How to Build an Enticing Conversation

Contrary to what you may have been thinking, the perfect opening line is easy enough to find: it does not really matter at all. You can say almost anything you want, as long as you do it in a friendly way. If a girl is interested in you, she won't care about what you say. What does matter is that you make your move before somebody else runs away with her.


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    Have you recently reflected on this weird situation?: to know there is no such thing as a "best pickup line a man can use” and yet thinking to yourself how to start up a conversation with that gorgeous girl that you are watching. You know you have to be enthusiast, friendly, interested, sufficiently good looking, assertive, fun and smart… Men tend to focus on the verbal skills or tricks that will allow them to make contact. However, statistics teach that the initial – and often definitive - impression is based in the first place on appearance and body language(55%). What you say accounts only for 7% of the impact you make. How you say it, for 38%. So, What does define a successful intro? - Or, in other words: How to make a good impression? How to make her feel good and happy? How to make her talk back to you when you say something? How to find the subjects she is interested in?
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    The first thing to do is: try to make eye contact,even if only for a fraction of a second. If, after the first contact, your target does not look back to you, you know that the battle may be lost even before it’s begun. But let’s assume she did look back. So, you decide to make your move. The first thing they will teach you is that the words you say are really quite unimportant and that there is no point in striving to be witty or amusing from the start. The best opening lines are, quite simply, those that can easily be recognized as openers. You may get inspiration from the actual environment, the time of the day, etc… It is a good idea to have more than one opening line in your sleeve. You may need the second to restart the conversation if the first one does not trigger the conversation.
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    A safe way to open a conversation is asking a general question that is directly related to the environment where you are, or making a neutral statement and end by asking the other person’s opinion: Hi, what’s up? Hi, lovely day, isn't it? Hi, how do you like the weather today? Bit crowded here, isn't it? Not much lively here tonight, eh? Hi, how do you like the band? Are you also waiting for the bus to … Looks like the train is going to be late again. Nice music, isn't it? Shopping time again? Sigh … I shall be glad when this week is over! And you? --- You can smooth the approach with a neutral pre-opening: Sorry, do you have a light for my cigarette? Sorry, can you tell me what time it is? - A simple “yes” or “no” need not be a bad sign, but the longer and more personal the answer, the easier it will be to continue the conversation and the better your chances are. The best answer you can expect is personal, informative and ending with a question.
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    Asking somebody for advice or help is another great way for opening a conversation: Excuse me; What do you think of this t shirt, should I buy it? I'm not very good at the whole fashion thing I’m sorry, I'm new in town and can't find my way around; Could I have directions to the best ...?" Do you know at what time is the next bus to … Long time no see!
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    You shouldn't really think that your words must be the start of a flirtation. Nope: all they need to convey is your interest and your desire to start a conversation. In this way you save everybody the risk of causing offense and the humiliation of a direct rejection in case the chemistry just isn't there. At the start her body-language will teach you more about your chances of success than the actual reply: is she nodding, smiling, leaning forward, taking on an open posture, … ? Distinct advantages for you are: Being a good listener; Finding ways to compliment in a pleasing way; Confirming her in how and what she is; Giving positive, emphatic feedback; Teasing her; Showing some sense of humour, making her smile.
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    Here are some examples of good follow-up lines which will help you to keep the conversation going: May I join you?; That’s a nice jacket you are wearing; That color really suits you; You look lovely; I love the way you smile; You have beautiful hair; You have fantastic legs; I love the way you dance / move; I’d like to buy you a drink; I hear you know a lot about this subject, are you studying ...?; How is it that you know so much about.
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    Some communication specialists qualify the following follow-up lines as bad: So, what do you do for work? (too serious); What’s your sign? (cliché); Excuse me, but I think you just dropped something (showing pen, …) (boring); Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again? (stupid); Are you seeing somebody? / Are you married? (too serious).
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    At all times, though : what matters most is how she responds. If she says “thank you, sir”s and turns away, then she’s definitely not interested. But if she thanks you, smiles and gets funny, you’re in.
