Try This Sixty Second Social Skills Challenge!

Posted by Marcus Oakey

If you’re on a personal mission to upgrade your conversational skills then you must try the sixty-second social skills challenge! It will transform you into someone who is someone who is one of a kind!

While you’re busy putting in the mental work to scoop up charisma tips and learning how to improve your social skills, almost everyone else is relaxing, watching television and silently accepting their fate as a shy, introvert.

This makes you unique and puts you in the company of a small minority of individuals who are set on improving their lives. Welcome to the club!

To keep you elevated amongst the highest achievers, I’d like to share a fun exercise that will make you more likable, minimise anxiety when approaching new people and accelerate your journey to social freedom.

As you probably know, I wasn’t born with charisma. I was very shy and socially paralysed by fear of rejection. However, the challenge I’m about to share enabled me to push through my social boundaries and become much comfortable meeting new people.

Here is the challenge I’d recommend that you also try:

‘Approach and talk to at least one new person a day. Aim to hold your conversation for at least sixty seconds.’

That’s right! Find someone – a stranger– and start talking. See what comes out of your megamouth.

These conversations don’t have to be the most amazing or memorable experiences. They can be clunky and disjointed. You can mispronounce words, make dull remarks or tell bad jokes.

Seriously, that’s fine.

An ounce of action is worth a tonne of theory. We often put huge amounts of pressure on ourselves to have incredible conversations but the stress from that can stop us having the interaction altogether.

Seven Tips To Help You Beat The Sixty Second Social Skills Challenge

I want you to take on this challenge and win. Here’s some advice to help you:

  1. Realise that by approaching a stranger you’re already a social superstar and one step ahead of every other person else who did nothing. The phenomenal conversations will come with gradual practice.
  2. To really see the benefits of this exercise it’s important that you practice every day. Small, consistent improvements quickly add up. to long-term transformations
  3. It’s almost guaranteed that you will never feel like it is the right time to step up and start talking. Do it anyway: great conversations rarely start out pretty.
  4. If you’re stuck for places to practice your social skills challenge, head to a safe community space. A local mall or grocery store will have constant foot traffic. If you have trouble finding new people to meet then get inventive! For instance, try using Chat Roulette!
  5. Most conversations fizzle out before they reach the ‘sixty-second’ barrier. Once this limit has been broken the other person is likely to rationalise that they feel comfortable in your presence and open up.
  6. If you find sixty seconds a tough goal to reach, lower the bar a little. Target thirty seconds, or even focus on breaking the ice with a greeting. Over time, add a few seconds here and there.
  7. Part of the joy of talking to strangers is that you have no idea who you’re going to meet or what conversation you’re going to have. It’s this level of spontaneity and risk-taking that improves your social skills, fast.

My Attempt Sixty Seconds Social Skill Challenge

When I tried the challenge (see video) I approached a gentleman who did not have the best English skills. This made for a testing conversation but it was a useful example for showing how a little patience, persistence, and positivity can pay off.

Initially, he tried to brush off my approach by telling me he didn’t speak my language. You can see by the end he is fully invested in the conversation and I have to put a little effort in to get away!

There were many times during our interaction that where I’m not completely sure what he’s saying but I stuck to my task of remaining conversational for sixty seconds. To begin I asked questions that would encourage him to talk and made statements about what he said.

Once he felt a little more comfortable our conversation moved onto the topic of language and he starts to invest his time and energy into the proceedings more readily.

We had a slightly disjointed conversation, but these experiences are valuable. A conversation gives you a platform to test yourself and refine your skills. By working through your difficulties you will grow and be able to handle them better with practice.

Always end the conversation in a positive way. I personally like “It was a pleasure to meet you” and if you’ve really connected I like “Thank you for stepping into my life, until the next time!”

Top tip: language is a great subject to discuss with new people from different countries. If you get lost for word just ask them how to say something in their language. You can also ask them how to say something funny in their language to really build rapport – after all, you’re speaking their language and having fun!

To summarise your social skills challenge: Hold at least sixty seconds of new conversation with a stranger. Do this for a month and see what happens to your social skills. Better yet, tell me about your experience below in the comments section!