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6 Great Ways to Keep a Conversation Going

conversationWhen you meet someone for the first time, the hardest part is usually just getting the conversation started. But sometimes it’s also hard to keep it going.

We did some research and found a lot of articles on the internet about starting a conversation, but few about keeping it going. We also found that many suggestions for conversation starters would probably be better conversation “continuers”.

So we thought we’d focus on that part of the conversation today. 

With some people, it’s tough to keep the conversation going. They may be extremely shy or you might just not “click” with them. In those cases, you may just have to resign yourself that it’s not going to happen and move on.

6 ways to keep the conversation going

One simple way to keep a conversation going is to ask questions. Don’t get too personal. Keep it light-hearted. Also, don’t fire them off so rapidly that the other person starts to feel like they’re being interrogated. We use this one a lot, particularly early in a conversation. But here are six of our favorites ways to keep it going:

#1 – “What’s the best book you’ve read recently?”
Variations could be best movie, TV show, or music they’ve heard.

#2 – Offer up some interesting trivia.
Just don’t go Cliff Claven on them! If you’ve heard something that intrigued you, and it’s germane to the conversation, share it!

For example, we heard not long ago that 80% of all men said they would marry the same woman all over again. However, only 50% of all women said they would marry the same man. Can you see an interesting conversation coming out of that tidbit?

#3 – “If you could trade places with one celebrity, who would it be?”

Variations could be favorite actor, or you could limit it to favorite living actor, etc.

#4 – “If you could do college all over again, what would you get your degree in?”

This question also has many interesting variations. For example, you could ask them what’s the one class they would like to take now.

#5 – “What are you working on that’s fun?”

We heard this one from our friend Chris Brogan. It makes “What do you do?” seem boring, doesn’t it. We loved this question the first time we heard it.

#6 – Create a game.

We like to come up with a word of the night or phrase of the day. It’s an interesting word that naturally came up in the conversation. Ideally, it’s a word or phrase with a double meaning of some sort. Then see how many times it can be worked into the discussion.

What’s your favorite way to keep a conversation going?

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Take the Work Out of Networking

By Bigg Success Staff
01-07-08

Career Builders

 lions_jpg

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy, right? What if you approached networking more as play … and less as work? Two excellent posts on networking recently caught our attention:

Networking Rx by Barbara Safani, writing for Career Hub.

Do You Make These Networking Mistakes in Your Job Search? by Liz Lynch, The Stealth Networker.

Safani’s post builds on Lynch’s, which was inspired by an article in The Wall Street Journal by Joann Lublin, entitled How to Network Without Sabotaging Your Own Job Hunt. Now that we’ve given everyone the credit they deserve, let’s get back to netplaying … oops … we mean networking!

Don’t start networking when you need something. It’s too late.
There’s an old saying about borrowing money – bankers are happy to give you money so long as you can prove you don’t need it. Can’t the same thing be said about networking?

It’s claimed that animals smell fear. Humans “smell” insincerity. When you badly need something, like a job, you may unconsciously put off a bad vibe. So everything you say and do communicates your weakness. Desperation never sells.

Networking should be fun!
Don’t dread networking – it should be fun, because people like to have fun. Embrace that and have fun with them while you get to know them. That’s all networking is, right?

Make it a part of your daily life. Everywhere you go, everything you do, is an opportunity to meet people. Go out to meet people and have some fun doing so. Doesn’t seem so bad then, does it?

Remember that you’re talking to a human being.
That person you just met has feelings. They have insecurities. They’re proud of their accomplishments. They have interests. Get to know them, genuinely. Sometimes you’ll hit it off … sometimes you won’t.

Treat each person you meet as a real, flesh-and-blood human being, rather than a cog in your machine. Focus on building relationships, without worrying about whether it’s going to help you or not. You may not find what you’re looking for right now, but then again … you never know!

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Related posts:

Mingle Bells: Networking tips for your next party.

Don’t Shy Away From Networking

Network Your Way To Your Next Job

(Image of lions by tambako the Jaguar, CC 2.0)