Meeting people for the first time and keeping that conversation going can be a very daunting task, but it needn’t be the case. If you understand all about other people, how they like to communicate and what they like to talk about, then meeting people for the first time can be an enjoyable experience. Here’s how…

The problem with meeting new people or people who you do not know very well is that you tend to find that you put yourself under pressure to talk. What should I talk about? What shall I say? How will I fill this silence in the conversation?
You enter into these meetings and encounters with ‘ME‘ in your mind! You forget about communicating with the other person because you are too busy thinking of what to say! In fact you don’t end up communicating you just end up taking it in turns to talk.
The best conversationalists in this world are the best listeners. In fact, the person who says the least is often the best communicator yet you are there wracking your brains thinking of things to say all of the time.
When you become an expert listener is means that the other person is doing most of the talking. When you go into a situation where you are meeting someone for the first time go into that encounter with only one thing on your mind – ‘THEM‘. You must treat that person as they are the most important person in the world, because to them they are! To build up rapport and to engage in a conversation ask questions and be intrigued about the other person not yourself.
So, what do you talk to the other person about? Well, like I said before, you don’t! You let them do most of the talking and by doing this they will think that you walk on water and will in turn ask about you and that’s when YOU talk! So how do you engage the other person into talking? To do this it is important to understand what other people like to talk to about. Here is the top 5 in order: 
  1. Themselves
    People love to talk about themselves. It’s a fact and I bet you are not an exception to that rule either! Want to know how to build rapport with someone and to hold a conversation? Get them to talk about their favourite subject – themselves!

    What are YOU currently doing career wise?
    Tell me about this…..
    I hear YOU have been doing this……

    Ask questions to get them to talk about themselves and then ask some more questions…and then some more!

  2. Their own opinions
    Second only to talking about themselves, people love to air their opinions on anything and everything. Ask these questions as well and your new friend could be talking for hours!

    What do you think of the way Manchester United have played this year?
    What is your opinion on the strike?
    What do you think of that programme last night?

    However, whatever you do, don’t get into an argument if your opinions differ, unless of course you want to make a sharp exit!

  3. Other people
    People love to talk about other people. Some people call this gossip, others just call it talking about other people!

    What do you think of that person?
    Hasn’t that person got great interpersonal skills
    Isn’t that person a real laugh?

  4. Things
    Next on the pecking order is talking about things. No matter what it is, your friend will have an opinion on it.

    I love YOUR car, how long have YOU had it?
    What do YOU think of this widget?
    I love YOUR jacket, where did you get it from?

  5. You!
    It’s a horrible thing to say but the last thing people want to talk about is YOU! Keep the conversation centred around the other person until they ask about you and then it is your turn. To keep their full attention wait until they have finished talking about themselves and they have asked you a question. Then you can talk. When you do talk however, link it into what the other person has already said and you will really be making magical rapport.