You feel it...the death of your conversation.
"Some get the crash cart!!!"
You're standing there, it feels like hours since you've spoken. The ice in your drink slowly melts.
We've all been there, wondering how to keep a conversation going when:
When we can keep that conversation going, we can make new friends, better job opportunities, and become more successful.
So how do we do it?
In this article, you'll learn:
Let's dive in!
Here are 9 ways to keep a conversation going & destroy awkward pauses forever:
Questions are a great way to get a conversation going at a barbecue, networking event, or a party.
Questions can even help you move past small talk and into deeper topics. (Which studies suggest could make you happier!)
If you’ve ever struggled with thinking up questions to get to know someone better, this post is for you!
Pro-tip: Don’t ONLY ask questions. If you do, you’ll fall into the interrogation trap!
After your conversational partner responds, keep the conversation going by making an observation about what they said.
Look through the list below and copy/paste 5 of your favorite questions into the notes app on your phone.
Then, you’ll be all set to break the ice at your next social event!
I believe that everyone has the ability to improve their social skills and become more outgoing - you just have to tap into that outgoing part of yourself.
But as any introvert who’s tried to teach themselves how to be more outgoing can tell you - it’s not as easy as it sounds.
“Know thyself.” -Socrates
Socrates wasn’t playing around when he dropped this philosophical morsel on us.
He believed that the answer to all happiness and philosophical unrest was to look within where all knowledge already lives, waiting to be remembered.
I love this idea because it’s an equalizer.
We might have different starting points, but we can ALL improve and grow.
If you want to learn how to be more outgoing--you just need the mindsets and tactics to get there!
So let’s talk about how to be more outgoing as an introvert, step-by-step.
In this article you’ll learn:
Ready? Let’s dive in!
How to never run out of things to say...ah, this may be the holy grail of people skills...
If you've ever had your mind spontaneously go blank in the middle of a conversation, then you know this feeling...
Searching your mind for something...anything to say.
Yet, the harder you try to come up with something, the less you have to say.
Then the awkward silence creeps in...you might think to yourself:
"Why does my mind go blank all the time?"
That overthinking vortex sucks.
I'm here to help.
Recently I've received messages from people who are struggling with their minds going blank...
I have great news for you:
In this article, you'll learn:
After reading this article, you'll be able to make conversation with the best of 'em.
Let's dive in...
The importance of conversation skills: these skills can be the difference between having great friends, connections, and experiences and...not.
Today we're going to cover how to improve conversation skills. You can start using these 8 powerful tips today.
In This Article, You'll Learn...
Let's dive in: Watch the video below, or read on...your call!
(These first two tips will help your conversation skills before you even open your mouth!)
“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price we all have to pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” – Vince Lombardi
Imagine that you group together the greatest baseball players of all time - Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and Mike Trout.
Now imagine that they all speak different languages and have no idea what the others are saying.
As a soft skills coach my clients ask me to help with situations like this all the time.
You may be the Babe Ruth of Finance Techs, but if you can’t connect with the VP of Sales (the Mike Trout of soft skills), you’re not going to climb very far up the corporate ladder.
Soft skills don’t come easy to many of my clients.
And while the reasons for that may vary, they all figured out the hard way that to advance, they’d have to study up and invest in their ability to communicate effectively with their bosses, their coworkers, and their clients.
The good news is you don’t have to do it alone.
Using the guidance of a soft skills coach can help you achieve the success you want to see in your career more quickly and effectively than trying to level up on your own.
When I became self-employed, it was a huge shift.
Gone were coworkers, office small talk, and happy hours.
Instead, it was just me.
And the cat.
At first, it was nice.
"Finally, I can just put my head down and do the work!" I thought.
But, after a couple of months, I realized "Holy crap! I might accidentally become a hermit if I'm not careful."
When you're trying to learn (or in my case re-learn) how to become more social, it's effective to have a few tips to help you get on the right track.
These tips will help whether you're
Here's a sample of crappy advice you WON'T find in this article:
Here are 8 ways to become more social starting TODAY.
5 time NCAA champion Mike Krzyzewski - possibly the most famous college basketball coach ever has a quote I love:
“Communication does not always occur naturally, even among a tight-knit group of individuals. Communication must be taught and practiced in order to bring everyone together as one.”
With over 1,000 career wins and over 100 future NBA players coached, Coach K knows his stuff. He’s one of the best examples of what a great coach can help his athletes achieve.
There’s a reason that communication coaches are called “coaches.”
A coach is someone who directs training and habits to help someone become the best they can be. And you just heard it from the best - communication skills can be taught and improved!
So let’s take a look at what makes a good communications coach and how they can help you achieve your communication goals!
Andre Agassi - eight-time Grand Slam Champion, Olympic gold medalist, and owner of possibly the best hair in the history of sports - knows a little something about hard work and success, and a lot about what makes a good coach.
