If you’re like me the first piece of advice your mom ever gave you was don’t talk to strangers and now I have a whole video that your mom and maybe even my mom is really not going to like I want to teach you how to talk to strangers I’ll show you how to approach anyone about anything hello stranger my name is Vanessa van Edwards and I’m a behavioral investigator at our human behavior research lab the science of people this video is kind of funny because I’m telling you how to talk to strangers even though technically we are strangers I find this topic fascinating because for our entire childhood we are taught not to talk to strangers and then all of a sudden we become adults and we have to talk to strangers all day long and befriend them and work with them strangers usually interview us for jobs.
We take classes with strangers we present to strangers in meetings we are supposed to network with strangers at networking events the list goes on and on even though you might not have been given this very important skill growing up I want to teach you how you can bond quickly and effectively with new people step number one the warm up before we even talk about what to say to a stranger I want to talk about your warm up your approach and what happens before the interaction you could call this stranger foreplay to avoid a cold interaction you want to have a warm approach the most important thing you want to do when you are approaching a stranger for the first time is to send off friend signals when we first meet someone our brain has to quickly decide friend or foe foe signals are crossed arms lack of gazing hidden hands friend signals are open body language having an open torso with nothing blocking you direct eye contact upon approach and visible hands ready for the handshake.
So friend signals are summarised simply into three counterpoints open body language direct eye contact and visible hands make sure you approach people with friend signals bonus points if you can smile step number two the opener okay so you’ve approached with warm friend nonverbal signals now what do you say with your verbal pickups opening lines these all tend to make people very nervous don’t worry the opening line is actually not as important as you think one of the best most effective pickup lines is also the simplest are you ready for it the best opening line is just hey how are you simple right easy and effective don’t drive yourself crazy coming up with something clever just say hey how are you and your name this has worked for me a hundred percent of the time number three the shake after your opening line ordering it give out your hand for a nice solid handshake.
What if you aren’t much of a shaker too bad I want you to step up and shake anyways why handshakes are so so so important the moment your skin touches someone else’s skin you release chemicals that help you bond if you need to supercharge your handshake check out our video on the art of the perfect handshake good rules of thumb are always keep your hands dry and keep your handshake firm number four the intro okay let’s review so far you’ve approached with warm body language used a simple opening line given a nice handshake now it’s time to introduce yourself right after you do the hey how are you you want to start building rapport the best way to do this is to say who you are and how you arrived and if you can bounce it back to them for example I could say hey I’m Vanessa this is my first time at this conference how about you then they respond and guess what now you’re in a conversation and no longer strangers my final tip is that you should use food and drink as an opener if you can sitting at the bar is the easiest way to start a conversation with the person next to you signing up to the buffet the chitchat is super simple we all eat and drink so it’s an easy way in okay that’s it now I’m going to give you the advice your mama never gave you go out and talk to some strangers did it do.
To watch the above article as a whole in video format, here you go –