Start liking people. Everyone has something to share, tell or teach.Listen to them and respond to what they say and how they feel.
• Go-ahead spirit, a contagious enthusiasm and a positive outlook.• Always carry enough visiting cards.• Prepare 5 current issues, anecdotes, jokes and general quotations.
Know your audienceBefore you go anywhere, think about what you have commonwith the people attending the event.
Be approachableBe pleasant and have asmile on your face whenyou go to speak tosomeone you dont know.The more approachableyou seem, the moreinclined the person will beto talk to you.
The first few secondsare terribly critical asyou do not get asecond chance to havea positive firstimpression.
Ask them easy questionsKeep the tough stuff until later• Easy topics are: weather, news, family, history, work, holidays, hobbies and sports.• Avoid potentially contentious topics.• Examples: – Isnt it a great day? Did you get out in the sunshine, today? – Did you hear about the accident down town? Isnt it awful? – Do you have a brother called Joe?
Ask them about themselvesA very powerful technique• Ask their name, compliment about appearance, ask about their family, occupation, career plans, hobbies, interest. Show interest.• If you sense uncomfortability back off.• Example – You look thoughtful. Whats up? – What are you going to do this weekend? – I do like your dress -- where did you get it?
Check your listBe ready to ask and answer• Prepare a list of general and technical topics and keep them with you.• Example: – Boy dating: concert next month, her family, dance the salsa – Sales person: things to ask customers
Use environmental triggersLook for ideas around you• Look around: architecture, plants, music, dress worn by people, food.• Example – Look at that woman over there! Ive never seen such a weird dress!! – Thats Aquarius up there. Whats your star sign? Perhaps I can find it in the heavens for you.
Get to the pointSometimes niceties are not nice• Business conversations esp. with busy seniors, little time, other person has something specific• Danger that you might misread and offend.• Example – A child interrupts its mother just as the doorbell goes and whilst she is on the phone, asking permission to go out with friends. The mother quickly agrees. – A sales person, seeing a busy professional buyer, asks just enough business-focused questions to understand the buying context before getting to more serious sales talk.
GreetingGet the formal start done well• Look them in the eye (x stare)• Smile (genuinely)• Project confidence• Say their name• Namaste, hi, kiss etc.• Shake hands (firm)• Introduce your self
Introduce yourselfTell them a bit about you• Mention your name, occupation, family or hobbies.• Add something brave or daring you might have done.• Sales: add description of what you can do for the other person.• Do not tell too much about yourself at once.• Example – Hello. Im Prabbal Frank, your union representative. I can help you with any employment issues you have. – Oh, Im no good with computers. Its good to meet someone who knows what they are talking about.
• Be an initiator and an introducer• 7 – 10 sec long (else – speech) and generates curiosity.• Deliver with energy and enthusiasm. Sync your tone with body language• Have a firm handshake• Give your business card, “Here’s my card.”• Party in progress – Avoid two people – Approach single or group - Stand in the periphery and nod occasionally
Say something wrongSo they can correct you• Say some simple factual error so that they can easily correct you and take the position of an expert. When they correct you, thank them and be impressed else let them persuade you about the correctness.• Example – Prakrima isa German band, I hear. – Now Ive been told you are from New Delhi, is that right?
Script the startWrite out the first few words beforehand• Write out a script for important events and memorize it to prevent faltering in situations which make you nervous.• Example – A sales person practices her pitch in front of the mirror. – A boy who gets nervous with girls writes out a number of chat- up lines and learns to deliver them with wit and aplomb. – A person who is being given an award scripts the first part of the thank you and practices it with a friend.
Shock and aweSurprise them with something different• Do or say something surprising (nor terrifying) to create awe and wonder. Surprise happens when you break expectations (and meditation too – ZEN)• Example – Have you ever tried fighting a crocodile? Its not easy, I can tell you. – (shouting) Good heavens! You are the most beautiful person I have seen!!
Wit and wisdomAmaze them with your wit• Open the conversation with some witty or cogent remark that is designed to amaze, annoy or otherwise trigger an interesting discussion (esp. if you can affort to let out a few in a group).• Example – I wonder how people have time to come to these things. Anyone here must be a complete layabout, wouldnt you say? – My dog wanted to come tonight, but he didnt have a suitable tie. – If I were you, I would be careful about being seen with someone like me.
