Today my friend Pete from Beard Strokings is going to teach you exactly what to say for the first 60 seconds of conversation in any situation.
When Pete first e-mailed me, he immediately stood out. He related to me about his old days playing Counter-Strike, talked about how he loved my message of better human connections, and shared how inspired he was to write about the same subjects of bringing people together.
We jumped on a video call and two things were apparent: he genuinely wanted to know who I was and could hold engaging conversation almost effortlessly. I could tell that he was someone who had put himself out there in the past and gotten tons of real-world social experience.
He had recorded YouTube videos asking people all sorts of social experiment questions. He had spent years pushing himself to talk to strangers. And he even created a card game to help people get out there and start talking to new people.
Then I read his content. He was incredibly thorough and you could tell he was calling on his own experiences to provide legitimate advice. A lot of people “talk the talk” in social skills but few people have actually taken the journey themselves. For that, I have immense respect for Pete and the work he does.
There’s a person standing in front of you. Gazing into your eyes. Expecting you to say something.
You expect yourself to say something in reply, and your eyes grow a little wider as you start to realise that nothing’s coming.
Are you imagining it…or do you also see fear in their eyes? The silence has stretched too far to be comfortable and you’re desperate to break it.
You blurt out a sentence that’s barely relevant to what you were talking about. You even trip over the words as you say them.
“Did that make sense or did I make this more awkward than it already was?” — your internal dialogue.
The person responds. It’s a normal response. Thank God.
You’re out of danger for now, and your conversation has a starting ground.
If the above is your method for finding a starting ground, it’s not a very good one.
It works some of the time, sure. But it’s unreliable.
The starting ground of a conversation can be whatever you want it to be. You’re only struggling to find it because you haven’t decided where you want the conversation to go yet.
It’s like you’re driving a car with a steering wheel that won’t stop spinning around, and it’s not one of Google’s self-driving cars, either. It’s a regular old hand-driven sedan.
How do you honestly expect to reliably gain momentum in your conversations when you have no control over where you’re going?
I think it’s time you installed a new steering wheel, my friend.