The 2015 Living Room tour has finally crowned. Time to hit the road. In addition to the usual tour preparations (practicing in front of my cats, adjusting the light over my bathroom mirror and purchasing a Hawaiian shirt in case a last minute folk festival date is added), I've also been brushing up on my social skills. Internet research led me to Wikihow: How to Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About
For those of us who don't get out that often, here's what I discovered:
Part 1: Finding Things to Talk About:
•Review a mental list of topics youve discussed previously and continue on one of them. For example, some bad news that they shared with you.
•Most people prefer easy questions, like "is school killing you these days?"
•"What an amazing buffet! Which dish is your favorite? Why?"
•"Hey, did you hear about that helicopter crash? That was pretty crazy."
Part 2: Remembering the Basics:
•Keep the conversation going with light and simple small talk, such as your blog.
•Nod in agreement. Place your hand on your heart. Touch them on the upper arm.
•Smile, shake your head and look down.
Part 3: Keeping Things Interesting:
•Excuse yourself from the conversation.
•What happens when the other person starts practicing active listening and open questions on you? You have options: Relish it or deflect it. Say something like: "But you don't want to hear about me all night!" Answer questions with a question. For example, "How did you manage to get away so early?" "Well, how did you?"
•Don't ask too many questions if your conversation partner continues to appear unresponsive.
•We all enjoy a good laugh. Ask them about their life at home.
Living Room shows are acoustic affairs, hosted by heroes who offer up their homes or other spaces for a few hours to friends and strangers without the usual club distractions of Ms. Pacman , daiquiri shakers or the club itself. No mics, no PA. Just songs from a chair.
Hope to see you somewhere and perhaps try out my new skills.