free information can contain information about clothing, behavior, residence, and character traits of the interlocutor. All this can serve as a starting point for continuation.
It is easier to communicate with people giving similar monosyllabic answers to open questions with the help of "bridges" that make them keep talking. A similar "bridge" can be the words "I am sorry?", "For example?", "And you?", and so on. After uttering such a "bridge", it is necessary to remain silent.
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Let us consider the same conversation in which the leader uses this technique to force the interlocutor to say more.
A nod is a movement used in most countries to agree upon something. It comes from the bow of the head. This way you tell the interlocutor: "I bow down before you, I obey you, I will do as you want." A short nod is, in fact, a shortened form of a bow before the interlocutor.
There are two main ways to apply the nod technique. If I have positive feelings or I am willing to confirm the words of the interlocutor, my head unconsciously begins to nod along with the words. Conversely, if I am neutral, but deliberately begin to nod, I involuntarily begin to experience positive feelings.
In other words, positive feelings make you nod. And vice versa, when you nod, your feelings change to the positive ones. The second area of application of the nod technique is the maintenance of conversation.
Here is how to do it. After you have asked an open question or used a "bridge", and the other person has started answering you, nod while listening to the answer.
However, it is also important to keep the necessary balance. If you constantly shake your head, it can anger your interlocutor, cause irritation, or even aggression. Therefore, this should be a moderate action, which is relevant in this particular situation.
Ability to Listen
Your listening skills are certainly important because any interlocutor is more interested in himself or herself than in you. And they prefer to hear what they say themselves and only expect benevolent perception from the interlocutor. Therefore, in order to gain full confidence, it is necessary to make it look like you are extremely attentive to the interlocutor. Everyone wants to be listened to because it creates a sense of self-worth.
We have tried to reveal only a small part of the vast topic of communication, which dozens of hundreds of books tell about. Nevertheless, in order to correctly build your communication strategy or to master oratory, not only do you need to read some of these books but also to practice constantly. Without practice every theory loses its meaning.