Have you ever sparked a conversation with a girl only to have it fizzle out? Want to know how to keep the conversation going?
You get it going, but then you’re not sure what to say next. Then there’s that dreaded awkward pause that lingers in the air making every second feel like an eternity.
So what do you do? Maybe you asked a question. And then another question. And then another. As you keep going, you know you should stop, yet you don’t know what else to say… So you just keep asking question after question.
That’s when the girl says, “I have to meet up with my friends” or any number of excuses to escape.
Last week I found myself in a similar situation. The first few approaches are always the hardest to get out of the way. Going from working all week to being a sociable fun guy takes me a few approaches.
My best advice is to treat the first 3 approaches when going out as throwaways. They don’t count. Your goal is to get them done as soon as possible.
Secondly, you want to build momentum in-between approaches by asking yourself, “what do I want to focus on in my next approach?”
When I found myself awkwardly standing there with nothing to say, my focus for the next approach was to “keep the conversation going.”
For this week’s tip, I thought it would be useful to share some ideas that will take you beyond how to approach a girl. And that’s – how to keep the conversation going and never run out of things to say.
The Two Tips are:
(1) Multiple Threads
(2) Conversational Hooks
“Multiple threads” is when you have multiple conversational topics (threads) going on at once. This is better than moving linearly from one topic to the next. This is one of the best ways to never run out of things to say.
We naturally do this with our friends. We don’t just stay on one topic all the way to exhaustion. The conversation usually switches between different subjects.
For example, say you meet a girl who has a dog and say, “I love dogs, what type is it?” A linear conversation would be sticking to the subject of “her dog.” Which, would look like this: “I love dogs, what type is it?…..Where did you get it from?…..How long have you had it?…..What’s his name?”
You can see how sticking to the same topic quickly gets boring.
“Multiple threads” is the idea of introducing new subjects to the conversation. Building off our example, it would look like this: “I love dogs, what type is it?….My family actually has two dogs. One for my sister and one for my dad. You look like the type of girl who’s the youngest sibling….You know what I just noticed, you look like the adventurous type. Are you?”
In the second example, I introduced new topics such as family and if she’s adventurous.
When you introduce topics, you can either build off something she said or just change subjects.
“Conversational hooks” are what help you introduce new conversational topics. It supplements our first tip to help you never run out of things to say.
Hooks are something a girl says that you can comment, ask about, relate to or share a story on. Listen for “keywords” to come up with new hooks.
These “keywords” aren’t necessarily the most important words she said. They are words you can use to introduce new conversation topics.
Essentially, you are using conversational hooks (keywords) to start multiple threads (topics/subjects).
These ideas will help you transition into deeper conversations, never run out of things to say and make the conversation more interesting for both of you.
Here’s an example that explains both ideas:
Imagine you’re telling me about your recent trip through Europe. You say, “My favorite country was Italy because of the amazing food, the romantic ambiance and the beautiful cafes on every street corner.“
While I’m actively listening, I’m paying attention to any “keywords” that I can build off of and introduce new topics (threads).
In this example, I can ask a question on “What were some of your favorite dishes?” I can comment on how it was the Italian coffee bars that inspired the CEO of Starbucks to make it what it is today. I can relate by sharing my experiences traveling through Italy. I can also share a story of my recent trip through Europe.
Most guys get ahead of themselves. They make the mistake of thinking about what they are going to say next opposed to listening to what the other person said.
If you really are listening, the other person usually gives you everything you need to keep the conversation going.
In the example above, there are many “keywords” I could’ve used to start a new “subject.“
That one sentence alone, the “keywords” are Europe, traveling, favorite countries, Italy, food, romance, and cafes. You could use anyone to keep the conversation going.
Now, back to the idea of using multiple “threads.” (See what I did there? I’m revisiting a previous conversation topic)
One thread is how Italy was your favorite country while traveling through Europe.
If I use “traveling” as a “keyword,” I could share a story of my recent travels through Europe. Doing so, I introduce another topic. That way I will never run out of things to say!
I could share how I recently did a cruise through France, Italy, and Spain and by far my favorite city was Barcelona.
What are some “keywords” you could use to keep the conversation going?
Some ideas to talk about are traveling, Europe, France, Italy, Spain, favorite cities, Barcelona, beaches, and cities. All these ideas can be used to start another topic.
So far we have two conversational topics: your trip through Europe and my trip through Europe.
Once we continue to talk about Barcelona and I start running out of things to say, I can easily jump back to our first “topic” about your travel through Europe and say “What other countries did you visit on your trip?“
When you’re paying attention to keywords, whenever the convo starts to die you can easily start a new topic.
If you remember from our first example of you traveling through Europe, the potential keywords are Europe, traveling, favorite countries, Italy, food, romance, and cafes.
Whenever the convo starts to slow down, I can make a comment, ask a question, relate to or share a story based off any one of those hooks. I can keep the conversation going, and will never run out of things to say.
Here’s another example before you go:
Imagine I tell you, “Last weekend I met up with a good friend from high school that flew into NYC from San Diego. I had a great time showing her around the city.”
What are some “keywords” that can give you ideas on how to keep the conversation going?
You can ask, comment, relate to or share a story about: Old friends, high school friends, flying, traveling, NYC, San Diego, California, East Coast, West Coast, what did we do, and exploring a new city. You have so many things to talk about; you can never run out of things to say.
You could ask, “What did you two do in the city?” You could comment on how great it is that I still stay in touch with an old high school friend. You could relate to how an old friend showed you around a new city and how much more fun that experience was. You could share a story about the last time you were in California and how much you loved it.
If you are actively listening, you’ll find it’s easier than you think to keep the conversation going. And you’ll never run out things to say anymore!
Remember, DON’T think of what to say next… just listen and pay attention to any “keywords” you could use to add a new “topic.”
Your Weekend Mission (If you choose to accept)
- Beginners: Make 3 approaches with the focus of keeping the conversation going through the use of multiple threads and listening for hooks. Aim to make the next approach longer than the one before.
- Advanced: Same as beginners but 5 approaches. They only count if you can make the conversation longer than 5 minutes.
Alright, guys, there’s the tip of the week!
Be sure to go out there and start implementing it RIGHT AWAY. Success loves the speed of implementation.
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