How to not be boring in a conversation?
That would be a good thing not to be. I’m Chad. I’m the co-author of Ask Powerful Questions Create Conversations That Matter. And in this video, we’re going to talk about how to not be boring in conversation. Let’s get into it.
In this video, I’m going to unpack a couple strategies that I use personally to have really meaningful conversations. The first framework and the biggest idea in all of this is the age-old concept that it’s more important to be interested than interesting. That requires a shift from focusing on this person to focusing on the other person. It”s the reason that the title of our book is Ask Powerful Questions not make really interesting statements. That said, questions are good questions invite us to connect with other people. Questions tell others that we’re interested in them and we don’t want to just talk about ourselves. However, a conversation without self-disclosure is actually an interrogation,.
Oddly enough in this video, I’m going to offer some ideas that don’t lean just on asking questions. Because I wrote a whole book about that. If you’re interested it’s been on Amazon sitting as a best seller for quite a while. You can google Ask Powerful Questions. Find that and there’s a whole bunch of really great strategies on how to not have boring meetings. In this video, I want to unpack the the sequel to the book that we never wrote which is how to tell really intriguing stories.
If you’ve got that me to we shift down and you’re focused on the other and you’re not so worried about coming across as interesting, it can be really impactful to tell stories that people want to hear. I once met a woman who was about half my height and introduced herself as a professional storyteller. I asked her, “What is the number one tip you could give me to tell really powerful stories?” She looked at me and just really simply and calmly responded and said,” All you need to do is know the first sentence that you’re going to say and the last sentence that you’re going to say.” I didn’t actually realize this until I started working with individuals and companies on how to create conversations that really matter and make connection and engagement really easy. I didn’t realize this that one of the things I do if I know an event is coming up or I know something’s coming up, I think about who are these people? What do they care about? Sometimes I think of my opening line if you will when you walk in. That feels a little like staged or something. But I would argue that it is intentional.
Often we show up without any sort of plan whatsoever and we just hope that things go well. Yet, in anything else in life, we plan things out, right? If we want it to go really well, we plan things out. We don’t just have a wedding on a whim. You plan it, you book a venue, you make some intentional decisions to be able to connect people. I would say the same is true in conversation. Ideally, you are thinking about the other person and thinking about “How can I engage this person beforehand? How can I engage this group beforehand?” Know the first story and the last story. The other thing is when I was writing um my thesis in grad school, I had a mentor that advised me to use the notecard method. This really simply was get all your points put them on note cards. Only one point per note card.
Don’t worry about writing anything
Don’t open up a word document. No typing whatsoever. Handwrite a bunch of ideas on a notecard one idea per note card. Then, once you’ve got a whole bunch of these, then arrange the order. Lay them all out, map them out. Put them in order and then write your thesis. I’d say a conversation might be similar. To have to actually create a bank of stories of questions you like to ask of topics and actually write them out on a notecard and create a little deck for yourself so that you have things that are cued up. You’re not also telling the same story over and over and over again to your family your friends, etc. Just an interesting strategy to sort of map the filing cabinet of the lifetime of experiences that exist in the back of your brain. Hopefully, this video was useful. I hope that you can now have conversations that are slightly less boring. If you want one other really brilliant tip, in the link in the description, we give away the first chapter of Ask Powerful Questions for free. It’s a remarkable tool to have conversations that skip beyond small talk that end up uh diving really deep and taking you down some rabbit holes you would never otherwise experience. And when you’re trying to have a conversation that’s not boring, that is really useful.