My favorite quote from his autobiography “Open” is:
“A great coach can lead you to a place where you don't need him anymore.”
This is as true in life as it is in sports.
Whether you’re talking about a personal trainer, an executive coach, or a social coach, the ultimate goal is to train and up your skillset until you have a foundation to work from.
Having a solid foundation in the basics gives you the confidence you need to practice and build your social skills and achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.
You have to learn how to dribble before you’re doing trick shots!
So how can a social coach help you improve socially?
What does building a strong foundation in social skills look like?
It looks a lot like this...
Knowing how to introduce people is a great skill to have.
Example: A friend's wedding.
At the reception, after grabbing a fresh drink, I saw my former co-worker, Michael.
He stood up and walked over, shook my hand, and we talked for a few minutes about the World Series.
As our conversation was wrapping up, he said "Hey! Let me introduce you to my wife."
What I was expecting: To walk over and be introduced with a simple "Hey, this is my buddy, Jeff."
Early in Kobe Bryant’s career, legendary coach Phil Jackson pulled him aside one day and encouraged him to spend more time with his teammates rather than in his hotel room studying game tape.
By 2009, Kobe was a leader on the court and in the locker room.
The Lakers won a championship that season.
As a social skills coach, I love that lesson - that all of us (whether we like it or not) - connected to and influenced by others.
But let’s dig a little deeper...
What made Kobe great?
All those things matter, but every other elite NBA player did those things too.
So what was Kobe’s secret weapon?
He realized that he didn’t have to do it all on his own.
He had his team and coaches there to support him.
No one is a 10/10 in ALL areas of life. - we all need help from our peers, our mentors, and our coaches.
Today, I'm turning 33! As my gift to you, here are 33 people skill tips that I've learned over the last 14 years.
1. Dialing up your energy a bit (+10%) when you’re being social makes it easier to have a good time.
2. Being curious will help you be interested in other people.
3. No one can mind-read. They have no clue what you’re thinking. You have no idea what they are thinking.
4. The spotlight effect is real. We all tend to overestimate the amount that other people notice and observe us.
5. It’s possible to view the same event 2 different ways. Ex: You say “Hi”. They brush past you instead of saying “Hi”. Negative view: “They must be mad at me.” Positive view: “They must be preoccupied, they probably didn’t hear me.”
What do LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Mike Trout all have in common?
They all make millions of dollars by tossing or hitting a ball?
They all have coaches.
Behind every top performer someone who can give that person perspective that they need.
Sure, pro athletes have coaches, but what if you're wanting to perform at a high level in your business, career, or social life?
Is there such a thing as a social confidence coach?
Cough...I am one...cough.
I want to walk you through 4 ways a social confidence coach can help you level up your social skills.
Many of my readers ask me about how to make conversation.
A conversation that feels natural and smooth.
Good news: These are learnable skills.
Having great conversation skills that you can "turn on" at a moments notice matter when you're:
The better you are with these soft interactions, the better your career, business and social life's trajectory will be.
And the best part?
These skills compound over time.
Like investing in a 401K, the more connections you make, the easier it is to call up good friends, find jobs fast, and get introduced to more people who can change your life.
Here are 5 tips that you can use starting today to make better, more memorable conversations.
Every one of these skills are effective individually, but when you stack them together, they become extremely powerful.
How can we craft a powerful message?
A message that says everything we need to say in a neat package?
A message that can inspire everyone from your small team at work, to tens of thousands when you're behind the camera or mic?
On this episode of Become More Compelling Radio, my friend Nicole Schwegman (@bffwiththechef on IG) is going to walk us through crafting a powerful, clear message.
Think of this episode as media training 101.
"But Jeff, I'm not media facing in my company, should I listen to this episode?"
Many of Nicole's tips will absolutely help if you're sitting down with media. (TV, Radio, Podcasts, etc.) But the lessons here are 100% applicable to you if you've ever:
More about Nicole:
Nicole Schwegman is a public affairs officer in the U.S. military. She’s served in the Navy for nearly 16 years where she’s had the opportunity to help media train some of American’s most senior military leaders.
She is also a home chef, food enthusiast and the host of BFF with the Chef, the podcast that aims to make home cooks better in the kitchen by sharing cheffy insights from each week's culinary guest.
Disclaimer for this show: Nicole's opinions expressed in this episode are her own, they do NOT reflect the views or opinions of the U.S. military.
Listen to Nicole's podcast BFF with the Chef here
I'll help you supercharge your people skills so that you can have a more fulfilling career,
business & social life.
Over the last 15 years, I’ve learned... (Read More)
• 8 Uncommon Tips To Make A Great First Impression
• The Ultimate Guide To Joining & Enjoying Group Conversations
• How to Never Run Out of Things to Say