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Improving Your Conversation Skills (day 8)

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This is the 8th day in our 31 Days to Better Game series. Yesterday’s lesson gave you some tips for approaching and opening girls. The easiest way to get over approach anxiety is to get confident in your ability to talk to women. I think most men aren’t afraid of delivering the opener… they are afraid of their ability to carry the conversation afterwards. Today’s lesson is all about improving your conversations.

Day 8

Improving Your Conversation Skills by Bobby Rio

The goal of a conversation is to connect with the other person on some level. After you’ve approached a woman and have broken the ice with an opening line… you need to hook her into the conversation. You need to get her to invest some interest in talking to you.

How do you get a girl to invest some interest in the conversation?

One of the easiest ways to elicit a response is to make assumptions about her and funny guesses. For instance, the other night I was talking to a girl at a bar, and I asked her if she lived in the city. She told me she just moved here from Iowa.

The standard question that most guys would have asked next was “how do you like the city?”

Instead I said, “So, you’re here because as a child you had bright lights big city dreams… you imagined yourself strolling down fifth ave, swinging your briefcase on your way to your job in advertising…”

At this point she stopped me and said… “haha, actually I imagined it was a job on Wall St., I’m a finance geek.”

“So you imagined yourself in a power suit… doing lunches with the Gordon Gekko types.. talking about how Intel is down a point?”

From there the conversation flowed naturally because I avoided interview mode. I guided her along. When that thread died down it was easy to transistion into another interesting topic.”

“So tell me what your first week in the city was really like” I asked her.

Here she brought up the emotions she felt of excitement mixed with fear.

Using the material she gave me “the mix of excitement and fear” I was able to transition into another thread.

“Well aren’t the most satisfying times in life the times you feel that adrenaline? Its like when you think of your most memorable vacation… it probably wasn’t a vacation you sat in a beach chair sipping Pina Coladas.. it was probably one where you challenged yourself a bit…”

“Haha, yes… being stuck in France not speaking a word of the language.. out of money”

“Oh.. that sounds like a good story.. do tell!”

See how the conversation is naturally flowing from one thread to another? After she spoke a bit about her adventure in France I told her about my first time in Brazil, and explained the emotion I felt of “being lost on this entirely different continent, and how it almost brings you back your childhood when things were still new… and you had that desire to explore.”

We were able to smoothly transition from “Do you live in the City?” to having a detailed conversation about our most adventurous vacations.

The key to being a good conversationalist is to keep your ears open for hooks. A hook is something she says that you can use to extend the conversation. If you’re listening to her you’ll notice a new hook every time she opens her mouth. When she told me she just moved here from Iowa a month ago she gave me three hooks to work off of. (leaving Iowa, arriving in NY, her first month here) Each time she gives you a hook you should relate it back to her establishing a connection.

The biggest mistakes guys make is turning the conversation into an interview… take the conversation above and see how easily it could have headed into interview mode:

  • me: Do you live in the city?
  • her: I just moved here form Iowa
  • me: Oh yea.. so what do you do?
  • her: I’m a stock broker
  • me: where do you usually hangout?

See how easily the conversation could have turned into a high pressured interview if I hadn’t used what she gave me and related it back to her.

You also want to stay away from “try hard” relating. This is where everything she says you try to find away to immediately relate to it.

  • me: Do you live in the city?
  • her: I just moved here from Iowa
  • me: Really, I have a friend who went there on vacation last year. What do you do?
  • her: I’m a stockbroker.
  • me: Oh yea.. I dabbled with stocks online a little. What do you do for fun?

In the example above you’re wasting valuable hooks by trying to fill the air with pointless banter about yourself. Who cares that your friend went there on vacation?

The proper way to handle a hook is to relate it back to her. This is actually a technique I learned from Richard La Ruina’s book The Natural Art of Seduction where he talks about taking things deeper. Here is an example from my conversation of how I took things deeper.

