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How to Start a Conversation

Learn how to start a conversation from manners expert Faye de Muyshondt in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Hi. I'm Faye de Muyshondt here with you today from Social Skills to teach you how to start a conversation. In so many cases we never learn how to start a conversation, and there's an art to it. It's funny. We learn so many things in our lives, how to drive a car, how to do math problems. We learn about science. We learn about Language Arts. But we never talk about how to start a conversation, and it's one of the most important things that you need socially to be able to do.

In terms of starting a conversation, you always should be sure that you have things to talk about, and we all have things to talk about. You might think that you have nothing to talk about, but I can promise you you have plenty of things to talk about. Starting a conversation is all about asking a question to initiate the conversation. So you should always have things at your fingertips that you can ask anyone. Simple questions to ask anyone are, "How are you?" "How is your day going?" "How are things?" If you know the person, you can ask more specific questions. But after you make that initial introduction, have questions ready to ask someone.

And in terms of starting conversations, you also want to make sure that you have things to offer up in terms of your responses. So if someone were to ask you a question, "How's your day going?" Rather than just saying "It's fine," or "Good," move beyond the one-word responses. Have things to say and to share. Let's face it. That's what a conversation is all about. It's about an exchange of information, communicating with one another.

So rather than my saying, "My day is going well," I might say, "My day is going really well. I started out in Central Park with my dog on a nice long walk. And I went home, dropped my baby off, got myself ready for the office, and I've had a really terrific day at work. We did a shoot today." So my whole example here is to show you that I'm giving more information, more information to let you know a little bit more about me. Those are the most important aspects to starting a conversation, and yes, keeping one going.

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