Imagine you’re at a dinner party. Someone comes up to you and says “hello.” You make a little bit of small talk. And then there’s that awkward pause.
You don’t know what to say next. It’s like someone hit the pause button your mind. Admit it, it’s happened to you, hasn’t it? Well, it’s time we make sure that never happens again. Ever.
Here are 10 life hacks that will help you become a better conversationalist and make you the life of the party:
1. The recall method
This is a really effective technique used by comedians all the time. It’s called “The recall method.” If you can pull this off, chances are that it’ll make the conversation really memorable. The next time you’re chatting with someone (or a group of people) and a funny moment happens (which almost always happens, trust me), remember exactly what was talked about.
Then, later on in the conversation, if it fits the context of what’s being talked about, bring up that exact same moment that everyone had laughed about earlier. You’ll be immediately be perceived as being clever and witty for doing this. It also shows that you were listening carefully to what was being talked about earlier.
2. Bring up memories immediately
How many times have you had a conversation start off with, “Hey, how are you doing?” This happens almost every single time I run into someone. It’s as boring as it gets because the answer you usually get is “I’m good.” Instead of doing that, talk about a great memory that you had experienced with that person.
For example, “Hey, remember that time when we all went out in Barcelona and ended up singing “Shake It Off” at that dueling piano bar? That was so funny!” I can almost guarantee you’ll get a better reaction. Try to bring up a funny or heartfelt memory. It can make a huge difference and will get the person to open up to you.
3. Buddy up
Sometimes you can’t do it alone and that’s okay. Maybe you’re tired. Maybe you’re feeling introverted today. For a lot of us, it’s really hard being charismatic, funny, witty and sharp all the time when you talk to people.
One great way around this is to pair up with a good friend who’s really outgoing. Buddy up with someone and approach people in pairs. This way you have someone there that you can always lean on in case the new conversation doesn’t flow that well. It also gives you different dynamics in the conversation to play off of.
4. Be intensely curious
Have a genuine passion and curiosity to learn from others. One of the best ways to get them to open up about themselves is to ask them questions.
Make sure you listen carefully to them during the conversation and ask relevant questions. Do not ask questions for the sake of asking questions, though. Make sure it’s thoughtful and genuine.
5. Live an interesting life
Start by living the awesome life you’ve always dream of. Once you do that, you’ll have countless stories to tell other people.
Take modern dancing classes. Try that new Soul Cycle class you’ve always wanted to check out. Travel to Barcelona like you always planned to. Write the book you’ve been dreaming of. Start the business you’ve been thinking about.
6. Be authentic
Life’s too short to be someone you’re not.
Be comfortable in being the unique, wacky person that you are. I mean that in the best possible way. Those that truly belong in your life are the ones that will love you for exactly who you are.
7. Remember people’s names
One of the easiest ways to show that you care about someone is to remember their name. People respond much better if you show them that you remember who they are.
One easy way to do this is to repeat their name right after they tell you. Or you can do word association. For example, for me personally, I’ll try to think of a celebrity with the same first name to help me remember it.
One way to make other people feel more comfortable in conversation is to mimic their style and energy. This is known as mirroring.
For example, if someone is a very high energy person, you have to elevate your energy levels to match theirs. I’ve tested this quite a bit and it does work really well.
People hardly remember data points, but they do remember great stories. One of the best ways to have a great conversation is to make sure you have a couple of amazing stories that you can tell perfectly.
One of the best ways to have a great conversation is to make sure you have a couple of amazing stories that you can tell perfectly. The way you tell it is important. You have to make it sound amazing.
10. Awesome introductions
When you introduce someone, don’t just introduce them by name. Tell a story about them and praise them for their accomplishments and achievements. People will really appreciate this and it creates a natural flow to a longer conversation.