We’ve all been there, in an awkward silence wishing we could think of something intelligent, funny, or meaningful to contribute. Or just something to break the silence. Next time you are in need of something to talk about, consider the following.
Need Something To Talk About? Ask Questions
Since it’s probably someone you don’t know well, ask questions that are relevant, but not particularly controversial. Talk about local news and events or industry or event-related topics. Inquire about personal, but not too personal, interests—family, kids, pets, recent travels, or any books or movies they’ve read.
Answer The Questions You Wish They Were Asking
Whether the person you are engaging with is simply shy, or a bit of a dead fish, you may find that your efforts to start a conversation are falling flat. If you are on the receiving end of one or two word responses, or someone who fails to inquire more, answer the reciprocal questions you wish they were asking. This will at least fill the silence, and hopefully, spark engagement. Also, consider heading over to Science of People, or ConversationStarters.com for tips on how to talk to anyone.
Whether you are on a date, out with colleagues, at a networking event, with family you don’t see often, or putting yourself out there by engaging with someone new—the tips above will ensure you always have something to contribute.