Have you ever found yourself in an elevator with a complete stranger or been forced to talk to one in class or even in the workplace? There is actually a great way to go about talking to someone for the first time. I am a communications student and I’ve been taught the correct way on how to communicate with a complete stranger and I want to share it with you.
The first thing I was taught was to remember that everyone’s favorite topic to talk about is themselves. Whether they like to admit it or not. So when meeting someone for the first time the best way to start is by introducing yourself, then asking them their name. Pretty simple right? This is the ‘business card‘ step. Once you have gained the information of the person’s name, try to say it in a sentence a few times afterward to really embed it in your brain because a person’s name is important to them. The next step you are going to want to take is the ‘house‘ step. Ask them if they are from town, if not, where they are from. After you have reached this step you can move onto the ‘door‘ step (ha). Ask them if they have kids/siblings or even if their family is from town, etc. If you have run out of things to talk about, the next step is ‘chimney/smoke‘ this could include anything from movies or television shows, etc. After that is the ‘baseball glove/sports equipment‘ stage which you could ask them if they watch sports/play sports and if they don’t do either of those you could ask them what their hobbies are or what other things they are interested in. The final stage is ‘airplane‘ this is when you can ask them where they have traveled or where they would like to travel.
I know for a fact that this strategy works and you will have a full conversation with this person and this person may not even ask one thing about you. Which is good, because like I said earlier, everyone’s favorite topic is themselves. Another great thing about this strategy is the person you are talking to will most likely feel like they are in control but you are actually in control of the conversation. I promise you that when you are done talking with this person they will definitely have a good lasting impression of you after using this strategy.
Lastly, always remember to avoid ‘PSR‘. That stands for politics, sex, and religion. These three topics are very touchy subjects and can cause the person you are talking with to feel uncomfortable, so stay away from those three! I hope I helped any of your awkward encounters with strangers to come in the future. Remember; business card, house, door, chimney/smoke, baseball glove/sports equipment and airplane. And don’t forget to stay away from PSR!