Oscar Wilde• It is very sad to see that nowadays there is so little useless information around.• The only thing worse in the world than being talked about is not being talked about.• The husbands of very beautiful women often belong to the criminal classes.• A man can be happy with any woman, so long as he does not love her.
Talk Eloquently• Maintain an appropriate volume.• Use words of a sensory nature. These are words such as "see", "imagine", "feel", "tell", "sense", etc., in order to encourage the other person to keep painting a descriptive picture as part of their conversation.• Accept criticism
Mind YourBody language• Maintain appropriate distance• Avoid touching while talking• Nod while you listen
• Which highlight their expertise.• Don’t ask questions which are personal in nature.• Ask open ended questions. – begin with: Who? When? What? Why? Where? and How? "What sort of books do you like?", "What did you study at university?", "Which is your favorite season? Why?", "What are you doing right now?", "Wheres your usual watering hole?” – Closed questions (are you? do you? have you?) "Do you like books?", "Have you been to university?", "Is spring your favorite season?", "Am I intruding?" "Do you come here often?” Ask Questions
Specific techniques to keep theconversation interesting and livelysuch that the other person doesnot want to leave!
Ask their opinionOn any topic• Ask what should be done reg. – work, home, locally, nationally or what will happen next or what do they think about a person. Then listen. (Makes him an expert)• Example – If you were the President, what would you do about education? – Were going out tonight -- what restaurant would you recommend? – How has Aarti been performing? Do you think she is ready for promotion?
Concern for the personEmpathy always works• Enquire about their career, health and happiness and offer them ideas to improve.• Example – Hello, Jane. I was worried about you last week. Were you ill? – Perhaps you should take a few days off to think things over. What do you think?
Interest in the personAsk about their lives• Ask about past events and boost their belongingness and esteem.• Example – So what did you get up to at the weekend, Gaurav? – Which train do you catch? What do you think of the service?
LinkingConnect what is said to other things• (hyper) Link what is being said to other things you are interested in, things already said, to the goals, current events etc.• Example – You mentioned diamonds before -- Ive got a friend in the business who can get discounts -- would you like me to put you in touch with her? – You seem to be ahead of the times -- we are just doing early work on this.
Plans for the futureTalk about what will or might happen• Talk about the next vacation, the next course, the next weekend, the next assignment etc.• Example – I remember you said you really enjoyed skiing last year. Are you going again this year? – Im really looking forward to this weekend -- were going walking in the mountains. – Now that youve been promoted, what are you going to do with the department?
Progressive disclosureTell a bit about yourself at a time• Start will simple facts and add on to include religion, political views, likes etc. Do not overload them or dump your emotional problems on them when they are not ready or willing to listen to such issues.• Example – ...Hi, my names Jan. ... – ...Ive been here for five years. When did you start? ... – ...I dont like on the food there ... – ...Im having an operation next week ...
Tell storiesUse the power of the storyteller• Stories are like movies, they bring fresh life for your audience. Be an actor. Synchronize your movements, expressions and voice.• Example – My brother tried that too and, well, it was so funny, he thought he could ... ... and then she pushed him back in the pool, turned around and walked away without a word! – I heard a very sad story on the news last night about a couple who…
Topical eventsTalk about news and recent events• Discuss something which has been announced and is going to happen. Speculate.• Example – Did you hear about the fire down town? It was right over the road from the fire station, but apparently they still took five minutes to get there... – I just heard that CEO is coming to the office next week. Last time he came he fired five people. Do you know why he would want to visit us?
Topic listBuild yourself a bag of interesting topics• Develop your own list of things to talk about with other people.• Keep a notepad with you and listen to other peoples conversations. Make notes about good topics of conversation. Make particular notes about the opening words.
To interrupt and walk awayfrom somebody might makeyou wonder if they will thinkbadly of you for this terriblesocial act. If you do it well, you will only leave themwith a warm glow.
Be negativeBe generally negative• Be pessimistic and see only the bad side of things. Grumble about how things are not going well for you. Tell them about your illnesses.• Example – Oh God. My back hurts. You cant begin to know how uncomfortable it is. You know I had to fix the roof guttering last week because I cant afford to employ someone, and it all just got so much worse.
Body pointingPointing your body away from the otherperson• Send subconscious signals through your body by turning your body towards another person or towards the door/exit.
