Mastering Conversation

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Detailed process for starting and having meaningful conversations with virtually anyone, anytime.

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Mastering Conversation

  1. 1. Mastering Conversation: Building a Fire<br />Jason Flores<br />MarketingMan<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  2. 2. Session Objectives<br />Engage anyone in real conversation<br />Rebuild dying conversations<br />Transition to new topics<br />Converse effortlessly<br />Leave conversations easily<br />Feel comfortable at events and receptions<br />Develop strong business friendships<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  3. 3. Why Is Conversation Important?<br />Good communication/rapport<br />Feel comfortable in any environment<br />Gain information <br />Have good working relationships<br />Develop friendships/contacts<br />Make sales<br />Interview better/get hired<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  4. 4. Why People Struggle Conversing<br />Not knowing what to say<br />Uncomfortable with rejection<br />Counter to what we’ve been taught<br />Good things come to those who wait<br />Silence is golden<br />Wait to be properly introduced<br />Don’t talk to strangers<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  5. 5. Overcoming The Hurdles<br />Talk to strangers<br />Introduce yourself<br />Have simple ideas of what to say<br />Start the conversation<br />Assume the burden of conversation to make others feel comfortable<br />People gravitate to comfortable<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  6. 6. What Makes Great Conversation?<br />________________<br />________________<br />________________<br />________________<br />________________<br />________________<br />________________<br />________________<br />________________<br />________________<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  7. 7. What Makes Great Conversation?<br />Everyone Participates / Flows<br />Interesting for both parties<br />Listening<br />Comfortable<br />Fun or Humorous<br />Productive<br />Engaged/Connected<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  8. 8. Fire Starting<br />Find an approachable person<br />Fire Starter Questions<br />What brings you here this evening?<br />Fire Starter Statements <br />Your yard looks amazing. What’s your secret?<br />Say Something!<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  9. 9. Find Approachable Person <br />Don’t always default to who you know<br />Approachable person is one who:<br />Makes eye contact<br />Not actively engaged in conversation<br />Unescorted, but not always<br />Talking to lots of different people<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  10. 10. Fire Starter Questions<br />Questions to engage someone in conversation<br />What brings you here this evening?<br />What do you do?<br />How are you able to tell if this fruit is ripe?<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  11. 11. Fire Starter Statements<br />Statements used to open a conversation<br />Your lawn looks so great. What’s your secret?<br />What a great restaurant. What restaurant is your favorite? Why?<br />I noticed you’re going to the 50th floor. What business is on the 50th floor?<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  12. 12. Comfortable Approach<br />Find approachable person<br />Smile<br />Make eye contact<br />Use fire starter<br />Offer your name and use theirs<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  13. 13. Remembering Names<br />Using their name is best way to remember<br />Hi Debbie, I’m Jason<br />Repeat their name back<br />Debbie, it has been great talking with you<br />Focus on something distinctive about them<br />If you don’t remember their name, ASK!<br />Better to ask than look silly later<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  14. 14. Other People Forget Names Too<br />Help them out be telling them your name<br />Hi Michael, Jason Flores<br />Don’t assume they remember<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  15. 15. Approaching Groups of People<br />Can be more intimidating to approach than individuals<br />Move close to group<br />Show interest in speaker<br />Smile and nod<br />Ease into group demonstrating your listening<br />Find points of agreement (do not rock boat)<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  16. 16. Keep the Conversation Fire Going<br />Be an astute observer<br />Open ended questions<br />Fire stoking questions<br />Using the F-R-O-G<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  17. 17. Be Astute Observer<br />People provide you free conversation fuel<br />Appearance – Lapel pins, jewelry<br />Team apparel – T-shirts, hats, water bottles<br />Office or home décor – Awards, pictures<br />Location, location, location<br />Occasion, occasion, occasion<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  18. 18. Open Ended Questions<br />Need more than a Yes/No answer<br />Start w/ What, How, Why, Tell me more<br />Adding fuel to the conversation fire<br />What fun thing did you do this weekend?<br />Tell me more about how you came to ProLango?