September_Joining-the-Conversation

Joining the Conversation

Are you the newbie to a group of close friends? Having a hard time joining their conversation? We’re here to help.

Understandably, when you’re the new person in a group that’s known each other for quite some time, it would be particularly difficult and awkward joining in the conversation. As challenging as it may be, however, it is not an impossible task and here are a few ways to join in an ongoing conversation:

1. Introduce yourself to everyone.

It’s hard to strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know so introduce yourself to everyone, even if it’s simply just saying your name, and prompting them to continue on with their conversation, it can make a difference.

2. Listen first.

Listen silently to whatever the group is currently talking about to get a feel of how they converse with one another and when you find an opening or an opportunity, make a contribution to the conversation.

3. Start small.

Talking to the entire group all at the same time is a little daunting. So, start out small and talk to one member of the group to sort of get your foot in the door and eventually, it’ll get easier to transition the discussion to the rest of the group.

4. Don’t be self-conscious.

More often than not, the only thing stopping you from joining in the conversation is yourself. Stop thinking that it’s going to be difficult or awkward or that they won’t like you. Simply be yourself, and psych yourself up. This is a good opportunity to make new friends.

So jump right in, contribute to conversations, and learn the Art of the Pitch at JRP.

September_Conversation-Topics

Acceptable Topics for Conversations

How do you carry a conversation when you have literally nothing to talk about? Here are some tips.

Topics for Conversations

Conversations with people you’re not too familiar with can be fairly awkward as you don’t have enough information on them to carry the conversation forward naturally. There are, however, topics that are safe and still fun enough to talk about with everyone. Here are some of them:

1. “Tell me about yourself.”

Show interest in the other person by asking him/her about themselves. Ask them about their job, their family, places they’ve traveled to or any hobbies they may have. Eventually, you’ll find shared experiences and interests with them that’ll elongate a mutually-engaging and interesting conversation.

2. Music

Attended a concert recently? Saw an amazing performance on YouTube? Whatever the case, it’s pretty much assured that everyone gets exposed to music in one form or another and talking about music is a topic that can be dragged well on out. Suggest artists or interesting music videos, and expand your music knowledge.

3. Food

Who doesn’t love food? If you’ve recently visited a restaurant that serves the best sushi in town or found recipes online for an easy 10-minute pasta, make it a part of your discussions. Ask about their favorite meals or drinks because you’ll never know when these little pieces of information will come in handy one day and you may just have a new foodie partner.

4. Movies

This is likely one of the safest topics you can use in a conversation. Whether or not you’re a movie buff, you’ve probably seen movies that have stuck with you and entertained you and this applies to everyone. Start off with, “What’s your favorite movie?” or, “What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?” Either way, you’ll have an entertaining conversation and maybe even leave with some movie recommendations.

So, if you’re stumped for a topic, try out these suggestions and keep conversing.

Learn the Art of the Pitch at John Robert Powers.

personalize-your-gratitude

PERSONALIZE YOUR GRATITUDE

Saying “thank you” has become such an automatic response that it tends to lack the sincerity that it should. Showing genuine gratitude is something that is often forgotten, and taken for granted. To the people in your life who deserve all the thanks, here are a few creative and personal ways to say “thank you”.

1. Special Delivery
Nobody can say no to their favorite meal, so make their day extra special by surprising them with their favorite food or drink. Attach a customized label, or thank you note to make the delivery even more personal.

2. Hand-Written Letters
Sending hand-written letters in this day and age seems like a lost art form, but nothing says “thank you” quite as sincerely as putting down your thoughts and gratitude on pen and paper. Whether it’s an essay, a poem, or a soliloquy, your hand-written letters will be sincerely appreciated.

3. Spend the Day with Them
Clear up your busy schedule and spend an entire day with the people who make your life happier, easier and all-around better. Try and find out what they want to do. If there’s any particular movie they want to watch, any restaurant they want to go to, or any event they’d like to attend, and go do those things with them.

4. Make a Playlist
Mix-tapes have become a thing of the past but creating playlists on Spotify is a good alternative and is still as genuine and earnest. Think of songs that remind you of the person(s) you want to thank, or songs that you know that they’ll like.Save them all in a playlist, name it after them, and send it over.

