Learn How You Can Start Conversations With A Stranger
Learning how to start a conversation with a stranger is one of the best skills you can learn. However, for others, a room full of strangers can be very intimidating. The first time can be very scary! That’s why we created a four-step formula to help you confidently take on the challenge of talking to new people.
Here are the 4 steps on how to start a conversation with a stranger:
Get your mind right Most people get nervous before meeting someone new, especially if you’re the first person to say speak up. This is where we talk in-depth on how to switch your mindset.
Prepare It’s important to prepare before you talk to a stranger by practicing what you’re going to say or calming your nerves.
Build your confidence Confidence is a huge part of accomplishing your goals, even if it’s deciding to start a conversation with a stranger. Above all, you have to experience it to gain confidence.
Take action You can prepare, know exactly what to say, and have the confidence to do it, but if you don’t take action, then it doesn’t matter.
If you can implement these four steps into how you communicate, you’ll be on your way to talking to as many random people as you like!
Now, let’s dive deep into each of the four steps to start a conversation with a stranger. And, by the end of this post, you will have exactly what you need to take your communication skills to the next level! Let’s go!
“Change your thoughts and you can change your world.” –Norman Vincent Peale “If you say you can or you can’t you are right either way.” –Henry Ford
Your thoughts can shape your life and you are what you think you are.
Your attitude in life matters, even when it’s about conversations with strangers. And, if you don’t have the right mindset, you may find yourself always talking yourself out of meeting new people. Also, many people agree that changing your attitude is one of the best ways to meet your goals.
So, how does this relate to starting conversations with strangers? Well, you probably have a little voice in your head that says …
“I’m too scared and not ready.”
“This is scary and nerve racking!”
“What if they don’t like me?”
“I can’t do this!”
“I’ll embarrass myself!”
“What if I don’t remember what to say?”
We all have a little voice that says all of the above. But, the truth is, we’ll never be 100% perfect and you just have to do the best you can to make your life better.
Switch your thoughts to become more positive and action-based.
Perhaps your thoughts are dominated by negative thoughts and they’ve prevented you from enjoying experiences such as meeting new people. If this is true, you will benefit from implementing a positive mindset. So, your first step can be to start conversations with strangers by re-framing your thoughts.
Learn to re-frame your thoughts when starting conversations with strangers.
Instead of thinking about how someone might reject you, try to re-frame your thoughts by saying:
“This can be a great conversation. I might miss an opportunity to make a friend.”
“No matter what, with each person I talk to, I’ll be improving my communication skills and building confidence.”
“I have nothing to lose.”
Just the change of your tone or change of words can redirect the situation.
“It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, then to have an opportunity and not be prepared.” – Les Brown
Do you think you’re prepared to talk to a complete stranger right now if the opportunity to talk to someone suddenly appeared? We think being successful comes from being prepared. In other words, preparation is the difference between a mediocre performer and a top performer. Which one do you want to be?
Be a better conversationalist by preparing yourself for the obvious questions.
After talking to a lot of people you’ll begin to realize most people will ask variations of the same questions. Knowing this, it gives you the advantage to learn concise answers allowing you to walk into almost any social situation and succeed.
Prepare answers to these 5 core questions below:
- Tell me about yourself?
- What do you do for work?
- Where are you from?
- What do you like to do for fun?
- Where did you live?
Anticipating these 5 questions can help you succeed in 99% of conversations. Being aware of this can help guide you to start conversations with strangers and know the questions people will likely ask you.
How you can answer the 5 core questions.
Start with being concise and don’t add too many details if you don’t need to. Don’t brag, but be humble, and add some humor because people will like you more if you can make them laugh. Once you’ve answered, ask a follow-up question or mirror the question. Such as, “What are your thoughts?” Or “Tell about your experience.”
To keep the flow of the conversation going with a stranger you need to reciprocate with questions. In fact, we have some tips below you can follow when asking questions to strangers.
The Anatomy Of Asking A Great Question.
Now that you’ve answered some questions, now it’s your turn to ask questions. This is where you can really stand out.