<br />How do you spend your leisure time?<br />Why was Maui your favorite Hawaiian Island? <br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  19. 19. Fire Stoking Questions<br />Follow-up questions that ask people to expand on their previous answer<br />How was your summer? What special things did you do? <br />Note: Don’t stoke if you’re not really interested<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  20. 20. F-R-O-G<br />Family<br />What does your significant other do for a living?<br />Recreation<br />What do you like to do for fun outside of work?<br />Occupation<br />???<br />Goals<br />???<br />Get the FROG out of your throat<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  21. 21. Adding Fuel to the Fire<br />Incredible Listening<br />Verbal Clues<br />Visual Clues<br />Seamless Segues<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  22. 22. Amazing Listening<br />Speaker looking for clues of listening<br />Hear at 300wpm - talk at ~150wpm <br />Beware of extra capacity<br />Stay mentally engaged not looking around<br />Think of yourself as psychoanalyst<br />If bored change subject or exit gracefully<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  23. 23. Verbal Clues<br />Brief comments tell speaker you’re listening<br />Encourage them to talk so you don’t have to<br />Absence of clues make people wonder if you’re listening<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  24. 24. Verbal Clue Examples<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  25. 25. Visual Clues<br />Listening is seen, not just heard<br />35% of social meaning verbal and 65% non-verbal<br />Offer visual clues – show you’re listening<br />Eye contact<br />Facial expressions - smiling<br />Head nods<br />Positive body language – leaning in, relax posture, open arms and body, point center towards them<br />Mimic style and tempo<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  26. 26. Seamless Segues<br />Changing topics on the fly<br />That reminds me of …<br />When you mentioned _______ I thought of …<br />I’ve been wanting to ask you …<br />I wanted to ask someone of your expertise ______<br />Do you mind if I change the subject?<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  27. 27. Taking your turn – Stir the Coals<br />Remember conversations are 2 way streets<br />Some people struggle<br />Many feel too ordinary but aren’t <br />Don’t want to appear self centered<br />Avoid taboo topics<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  28. 28. Ordinary People<br />Most people are ordinary<br />Even ordinary people have extraordinary things happen to them<br />Hilarious events<br />Incredible adventure<br />Ridiculous moment<br />Exciting accomplishment<br />Uncanny coincidence<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  29. 29. Conversation Etiquette<br />Few Rules<br />Disclose personal info that’s comfortable and uncontroversial – when in doubt leave it out<br />Leading with light info to build trust<br />Peel the onion – share info in matching layers<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  30. 30. Conversation Smokey Bears<br />People who refuse to participate or hog the conversation<br />FBI Agent<br />Braggart / One upper/ Know-it-all<br />Tight Ball of Shyness<br />Ball Hog – Talkaholic<br />Negative Nancy<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  31. 31. Conversation Smokey Bears<br />FBI Agents<br />Respond and ask open-ended questions<br />Shy People<br />Draw them out by using repeated open-ended questions<br />Braggarts<br />Move the conversation ball around by interjecting “What do you think (insert name)?” to someone else<br />Talkaholics<br />Set a time limit with them to keep them from talking you to death<br />Negatives<br />Steer to positive conversation topics or get away<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  32. 32. Effortless Exits<br />How to break from conversation gracefully<br />Standard Exit<br />Would you excuse me? I’d like to chat with the speaker.<br />Introduction Exit<br />Matt is a great guy with an interesting history. I’d like to introduce you two.<br />Appreciation Exit<br />I’ve really enjoyed talking with you about your business. Let’s connect on LinkedIn and meet for coffee next week?<br />Follow-up Exit<br />I don’t want to monopolize your time tonight. Can I follow-up with you next week?<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  33. 33. Review<br />Importance of conversation skill<br />How to start a conversation with fire starters<br />Build it further with astute observation, open ended questions & FROG<br />Stoke the fire to roaring hot w/incredible listening, verbal/visual cues & seamless segues<br />Exit conversations flawlessly without getting burned<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />
  34. 34. Next Steps<br />Don’t go home and forget about this. <br />Try a few conversation ideas when the opportunities present themselves. <br />Be fearless and approach people you don’t know and practice, practice, practice!!! <br />That’s how you become a Conversation Master!<br />Thank You!<br />© 2005 Jason Flores Marketing Man<br />

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