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    It may be a good idea to stick for a while to the opening subject: It’s non threatening, less conspicuous and therefore raising less resistance It’s always a good idea to listen actively to what other people have to say; Allows for a strategical retreat: nothing has happened yet. You can learn a lot from her reactions, without having to reveal much of yourself.
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    Only after you are convinced that you’re in, can you use one of these “pick-up lines” that are often mistakenly advertised as first-contact starters. Make sure though to pick a line that is suitable and to say it in an amused and amusing way! Can I borrow a quarter? I want to call my mom and tell her I just met the girl of my dreams. Are you religious? Because you look like the answer to my prayers. Can you give me directions…to your heart? Did it hurt when you fell from heaven? Did they just take you out of the oven? Because you’re hot! Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again? Do you have a map? I just got lost in your eyes. Do you know why the sky is so gray? All the blue is in your eyes. Do your legs hurt from running through my dreams all night? Don’t stop! I don’t usually get to see beauty in motion. However, you should never use them as opening lines. Why not? Simple because they require that a positive, playful mood is already present.
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    Because you want to build a conversation, it is good to end answers with a question: I think, … and you? How about you? Are you also going? ---- coming? How do you do this? Where did you find it? What do you think of? Open questions make it easy for the other to take their part in the conversation: These are questions which begin with : who, what, where, why, when or how. Open questions cannot be dealt with by simply answering yes or no.
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    An other interesting kind of questions to get the ball rolling are: probing questions: Interesting - Specifically what kind of … do you mean? Great – Can you tell a little bit more about it? What exactly do you mean by that? That’s interesting - Can you go into some more detail on that? I see – And what is your personal opinion about …?
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    Or reflective questions, which echo the statement the other just made. She: “No, thank you, but there is no time for that now.” You: No time?
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    Every now and then you should may also first summarize what the other just said, to show that you are interested, and then guide the conversation with a new question: "I see … is important to you, what else is high on your list of priorities?"; "I totally agree that …., what else do you have on your mind?"; "I understand that ……, what else is important to you?" Just remember: If you fail to prepare, You are preparing to fail!
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    Overall, it is very important to balance the conversation. When your intention is to build a real, interactive, conversation, to which both parties contribute, you should not be afraid to do more than your part at the start. Yet, it’s equally important to avoid that the conversation turns into a personal interrogation. What you have to do is to ask the right questions, knowing things will then almost always flow nicely.
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    When you meet new people, always try to keep the questions simple, fun and light-hearted. The intention is to have a good conversation and get to know the person beyond what they do for a living. The best way to make somebody tell about his/her life, is to ask questions which will encourage them to talk about themselves in “an unusual, quirky way”. The best way therefore to approach a conversation is to forget about flirting and seducing, but to see it as an opportunity to communicate, learn, exercise and practice. If you find out that your conversation-partner is interested in playing card games, and you are not, then why not say - 'Interesting - tell me, what makes playing card games so interesting or exciting for you, as I don't get it'. The purpose is not to argue the benefits of playing card games, but to have a passionate discussion about a subject that is of special interest to them.
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    Remember: People are usually very quick to form an impression about somebody they meet. For instance: about a third of the speed dates are actually over within the first 30 seconds. In fact, 45 % of women and 22 % of men come to a decision within 30 seconds. If you get a good conversation going, you might check for an opportunity to continue the conversation elsewhere or at another time: I’d love to talk a bit more with you about this subject, but my train is due any minute now. Can we meet again to continue this conversation? This is real fun, but I wonder if you are free to continue this conversation. Do you have to go somewhere right now? Would you like telling me a bit more about … over a warm cup of coffee?
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    A first date is supposed to be lighthearted. It is not about facts, it is not supposed to be an interrogation. It's way too early to decide about a long term relationship. It should just be about enjoying each other's company.
