Whether you want to start a conversation with a new guy or girl, or you want to get a meeting off to a great start, this simple trick will make your conversations fun and playful, so you make a powerful first impression, every time.
However, if you’re one of those people who struggles to find something cute, cheesy, witty or funny to say then you’re not alone. A good line is a mix of spontaneity, observation, and drama and it takes a little risk on your part to guarantee that you’ll throw these ingredients into the mix and deliver a nuclear-powered icebreaker.
Boring People Avoid Risk
Rather than look silly, awkward conversationalists take the safer option of saying something generic or predictable. Well trodden phrases like, “Oh my, you have nice hair” or “Lovely weather we’re having, isn’t it” are better than nothing but they will often fumble a conversation into awkwardness.
On the flip side, saying an unexpected, witty quip or question will create an exciting first impression, making the conversation interesting and more likely to develop in a playful and natural way.
So how do we develop a sharp wit and make our conversations fun?
Simple, by taking action! Visit your nearest book shop and take note of all the bored looking people, begging for a hint of fun to enter their day (hint: this is where you come in!).
Walk Before You Run
Take a seat with a notepad and pen and begin to jot down some witty things you could hypothetically say to the people about milling near you. The trick here is to look for observations that make you smile, not clever lines that you hope will create a reaction in someone else.
At first, don’t be surprised if you think of nothing. I can almost guarantee that your mind will be a vast soup of simmering emptiness.
Don’t worry! This is normal; be patient. You’re not a professional sitcom writer and most people give up at this point. Well, buddy, that isn’t going to be you!
This will take a while the first time. On the surface, people aren’t very interesting. Minutes may pass, toilet breaks might come and go and hours spent observing is training reserved for warriors.
Eventually, you will notice something that stands out about someone. Perhaps they appear caught between buying two different books or have a spring in their step as they look around, or maybe they look like their carrying far too many books in their hands.
You’re looking for observations that make you feel a little warm, tingly feeling of positive emotion, no matter how small. Write these observations that fit this criterion on your pad until you have a small list.
However, when you feel the time is right (it’s never truly the right time!) try them out. Take an observation from your notepad, walk up and share it with someone.
“Hey, you look like you’re holding lots of books. Are you a juggler?”
“Such a spring in your step! Is the bookshop your favourite place by any chance?”
“Excuse me…am I wrong in thinking you are trying to decide what book to purchase? Buy all of them!”
At this stage, you may want to repeat this exercise over the course of a few days before walking up and opening your mouth, which is fine.
However, it really doesn’t matter if somebody smiles, laughs or plain doesn’t get it. An opening line does not mean you’re committed to a full blown conversation and you can very easily smile and walk away.
Expressing Yourself Always Beats Trying To Impress Others
Focus on creating a great expression, rather than a great impression. Here are three examples of some witty ideas that I developed from my last visit to a book shop:
Ask someone if they are judging all the books by their covers
Reading a book upside down and tell someone you can’t understand it
Hold a dictionary and ask the person next to you if you should buy it or wait for the movie
Now it’s your turn! Get out of your house, head to a bookstore and use the lessons taught here.
Remember, the whole point of this exercise is to sharpen your wit and to make your conversations fun and playful – not for whimsical reactions. Wit isn’t measured by the laughter you receive but by how much you laugh. With that in mind, make sure you’re sharing observations that make you happy.