The best way that you can begin a conversation with people that you have never met is to convey to them as clearly as possible how much respect you have for them and their opinion.

The best way to do this is to let the other person dictate a topic of interest. You can be sure that whatever topic that they choose will be a topic that they are deeply interested in.

Often times others will be hesitant to start a conversation with someone that they have never met. It is therefore up to you to break the ice and start a conversation with them. It’s easy to do this, all you have to do is to ask some well chosen questions to find out what a person’s hobbies or interests are.

Recently I found myself at an office get together and unfortunately I really didn’t know anyone there. I found myself next to a particularly pretty young lady that seemed quite shy and very bored. A few people attempted to get her to open up but she gave short curt answers that ended any possible conversation rather quickly.

Since she seemed like a pretty interesting person, I took it upon myself to see if I could get a conversation going with her. I also needed some serious distraction since I was fast headed into a deep nap.

I noticed that she had a few tattoos and that dragons seemed to play some large part in her body art. With that in mind I went up to her and asked, “I am deeply interested in dragons and have noticed your body work. I was wondering what got you interested in them?”

Well that was her “hot button”. She immediately began to open up to me and flooded me with all sorts of mythology and information about her interests. She was incredibly knowledgeable about dragons and about body art of all kinds. She turned out to be an incredibly interesting person and we had a great time talking the night away. Her passion was very intoxicating.

She let me know at the end of the evening that she had never met a more interesting person or one that knew so much. But I can assure you that I hardly said a word except to ask her to elaborate on one topic or another. All I did was listen to her enthusiastically, and show appreciation and respect for her knowledge. We became good friends and we gone out together a few times.

Please realize that I was not trying to manipulate this person in any way. I was really interested in the topics that I asked her about. I just put her at ease by asking her about something that she knew a lot about, she felt more self confidant and important as a result, and became a great conversationalist for the rest of the evening.

When you want to start a conversation with someone, see if you can find their “hot button.” You can either do this by reading their body and mannerism or more simply by asking simple open ended questions until you find their interests.

For example I made a friend just by making some simple observations. You too can do the same by observing the person you wish to meet. What are they doing? How are they dressed? Anything that catches your eye will do as a good opening question. Remember not to sound condescending but to really be interested in the topic that you are asking about. Also if you don’t get a big emotional response from your initial question, don’t worry about it. Think of it as an icebreaker and ask the person something else. Also remember to stay open ended in your questions until you can get to a juicy topic.

P.S. Open ended questions are questions that a person can’t just answer yes or no to, like; “so what brings you to this fine shindig?” or “ So are you here because of the groom or the bride?” “really, are you related…?”