Caught shortSay you need to go to the toilet• You can signal this by twitching subtly beforehand. Look slightly embarrassed to be asking to be excused and they will hurry to give you permission.• Example – Er..sorry, I need to go to the toilet. – Back in a mo. Just going to point Percy at the porcelain!
Closed questionsCreate short answers• Open questions lead to long answers, whilst closed questions lead to short answers, typically one word, such as yes and no.• Example – Thats an interesting thought. Are you ready now? – So, you want to go to France this summer, is that right? – Do you know what you want now?
Declare completionSay that the conversation is ended• Asserting completion can be an effective method of completion, especially when you are in position of seniority.• Example – I think thats about it. Ive nothing more to say about that. – Are we done? – Thats enough about sausages for now.
Excuse yourselfJust excuse yourself and leave• This does not have to be valid or even particularly sensible.• Example – Excuse me, but I have to go now. – I have to get off now. Is that ok? – I must leave because I have to go now.
Feign ignoranceBe unable to answer their questions• Pretend you now little or nothing about the subject. Useful when people are seeking info from you.• Example – Sorry, but I know nothing about that. – Id love to help, but thats not my area of expertise. – Sorry, but I dont understand what you are talking about.
Introduce a friendSo you can excuse yourself• Example – Jim, what do you think about this? – Lets go and talk with Celia over there. Shes very interested in these things. – Sorry to trouble you but were rather stuck here. Do you happen to know….
Out of timeHave another appointment• Show your concern for time by looking at your watch. You can also tell at the start of the conversation that you only have a little time.• Example – I can only spend a couple of minutes on this as I need to catch Jim before he goes. – Sorry, I have to go to catch a train. – Goodness, is that the time! I promised my wife Id be home before six. – Will this be quick? Ive a meeting at ten.
Phone callsUse the phone to call you away• Pre-arrange a number of minutes into the conversation, at which they call you. You can then decide whether to stay or be called away.• Example – Sorry, this looks important. Can I take this call? – Do excuse me, I have to call home. – Yes...yes...oh dear. Excuse me, theres a panic on in the computer system. I have…
ProcrastinatingPutting discussion off to another time• Putting things off is not the same as refusing to ever talk about something.• Example – Can we talk about this another time? – Im not really in the mood now -- lets discuss it tomorrow. – This needs quality time, which we dont have now. Can you check my diary and book a meeting. – Im going to have to put this off until next month.
Short answersThat give no reason to extend• Keep what you say closely related to what was said before -- you do not want to open up new areas of discussion for the other person.• Example – Yes, I can see what you mean. – Im not sure. Ill have to think about it. – I like that. Ill tell Terry.
Slow downDe-accelerate to a standstill• First, when you slow down, you may slow the other person too. Like slowing down when your are running, slowing the conversation can lead to a complete standstill.• Example – Hmm. Thats interesting. Mmm. I need to think about that, I think. – Thats about it. Weeell. Noowww. Mmmmm.
Spot a friendWave to a friend and go to see them• Suddenly notice another person across the room. Wave at them, then excuse yourself to go and see them. You do not need to actually have a friend there, although of course it does help.• Example – Good heavens, is that George -- excuse me, I havent seen old George in donkeys years. I must go and see him. Terribly sorry and all that. – Excuse me, Ive just seen my wife arrive. Would you mind if I go and talk with her? – Sophie! Hi! Excuse me -- I must catch her before she leaves.
SummarizeDescribe the essence of what has been said• Often more appropriate in work or other relatively formal situations.• Example – So, you want to go to the movies tonight, but James does not want to go out with you. Is that right? – Can I check what we have agreed? I am going to talk with Margaret about your problems with the way she is treating you. Ill catch her tomorrow some time. Ill then get back to you on Tuesday. Is that ok for you?
“Despite popular beliefs to the contrary, the single greatestbarrier to business success is the one erected by culture."Edward T. Hall and Mildred Reed HallHidden Differences: Doing Business with the Japanese
• Understand Cultural Diversity• Developing Awareness of Individual Cultures – Japan: cards; UK: time; Punjab: Hospitality (Grover - Tea) – Kissing a business associate is not considered an appropriate business practice in the U.S., but in Paris, one peck on each cheek is an acceptable greeting. – The handshake that is widely accepted in the U.S. is not recognized in all other cultures.• Demand Tolerance – Open mindedness, acceptance• Keep it simple and avoid humour