This is the third post and my attempt to answer the fourth question prompt in the #YourTurnChallenge [days one and two were compressed into one post.]
Day 4: Teach us something that you do well.
You guys, I can talk to ANYONE. Anyone at all. Guy on the street, grandmother on the bus, woman at the carry out counter, stranger in the library, little kids who come over to see if I’m Sleeping Beauty or the girl spinning for Rumplestiltskin at spinning demos. I can get a good conversation going with anyone.
It’s like a magic skill… except it’s not.
A lot of people are afraid to talk to strangers. Some people are even hesitant to chat much with people that they know. It’s intimidating, I get that. I won’t even get into the whole speaking to a crowd thing, like doing a presentation or getting on stage to announce something – though those things don’t bother me, either. I’m pretty unflappable in front of people.
How do I do it?
There’s a couple of tricks to talking to people. Number one is so simple it’s almost counter-intuitive. The best conversationalists LISTEN more than they talk. Ask a question, a simple one: how has your day been? What kind of hobbies do you have? Where’s your favorite place to get food around here? You know, something appropriate to the current situation. Then listen to the answer, really listen. And ask another question when it seems appropriate, that builds on that previous question and answer given. The important thing is to listen more than you talk. You will learn something about the person you’re talking with, and you’ll give them a really positive experience that will leave them feeling good when they walk away.
If you’re with other fiber artists, this is REALLY easy to accomplish. Ask what they do most – knit, crochet, spin, weave? What’s their latest project? It’s super easy to build from this conversation. I know, because this is one I have ALL the time and it’s never dull!
The best conversations come from listening, and taking the time to pay attention to the person you’re talking with, observing what they react to and the clues they give you.
So that’s how *I* do it. Anyone who knows me knows I’m ready to talk to whoever I encounter! In fact, I probably chat a little tooooo much sometimes. 😀
[I’m happy to give you tips for speaking in public, too. Just ask! *grin*]