May 2011, by Neal Talbot
In the dating world, you have to know how to walk the walk… and talk the talk. You can look like a runway model, approach without fear and still bomb if your conversational skills are poor. However, with a little prep and a lot of pep, you can have people eating out of the palm of your hand in no time.
Start off by thinking about what you want out of a conversation. You want it to be fun, exciting, playful and interactive. Most importantly, you want to make a connection with the other person. To do this, you must properly execute the five steps to a successful conversation; opening, passion, connection, comfort and close. Each step is vital to ensuring they want to see you again.
Strangely enough, it will be your listening skills, not your speaking ability, which will set you apart from other singles. Only by listening will you be able to come up with great questions. Great questions are the key to making a connection. Great questions can allow you to learn more about someone in five minutes than their friends will in five years.
Five steps to a successful conversation
Think of the conversation as operating a car. Your approach has started the engine, and your first question or open-ended statement has put it in gear. Now you have to drive the conversation and let them work the pedals. But whether they prefer a fast or slow conversation, it’s still up to you to take the conversation through five important steps.
Your opening statement/question should catch their interest. It should be fun and light-hearted. It should be something that requires more than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. This step is used to draw the first response only. That response gives you a number of conversation paths you can now follow.
The second step is to follow those conversation paths until you find out one of their passions. By talking about their passions and discovering why they’re passionate about it, you show the person you are interested in knowing them on a deeper level. If you share a passion, it will create a connection.
We form stronger bonds with those who care deeply about the things we do. We care more about the person who shares our love of volunteering, than the person who prefers to sit in front of the television during their time off. Finding this connection is the most vital part of the conversation.
Making a connection will help increase comfort levels. Once a connection is established you can use stories and actions to ensure they feel safe and secure around you. Tell stories that show qualities like protection, loyalty and honesty to help hammer these traits home.
The fifth step is simplest, if you’ve taken the other four steps. You have to close the conversation at a high point, and suggest the two of you continue it again sometime. Once the number exchange has taken place, it’s important to continue the conversation for a couple of minutes, then make a gracefully exit.