Sometimes it’s hard to get past the beginning of a conversation. You’ve approached her, given her a nice, sincere compliment or introduced yourself. But then what?
How do you get past the polite introductions and on to a conversation that might lead to a date, or at least making a new friend?
The key to moving your conversation past hello is to get her to talk. Think about the five Ws, which are: Who, What, When, Where and Why. There’s also an H – How. Start by asking her questions – not as if you’re grilling her, but in a sincerely interested and casual way.
Everyone likes to be asked about themselves, their life and their interests. When done correctly, one question will lead to another and then another and then a full-fledged conversation develops.
You can start out with the five Ws (and one H). Here are some examples of how to use them:
Who: At a wedding, you might ask a woman, “Whose side are you sitting on? How do you know him/her?”
What: “Hi, what breed is your puppy? Are you finding her to be pretty calm at home?”
When: When did you go to China? What did you find most interesting about your visit there?
Where: Where’s your favorite place to hike? Would you say the trails there are easy, moderate, or strenuous?
Why: Why did you choose to join this class?
How: Can you show me how I insert a table into my Word document? This gives you a chance to talk to her while she’s showing you what to do.
It’s best to form questions so that they can’t be answered with a yes or a no or a short few words, or at least come up with question that will lead to more talk. When you form a question that requires a more involved answer, you’re going to have a much better chance of starting a real conversation.
The key to taking a conversation beyond hello is to get past the almost inevitable silence that follows the initial introduction. The introduction can be followed up by a compliment and a question (“I loved your speech on the impact of wind power on global energy. Where did you learn about that?”).
Or, you can follow the introduction with a simple question that will hopefully start a conversation (“When did you join the book club?”). However you choose to do it, you’ll get good results if you ask her something about herself and her hobbies, and then show a sincere interest in her answers. A conversation will develop naturally after that.