How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships

How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships

by Leil Lowndes

What magical quality makes some people instantly loved and respected? Everyone wants to be their friend - or if single, their lover! In business, they rise swiftly to the top of the corporate ladder. What is their "Midas touch?"

How to talk to anyone will teach you this secret power. Master the art of human communication, give great first impressions, and help people feel comfortable around you. 

Summary Notes

How to Intrigue Everyone Without Saying a Word

"You only have ten seconds to show you're somebody."

People make quick judgments of their surrounding world to make quick sense out of it. The moment someone sees you, they take a mental snapshot and this guides the rest of their interactions with you. First impressions matter - a lot.

People will first notice your body language before you speak. For example, a quick smile often indicates fakeness. On the other hand, a wide slow smile and optimum eye contact can induce respect and affection as it signals intelligence, trust, and a caring attitude. Good communicators know this and so, they have fine-tuned their body language for maximum impact. 

Other examples of important body language include staying calm and avoiding fidgety movements as this is associated with lying. You need to be aware of how others will perceive you and consciously squelch any signs anyone could mistake for shiftiness. 

Maintaining optimum eye contact, smiling slowly and exclusively, and avoiding fidgety movement may sound small but their impact is multifold.

Actions to take

How to Know What to Say After You Say “Hi”

"Your tongue is a welcome mat embossed with either ''Welcome" or ''Go Away!”

Just as your first glimpse should please people's eyes, your first words should also delight their ears. To make your conversation partner feel welcome, you must master small talk. If you aim to transform yourself into a dynamic conversationalist and forceful communicator, small talk is the first crucial step toward that goal.

Many people give in to their anxiety and feel uncomfortable about starting conversations. Now, conversational anxiety is simply a result of our DNA, resulting in some people producing more neurotransmitters than others. Specifically, excessive levels of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline, a chemical cousin of adrenaline, causes anxiety.

The good news is that when human beings think, and genuinely feel, certain emotions—like the confidence that they have specific techniques to fall back on—the brain manufactures antidotes to anxiety. If fear and distaste of small talk is the disease, just knowing how to start the conversation is the cure. 

Actions to take

How to Talk like a VIP

"85% of one’s success in life is directly due to communication skills."

In the business world, we silently judge each other based on communication skills. When we smile and say “How do you do?” or “Hello,” others are analyzing you and your body language to see who is the bigger cat in the human jungle.

Similarly, employers prefer candidates with good communications skills and attitudes over education, experience, and training. One cliché, one insensitive remark, or one overanxious reaction, is all it takes to lose a potentially valuable friendship or business contact. Good communication skills take you to the top of the corporate and social ladders. They can help you get a promotion, new projects, new friends, and contacts. 

Actions to take

How to Be an Insider in Any Crowd

"Show sincere interest and people will talk.” 

Everyone has their favorite topics that usually involve their work or hobbies. When we’re with people in our field or who share our interests, we open up like small-town gossip. To outsiders, our conversation sounds like gobbledygook but we know precisely what it’s about.

You may fear that you’ll find yourself in a party of people with opposite interests. In that case, just as anglers throw out a dragonfly to get the fish to bite, all you have to do is throw out the right questions to get people to open up. 

As they say in poker, “it takes jacks or better to open.” In conversation, it takes cursory knowledge or better about their field to get them to open up. You must have knowledgeable curiosity, the kind that makes you sound like you’re worth talking to.

Actions to take

How to Sound Like Your Peas in a Pod

“Birds of a feather flock together.”

People are most receptive to those who have the same values in life. Similarly, we are most comfortable giving our business and friendship to those we feel share our values and beliefs in life. 

Along with creating sensations of similarity with everyone you wish, the following actions develop a deeper understanding and empathy with people of all races and backgrounds and open doors that might otherwise be closed to you because the bonding between two strangers develops through various levels. Firstly, they toss cliches back and forth like weather and some other universally agreed topics. 

Secondly, they like to share and discuss facts. Then gradually share their feelings and thoughts. You can scramble the signals in others’ psyche by skipping conversational levels one and two and cutting right to other higher levels.

Actions to take

How to Differentiate the Power of Praise from the Folly of Flattery

"It’s wonderful to tell people you appreciate or love them. When it matches what they appreciate or love about themselves, the effect is overpowering."

Compliments come naturally to people when they want something from somebody. Take the hungry infant’s instinctive cooing as Mommy approaches the crib to the car, or the salesman’s calculated praise as a prospect walks into the showroom. The business world has changed a lot, mere praise is no longer enough to get your things done. If your compliment is insincere or unskilled, it can wreck your chances of the other person ever trusting you again.

So, how do you differentiate between praise that lifts and flattery that flattens? Sincerity, timing, motivation, wording, and expressions are all important here. Additionally, current sociology research points towards compliments from new people being more potent and credible than those from people you know. 

If you want your compliments to carry greater credibility, you need to convey them indirectly. 

Actions to take

How to Direct Dial Their Hearts

"People lose 30% of the energy level in their voices on the phone."

Hundreds of people have never actually met you but formed impressions of you through your phone call. They’ve never seen your expressions, read your body language but what they know is your voice, sometimes from hundreds of miles away, and feel that they know you just from the sound of your voice. That’s how powerful the telephone is.

When you’re introduced to an important new contact, you shake hands, you fully face that person. You make good, strong eye contact and smile, listening intently and nodding as he/she speaks. Your body language and facial expressions comprise more than half your personality. 

Now, how good an impression could you make on that person if both of you were blindfolded and had your hands tied behind your backs? That’s how you are trapped on a call. When people don’t see you, they can get an entirely wrong impression. 

Keep a few things in mind during a call to leave a great impression. For example, greet your caller, say their name frequently, and ask whether they are free for your call.  

Actions to take

How to Work for a Party like a Politician Works a Room

"Everyone discovers a distinctive beauty in one or two other people that are very personal, very special, and speak uniquely to the seeker."

When invited to a party, most of our thought processes are, “Hmm, this could be fun...Wonder if they’re going to serve food...Hope it’s good...Might be some interesting people there...Wonder if my friend so 'n' is coming...Golly, what should I wear?”

That’s not the way a politician thinks about a party. While politicians, serious socializers, and big winners in the business world are staring at the invitation, they instinctively surf to a different channel. Before they RSVP with “yes” or “no”, their brains craft journalistic campaign questions. They use a very effective method for this job. It’s the Six-Point Party Checklist. Who? When? What? Why? Where? And How? Let’s take them one by one.

  1. Who is going?
  2. When should I arrive?
  3. What should I take with me?
  4. Why is the party being held?
  5. Where is the collective mind?
  6. How am I going to follow up on the party?

Actions to take

How to Break the Most Treacherous Glass Ceiling of All

"Sometimes people are tigers."

Social disabilities are insidious because often we don’t recognize them in ourselves. We can be blind to our social handicaps and deaf to our verbal deficiencies. However, we’re quick to recognize them in others. Society constructs a rock-hard glass ceiling that only top communicators recognize.

Many bright individuals hit their heads on the thick glass as they try to climb up the next rung of the ladder to join the big people on top. The folks who can crash through are the ones who abide by the unspoken rules of communication, such as overlooking others' bloopers, paying double for your mistakes that cost someone else, and respecting others.

If you find any of the following actions obvious, pat yourself on the back. It means you’re already a tiger on that one. However, you should still pay attention to moments where you think, “You gotta be kidding! What’s wrong with that?” You might be acting insensitively. 

Actions to take

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