  • me: tell me about your most adventurous vacation.
  • her: It was this time in France when I was dead broke, didn’t speak the language, and alone for two days wondering around Paris.
  • me: So you must have felt both the thrill and fear of complete anonymity. So what does one do when they know no one will find out?

See how I acknowledged the emotion that she must have been feeling. This simple acknowledgement let her know that: 1. I was really listening to her. 2. That I was able to empathize and understand her. 3. That I was genuinely curious to know what one does when they know no one is watching.

Once you’ve acknowledged what she has given you it is alright to relate the story to yourself. Because now she knows that you’re on the same playing field. She knows that you’re not superficially trying to relate…

This is a conversational strategy you should take on no matter who you are talking to. Many of us have old habits that we’re going to have to break. The easiest way to break an old habit is to consistently implement a new one.

Instead of waiting for attractive girls to practice this new conversational strategy I would suggest practicing it with your friends, family, and co-workers. Practice picking out the hooks these people are giving you, and then practice acknowledging the hooks. If you get in this habit you will naturally become a better conversationalist.

I’ve often talked about the audio series Master the Vibe because the recorded conversations that they highlight are excellent examples of this theory in action. Whether you’re listening to the Master the Vibe CD or just paying attention to the conversations of those around you.. take notice of how much more engaging conversations are when this technique is implemented.

About Bobby Rio

I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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10 Comments

  1. KillSwitch

    June 21, 2008 at 10:55 am

    really good post. Conversation is actually one of my sticking points and I hope to improve that area of my life in these 30 days. I like the fact that you say to practice with EVERYONE because that way it will become a part of who we are. Bobby, what else does the book “The Natural Art of Seduction” cover and is it worth buying?

    -KillSwitch

  2. Great White Hope

    June 21, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    This has been the best article in the series so far. There are some good things I have heard about conversation that weren’t included in this article, but not much.

  3. Bobby Rio

    June 21, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Killswitch.

    the book covers a lot.. and personally i’ve always liked Richards (gamblers) style. Its a mix of “how to” with a lot of his personal anectodes mixed in.

  4. Seraf24

    June 22, 2008 at 3:55 am

    Great shit. This definitely keeps their investment going.

    -Seraf

  5. art of seduction

    June 24, 2008 at 6:02 am

    After a while, conversation becomes natural. But at first, the tip on ‘making funny assumptions about her’ can be a really good way to start practicing

    art of seduction’s last blog post..Become a Player

  6. kmr

    June 24, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    what if the hooks you get are negative or do not interrest you? Does that ever happen to you? Do you switch subjects then? How?

  7. Bobby Rio

    June 24, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    KMR

    GIve me an example of a negative hook or an answer she could have given that didn’t interest me.. and I’ll give you an example of how to change the subject.

  8. kmr

    June 24, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    i was doing what you said talking about how she felt angry for buying clothes before the end of summer because she wanted to lose weight, since she already looks hot i bust on her for wanting to become a skinny LA bitch, she says something about how she was more in shape before but got sick, had finals and binged.

  9. Teddy Bear

    June 24, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    lol dont talk about weight with a new woman…EVER

    Teddy Bear’s last blog post..5 Tips for Lasting Longer in Bed

  10. athena

    June 25, 2008 at 1:44 am

    you gotta take what she gives and pull it to a more positive place.
    something about how it always makes you feel a little better about yourself or sexier when you have new clothes.

    i mean, im sure if you thought about it, it wouldnt be too hard to take anything someone said to you and push it into a negative place. like in the example given there: “: It was this time in France when I was dead broke, didn’t speak the language, and alone for two days wondering around Paris.”

    theres a mountain of negative whining that could come out of that. this is what most people are used to talking about – for some reason, they are more comfortable bitching than talking about what makes them happy! its probably even easier for you to find the negative.

    what you gotta do is find the positive stuff in every comment, the stuff that really feels good to remember and experience. pull whatever you can into that area – and she will come to associate you with that good feeling. this is going to take practice. when people say things, even when they arent talking to you, try to imagine how you can take that sentence and turn it into a more positive conversation. you gotta be the leader here, and the hunter.

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