1.Disarm them with your vulnerability
Sometimes the quickest way to make another person comfortable is to be vulnerable yourself. On a flight? Tell your seatmate, “Flying makes me a little nervous.”
2. Be brutally honest
I find that being honest is best as it doesn’t waste anyone’s time.
3. Tell them their celebrity doppelganger
“Did anyone ever tell you that you look just like Sophia Vergara? ” This approach is always effective and the person on the receiving end will say thank you.
4. ‘Cheers’ them
If you are in a bar and looking for an excuse to talk to someone, just go up and raise your glass and say “cheers!”This is effective because it’s non-threatening.
5. Size them up
People love to be seen as useful. For instance, if you’re shopping ask them what they think of a fit because the person you’re buying for is about their size.
6. Ask about a mutual friend
Mutual friends are good conversation starters when you are invited by the same person. Asking “So how do you know Mike? ” allows the two of you to get to know each other.
7. Plan a dream vacation
Ask someone “If you got a free ticket to anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be?”It’s a great way to learn about them.
8. Scare them (just a little)
One of my favorite conversation starters is asking “What was your high school mascot?” It immediately takes the person back to their childhood. Then I follow up by joking, “You know that you just gave me the answer to one of your online security questions, right?” People usually laugh, often launching into a conversation about online identity theft.
9. Repeat what they said
If you don’t know what to say, reflect back what you hear the other person saying and offer compassion. This allows the other person to feel accepted.
10. Join the fun
Introduce yourself by going up and saying “You look like you’re having a lot of fun so I wanted to come and say Hi!”This is effective because it exudes confidence and charisma.