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Category: Communication / Topics: Change Communication Learning Relationships

Be the Most Interesting Person in Any Conversation

by Marcel Schwantes / Inc.

Posted: July 31, 2021

Get rid of the small talk…

Following is an excerpt of Schwantes' 2019 article on Inc. A link to the full article will be found at the bottom of the page.

Tired of showing up to social events because your brain has already decided it’s going to be a drag being asked the same dumb questions and exchanging fake smiles?

To reinvent your networking routine so that others are attracted to you like flies to a sticky trap, stop showing up with the expectation of getting something from them. Here are three key actions of the best conversationalists that will immediately draw others to you.

1. Be intensely curious.

As you meet someone new, it’s crucial to find something interesting about the other person, perhaps a fascinating fact or idea that you can follow up on with interesting questions of your own. This means activating the genuine curiosity within you.

Several studies suggest that curious people have better relationships, connect better, and enjoy socializing more. In fact, other people are more easily attracted and feel socially closer to individuals that display curiosity.

. . .

2. Be a good listener.

Making a good impression is key to kick-start a conversation that works to your advantage, but beware of dominating the conversation early on.

Since people love to talk about themselves, be the one who lets the other person talk first. Why? Talking about ourselves triggers the same sensation of pleasure in the brain as food or money.

. . . .

3. Stop asking dumb and uninteresting questions.

Being interesting is about being interested in other people’s interesting lives and not asking dumb questions that won’t elevate the conversation beyond the dreaded small talk.

. . . .

To counter the effects of a boring conversation from the get-go, be the more interesting person by asking questions like:

  • What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  • What’s on your bucket list? (ask a follow-up question about how you can help them accomplish it).
  • What new skill are you learning?
  • What’s your personality type?
  • What's your calling or purpose in life?

By taking the initiative and making the conversation about the other person, this selfless act of shining the spotlight on someone else first gives you the edge -- making you the more interesting person in the room.

This post originally appeared on Inc. and was published September 6, 2019.

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Posted: July 31, 2021

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