By John Sonmez December 1, 2016

3 Tips On How To Start A Conversation Easily

Have you ever had the problem of starting a conversation? Most people have this problem. They want so badly to start a conversation with someone but you simply can't think of anything to say.

What should you talk about? Food? Trump winning the USA presidency? Weather? The possibilities are endless but still you can't seem to find anything good to talk.

What should you do in a situation like this?

While there is no magic formula for this, there are some techniques you can start implementing that will help you start a conversation easily with anyone, especially girls, if this is what you really want.

So, wanna know more about starting a conversation with anyone? Watch this video and find out!

Transcript Of The Video

John Sonmez: Hey, what’s up, John Sonmez from simpleprogrammer.com. I got a question for those of you that are interested in developing your social skills here. This is fairly unique. I’ve done some videos on topics like how to build your confidence. You can check it out there. How to overcome social anxiety which is like going up and talking to people and being okay in a social situation which you could check out here. But what I’m going to talk about today is what to talk about because I think that’s really what the person asking this question is asking, he said how to improve my social skills. I guess this is part of your social skills.

He says here, “Mr. John, hey Mr. John.” Mr. John, this is Josh by the way. He says, “So, I do think that I’m self confident about myself. I don’t have trouble talking to people, but I’ve got nothing to talk about and then it becomes awkward and I leave :P. Like I can get in front of a group of girls and do stupid things and wouldn’t be embarrassed, but I can’t keep a conversation going. What do I talk about? Weather? Food? I don’t know… I need your help :D.”

I would question the self confidence thing if you’re doing stupid things in front of girls. That’s actually showing a lack of self confidence, but we’re not going to discuss that. You might want to just evaluate that though and think about like if you’re—if you think you’re self confident by yourself and you’re trying to do silly things to gain attention, you might not be. You just might have a high threshold for embarrassment. We’re talking about what to talk about.

I’ve heard some really good advice on this. There’s a couple of things here first of all. I’ll give you 2 kind of sources of some advice. The first one is a book by Dale Carnegie that I recommend all the time which is called How To Win Friends & Influence People. You can check that here. If you’ve ever read that book and you’re watching this channel, seriously, go get that book. Are you crazy? How many times have I plugged this book? It’s a really good book. One of the best books I read. I read this book twice a year, minimum. Twice a year minimum and I always still learn something new from it.

One of the things he talks about is the best way to get someone interested in you is to be genuinely interested in them. If you get into conversation and you don’t know what to talk about and you don’t want to talk about food and the weather and politics, ask a person about themselves. The subject that all people love to talk about and that you could talk about forever, in fact, he has some stories in that book where he was called a great conversationalist by someone who just talked about themselves the whole time and he just asked questions. So start asking questions about a person. Pay attention to what they’re saying and then ask deeper questions. Think about—you don’t have to grill them like you’re interviewing them, but if you give someone the opportunity to talk about themselves they’re going to do that in a normal social situation, in one where you’re not in a social competition situation. So if you’re just going, you’re talking to someone and you just want to make small talk and make conversation and build friendships just ask them questions about themselves, let them talk about themselves, be interested in them, genuinely interested in them and there’ll be plenty to talk about. You won’t even have to talk. I promise you.

Now, that’s one strategy. It’s not going to work in the situation where you have high pressure social situations like talking to girls, especially like a bar or a club or something like that or there’s social competition. Things like that you’re going to need to do the talking because you go up to—I mean let’s just be honest here. You go up to a girl at a bar and you say, “Hi” and she says, “Hi.” You say, “So, what’s your name?” She says, “Get lost.” “My name is no.” That’s not going to work. Even if she tells you your name and then you ask—so many of you have probably been in this situation you ask her like, “Oh, so where are you from?” She says, “From here” and she turns away. It’s just not going to happen. It’s not the right environment. There are situations where that approach isn’t going to work. You’re going to have to demonstrate your own value.

In that case, what you need to do is you need to have a bunch of canned stories that you have. There’s a few sources of this that I thought were really good. There’s someone I’ve mentioned before that I follow because he’s just a brilliant person, really good blogger. His name is Tynan. You can check out his blog here. I think I’ve mentioned it a few times, but you can check out his stuff. I think he wrote a book on I want to say—did he write a—I’m not sure if he wrote it in his book or if I picked this up from Neil Strauss’ popular book The Game which you can check out here. It’s not a book that I necessarily highly recommend but it’s worth reading especially if you’re a single guy and you want to understand some of the dynamics of the game. It’s worth knowing. You should at least know this information whether you want to follow or not.

Anyway, regardless, one of those 2 sources talks about this idea. In fact, Tynan talks about it a lot, I’m sure. He’s got a couple of books out there. I think I’ve recommended one of his books called Superhuman by Habit but I think he has another book about social skills. I can’t quite remember—or about building friendships and a circle, I don’t know. Look at the Superhuman by Habit book and then you’ll probably find a link to it on Amazon.

Anyway, he talks about this idea and a lot of people that are in that kind of circle talk about this idea of having canned stories. This is just a good idea to have in general. Again, it doesn’t have to be just in this situation of pick up or anything like that, it can be just in general, like I said. If you have some canned stories that are interesting, this is a good idea.

Think about interesting stories of things that have happened in your life. A good example of this is I have one that I use quite often. If you’ve seen the Draw My Life video that I did, at the end of it I did this story about how I met Blink 182 and took them to the movies to see American Pie. That’s a great story, right? I’ve got that story and I can talk about flipping burgers with Ice-T and all this stuff and some of you are interested right now and you’re like, “Oh, yeah, tell me that story.” I’m not gonna tell you now, you can watch that video, but I’ve got a few of those. I’ve got a few different stories that I can just tell because I’ve told them so many times. You’ll even see when I do these videos that there are stories that come up that I’ve talked about multiple times. Have 5, 10 of these stories, add more to these stories and then you’ll always have something to talk about.

One thing to study also, I think Tynan’s book talks about how to craft a good story and what to put into it, a lot of emotion, leaving out so many details, having a hook, there’s a lot of ways, become a good story teller and you’ll always have conversation and that will be valuable. Again, that’s going to apply this. This story thing is going to apply in that situation at the bar because you’ve got to gain the attention. You’ve got to prove that you’re worth talking to so you’ve got to impress. In situations like that being a good story teller, being able to entertain people, being able to keep their attention is much more important because they’re not going to let you ask some questions because they don’t care. To them you’re not valuable in those social competition situations.

You can still apply the story telling to regular social situations as well because everyone likes a good story. You also have to know when people are bored with your story and to drop it and go into a different conversation thread. There’s a whole different—there’s a whole dynamic around this.

Anyway, I think those 2 pieces will help you, at least put you on the path, look for—like I said, read that book, How To Win Friends & Influence People, definitely in non-confrontational, non-competitive social situations that approach of asking people questions about themselves is always going to work. The story approach is something that you should have anyway because it’s just a good back up when you’re on the spot and that will work in both situations, both in the high competitions and in a regular situation.

Anyway, great question. If you like this video, if you’d like to get more videos like this definitely click the subscribe button below if you haven’t already. If you did already, you’ve heard me say this so many times, so just click the like button and skip. Anyway, I’ll talk to you next time, take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."