In-person conversations are making a comeback and chances are you’re a little rusty at those interactions after a year of working from home and virtual gatherings. People are finding that what worked before the pandemic like asking “What’s new?” or “How are you?” isn’t effective. And to be honest, it wasn’t a good approach to begin with.
People are finding it’s harder to start a conversation and keep it going than before the pandemic. Three conversation strategies can dramatically increase the quality of those interactions and reduce the stress of trying to figure out what to say.
Introductions need context. Your name isn’t enough. Your job description or title isn’t interesting. Tell people why you’re having the conversation in the first place.
Prepare an answer for “How are you?” You know you’re going to get the question. What you might not realize is your answer unlocks the potential of the conversation. Give an answer that introduces a new subject and obvious follow up question.
Have an exit strategy. Awkward goodbyes are uncomfortable. So is being stuck in a never-ending conversation. Leaving a conversation is easier if you can create physical distance and space. Choose a task that forces you to relocate, like going back to your desk to prepare for a meeting. Communicate your next steps as part of your goodbye, don’t just walk away.
Get additional conversation strategies on How to Talk to People in Person during a free webinar June 9th at Noon PST. Use this link to register so you can gain confidence and reduce the anxiety and stress of talking to people in person.