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Approaching someone for either the first or umpteenth time and stating what’s on your mind requires some confidence whether the person in question is a girl you spotted at the mall, your neighborhood, your office, your boss or a political figure.

All you need to do is to master the approach and follow some guidelines that can make the exercise a successful one.

Know When To Approach
Knowing when to approach is perhaps the first step in talking confidently and getting a good response. Read the countenance and body language of who you want to talk to and disarm them with a compliment that would soften their demeanor. Words like “You look happy today” or “That’s a nice shirt you’re wearing” will illicit a positive response that can get a conversation started in a nice way.

Be Ready To Listen
Listening is an underestimated part of conversation and doing it can be a difficult task if you’re unable to settle your nerves. You can listen well by asking questions from the answers you’re given from previous questions. For instance, if you ask them if they got the nice shoes they were wearing when they travelled to the United Kingdom, you can follow up with questions related to where they visited and if they enjoyed the trip.

Keep The Conversation Open
Questions that will simply require a Yes or No answer is not appropriate to inspire confidence as they will most likely shut down the conversation. It’s best to stick to open-ended questions that can give you an inclination of the other person’s personality. You should however avoid endless string of inquiries about work, as most people are happy to leave their work life behind them. Questions like “What’s your favourite blog?”, “What music do you listen to?”, “What magazines do you read?”, or “What’s keeping you busy at the moment?” can help to maintain a conversation.

Talk About Yourself
Another good way to inspire confidence in your conversations is to talk about yourself. Your experiences with sports, travel, books, music should be put into play. Talk about your passions enthusiastically and you’d be confident with whatever course the conversation takes. You should however avoid talking about yourself too much. Going on endlessly about yourself can be a turn-off, and as such, you should know when to shut up. You can avoid this by asking questions and making the conversation a two-way street instead of being the only one talking and meeting a brick wall.

Be Up To Date
Be current about happenings in all parts of the world even if all you know about them are snippets. Have a basic understanding of the world around you and that will come to play in the course of conversations as you will be able to find common interests in film, music, television and politics in time.

Stick To Boundaries
There are certain things you should never share at the beginning with people. Oversharing about your political beliefs or some messy information regarding your family can be miserable for the other person. Spare them the misery and know your boundaries. Be able to decipher their body language and see the things that they are comfortable with and the ones that they would rather not hear.

Avoid Certain Topics
Certain Topics can dampen your spirit and have you low on morale when the reactions from the other person is less than interesting. Topics like money, religion, and sex are ones that you should stay off because they are likely to bring up judgmental comments which can dampen the conversation.

Have A Strategy To Quit The Conversation
One of the most awkward things that destroys confidence during conversations, is how to exit when the small talk has dried up without hurting anyone’s feelings. A good exit strategy is saying something like “I’ve really got to catch my boss before he leaves” this can help you make a clean break without feeling awkward that you’re ditching them.

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