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    Here are some practical questions for finding out about your date: What is your dream job? Where are you from (originally)? What is the one thing about yourself that you would like me to know? What are you most proud about? What do you consider your best attributes? If you could travel back through time, what single mistake would you correct in life? Describe yourself in five words. How would your best friend describe you? What adjective would a close friend use to describe you? Where do you see yourself in three years time? What makes you happy/sad/angry? What makes you laugh? What is your favorite word and why? When did you last do something that made you feel really good? - and what was it? What color best describes your personality – and why? What are you most passionate about? If you have friends coming for supper what would you cook? For take out would you order Chinese or fish and chips? What's your favorite wine? What song best sums you up and why? What's the most reckless / adventurous thing you've ever done? What is your ideal holiday destination? What place do you want to visit most? Is religion important to you? Do you have children? What, according to your best friend is your most annoying habit? Who are the most important people in your life? Do you follow politics? Are you a Democrat or a Republican? What is your most treasured possession and why? Do you believe a cup is half empty or half full? You have got six months to live, what will you do (first)? Who was your hero, as a child? What's in the boot of your car at the moment? Which was the first crush you ever had? Which T.V. program would you never miss? What is your favorite season of the year and why? Do you believe in reincarnation? If you were on Survivor what would be the one thing you would take as your luxury item? Who could you have been in a previous life? Were you a mod, a rocker, a punk, a soul dude/diva or did you follow any other trend?
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    A special kind of questions are these in which you offer a multiple choice: You're cooking dinner for a friend and you accidentally burn the main course. What do you do? a. Cook another main course; b. Own up to the mistake and order a pizza; c. Say you've changed your mind and go out for dinner? - How would the following be rated in an ideal vacation: a. Reading and relaxing b. Excursions c. Shopping d. Dining and Shows e. Exercise and Adventure f. Museums - You are: a. A good girl/boy b. A bad girl/boy c. A good girl/boy, that became a bad girl/boy d. A bad girl/boy, that became a good girl/boy - Which of the following would your ex be most likely to prescribe for you: a. caffeine b. alcohol - Which date is most appealing? a. Cappuccino's at the local bookstore b. Beer and hotdogs at a ballgame c. 4 Star dinner followed by dancing at the latest hotspot d. Martini's with appetizers before the Blue Man Group
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    Good questions to help you discover how how (s)he looks at Relationships: Tell me a little bit about your family. Do you believe in love at first sight? (is he/she a romantic person?) When was your last relationship and how long did it last? Why Did you Break up with your Last Partner? What is your idea of love? What are the most important things you're looking for in a person? What do you look for in a husband/wife? List 3 interests you would like a partner to share with you? What do you think is the most important value in a relationship? Do you want to marry or have you ever been married? Do you like / do you want / do you have children? Suppose if we got into a big fight or argument, what would you do to solve the issue? Is sexual compatibility important to you? On a scale of 1-10, rank the importance of sex to a relationship. Do you have any 'happily married' friends or are they just married?
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    The following questions help you to find out more about her hobbies and interests: What kind of music do you like? What was the last CD you bought? What is your favorite film? What kind of movies do you like? Who is your favorite actor/actress? - sportsman/-woman? What is your favorite TV program? What do you do for fun? / What do you like to do in your spare time? Are you a bookworm or an outdoorsy person? What is your favorite sporting activity? Are you a night owl or early bird? Are you more of a city or country person? What book are you reading at the moment? / What is the last book you read? What did you do last weekend? How do you usually spend your Sundays? Do you keep pets?
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    Fun Questions (which may run deeper than one might think at a first glance): What three things would you take with you to a desert island? If you could be granted three wishes, what would they be? Is there anything you've always wanted to do, but haven't had the chance? If your friends compared you to an animal, which animal would it be? What animal would you most like to be? Have you ever flirted to get a better deal? What's the daggiest worse item of clothing you have worn? If you could hang out with any celebrity for a whole day, who would you choose? What's the most unusual thing you know how to do? If you had to be someone else for a day, who would you be and why? If you could invite anyone, dead or alive, to dinner, who would it be? Which famous people would you invite to your perfect dinner party? And why? If you won the lottery how would you spend it? If you were given £1,000 tomorrow, what would you spend it on? If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? What time in history would you have liked to be born in and why? If you were to star in a movie, what kind of film would it be and who would be your co-star? If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you? What would be the title of your biography? What is your favorite takeaway meal? Do you have any bad habits? Do you snore? Do you have a party trick? What's your best joke? Aliens have landed and selected you to visit their home planet. Do you go with them?

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Categories: Conversation Skills