Great questions are not yes/no questions but require people to explain, tell a story or react with emotion. For example:
What was it like to…?
When did you decide that…?
Help me understand why you chose…?
Tell me the story of how you…?
How did you feel when…?
Tell me about …?
What are your thoughts on …?
Tailor the question for the person or relate it to the environment/experience you’re in. Be creative and don’t be afraid to have fun with questions such as, “What’s your favorite Netflix show you’re watching right now?” Lastly, find something in common and talk about it … then follow up with more questions.
You need confidence when learning how to talk to a stranger.
Imagine a soldier. A soldier goes through training, he’s put in uncomfortable positions, pushed beyond his limits, he doesn’t cling to results, only growth.
He repeats his training again and again … continually pushing himself, and doesn’t mask his fear or insecurity but acts courageously in the face of that fear. He is self-confident, not because of his ego, but because of his experiences.
Through training and hard work, he’s come to believe in himself. He learns that “I can,” and eventually “I can,” becomes his routine. This is the true heart of self-confidence.
You can develop confidence easier than you think.
Most people aren’t born with high self-confidence but what happens over time is that you develop it with experience and practice. Here are easy actions you can take and implement into your life to become more confident in social situations, especially when starting a conversation with a stranger.
Action Steps you can take to build confidence:
- The willingness to learn – If you’re not willing to educate yourself on communicating with people? Learning new methods, ways of thinking and tips can help you take your social life to the next level. The question is, are you ready?
- Motivation to succeed – How bad do you want to be able to meet people? What is the driving factor to talk with people who you don’t know? Is it meeting friends so you can do things on the weekend? Networking for a new job? Find that and you’ll have your motivation.
- Be OK with mistakes or even feeling embarrassed – Making mistakes is a part of life. But our cultures and societies do make us feel it’s not OK. However, in reality, it’s how we learn, and it’s through experience where we become wiser.
- Take action and do it – What’s stopping you? Take a breath and use the above ideas to help you through the barrier. You can do this. Once you do it you may feel more confident than you think. Taking action is a part where many people falter and make excuses. Don’t let this be you.
- Review and reflect on your experience – Learning how to have a conversation with a stranger is tough. Consistently review and reflect on the conversations you have. What are the things you could do better, what did you do well? Embrace all the feelings you have and enjoy the journey.
Taking action isn’t easy when speaking to someone new. But, the first step is taking action.
Learning how to have a conversation with a stranger sometimes isn’t about a great strategy or plan. Sometimes it’s just about starting. You just have to do it. Just walk up to someone and say, “Hey. How’s your day?” Navy SEAL, Brandon Webb says to create fast action. Do it fast and directed towards a goal. “A good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
If you feel like you’re struggling to start conversations with strangers. Set a goal.
A study by psychologist Gail Matthews showed when people wrote down their goals, they were 33 percent more successful in achieving them than those who formulated outcomes in their heads. Setting goals is linked to self-confidence, motivation, and autonomy.
This is how you can set a goal.
Frank Smoll, Ph. D., a professor of psychology, emphasized three essential features of goal-setting, which he called the A-B-C of goals.
A – Achievable
B – Believable
C – Committed
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and keep things simple when you’re setting goals. Make the goal easy enough to achieve but also give yourself a challenge. If you believe you can stay committed, and persist, you will have a much higher chance of achieving your goals.
KEY TAKEAWAYS and SUMMARY on How To Have A Conversation With A Stranger.
- The thoughts you have daily can shape your life. You are what you think you are. Learn to think positively and re-frame negative thoughts.
- It’s important to prepare before conversations with strangers. Either practice what you’re going to say or practice calming your nerves. Learn To Build Resiliency and consider implementing the broaden-and-build theory.
- Confidence is a huge part of accomplishing your goals, even if it’s deciding to start a conversation with a stranger. That feeling to take action doesn’t just appear, but you have to experience it which helps you learn.
- You can prepare, know exactly what to say, and have the confidence to do it, but if you don’t take action, then it doesn’t matter. The plan sometimes is to just go up to someone and say, “Hello. How’s your day?”
You got this!! Have fun and enjoy the conversation.