5. Toast to Them
Public speaking is terrifying sometimes but it’s good to let everyone know how wonderful, and kind your friend, family member, or colleague is. If public speaking isn’t your cup of tea, it’s perfectly fine to just have that toast between the two of you—it isn’t any less sincere.

What’s most important whenever doing any of these creative ways to say thank you is the sincerity in your gratitude, and the love for the people you are indebted to. So long as they can feel that, you’re saying thank you correctly.

Learn the Art of Social Success at JRP.

socializing-101

SOCIALIZING 101

We get it – sometimes, socializing can be a terrifying thing, particularly when you’re not the most extroverted person. However, socializing is a necessary activity we all must participate in and how well you socialize with the people around you can affect your relationships with them.

So, when you’re feeling awkward or unsure as to how to socialize with the people around you, here are a few simple tips:

  1. Smile – Don’t worry, it’s not just you! Everyone feels a little intimidated when meeting new people, and a good way to lessen that tension is to smile. A smile is a signal to others that you’re friendly enough to start a conversation with, or that you’re nice enough to get to know. A smile could be your icebreaker, so keep smiling.
  2. Listen – Are you still at a loss with what to say? That’s perfectly fine, just as long as you listen to everyone else who do has something to say. Listening to people means that you’re interested in what they have to say, and that you’re making an effort to get to know them. If you’re listening well enough, they might just mention a topic that you’re interested in, allowing you to join in the conversation.
  3. Initiate conversation– This may seem like a scary thing at first, but initiating conversation doesn’t have to be that hard. It’s precisely that fear that stops people from initiating conversation. So, as long as you’re brave enough to be the first one to do so, things should be fine. At first, it may be best to keep to topics you’re positive people are interested in, and the flow of conversation should go on smoothly and easily.
  4. Don’t keep staring at your phone–While it may seem like the most natural thing to do when stuck in an awkward situation, staring at your phone may just do more harm than good. You may as well have a DO NOT DISTURB sign on your person. Unless it’s for an important call or message, put the phone away and focus on the people around you. You can always browse social media when you’re alone.

While these tips may be helpful in certain situations, it’s important to note that different things work for different people. What’s necessary is for you to be comfortable whenever you’re socializing, and just be yourself.

So find your groove and get to socializing—learn the Art of Social Success with JRP.

back-to-your-roots

BACK TO YOUR ROOTS

We often dive into projects, activities and commitments that take time to come to fruition, or smaller projects that lead to another then another and another. So sometimes, we burn ourselves out, get bored with what we’re doing, or lose interest in it all. Sometimes, this feels like you’re stuck in a non-moving traffic jam.

When you find yourself seeking motivation, remember:

GO BACK TO THE START, BACK TO YOUR ROOTS.

Who am I doing this for?

There’s bound to be someone waiting for you at the end of the day, someone counting on you to do a good job, someone you want to make proud, or someone who has been rooting for you from the very beginning. If you’re lacking the motivation you need for your tasks, remember the WHOs in your life, and if, currently, you can’t accomplish your task for your own sake, try accomplishing it for them. Eventually that motivation will come back.

What am I doing this for?

When you started your task, you must have had a goal in mind—perhaps, a promotion, getting praise from your boss, or being a part of the dean’s list. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, the stress and agitation, the goal is sometimes forgotten. When motivation escapes you, it helps to remember your goal! Tack it all around your workspace, make it your desktop or phone wallpaper, anything that will ensure that you’re constantly reminded of WHAT you’re doing this for.

Why am I doing this?

There’s a reason you chose to do the work you’re doing: it could be something you love to do, something that will propel you closer to your dreams, or even something as simple as self-satisfaction. Whatever that reason is, it is integral that you remind yourself of your WHY, when you can’t find the motivation to continue. The why that you have is the driving force that you’ll need to accomplish whatever you need to finish.

The next time you’re stuck in that traffic jam, the next time you lack the motivation, remember to go back to your roots.
If you’re having a difficult time going back to the start, you can learn how to do so at John Robert Powers. Improve your attitude, build your character, and hone your personality.
Learn the Art of the Pitch at JRP.