There's a simple trick I've used recently to make meeting strangers a little easier & a lot less cliche.
I call it The Scattergories Method.
We've discussed previously methods for introducing yourself in an easy & interesting way. So you may be able to effortlessly tell someone about yourself. But your new friend may go blank when asked to say something about themselves.
The problem with asking someone about themselves is that it’s such a broad request that it can be hard to pin down specifics. Which fundamental things should be noted? On top of that, is it interesting enough to share?
Make it easy on them, try The Scattergories Method.
Instead of saying "what do you like doing?", say "tell me something you like beginning with P". Pick any letter you like. (Steer clear of trickier letters like Q, X & Z, the idea is to make meeting someone easier!)
In doing so, you make it easy to pin down something to share about themselves.
I even prefer to have range of things to comment on, so I might ask "tell me three things you like beginning with M".
"Hi, I'm Steve."
"Hi Steve, I'm Rachel."
"Rachel, tell me about yourself. What are three things you like beginning with C?"
"Oooh, good question! I like....(thinking time may be required, this is OK).... cooking, Christmas, and comedy".
This one question has now opened up a range of conversation options. You could now ask:
"What dish is your cooking speciality?" or
"What Christmas traditions do you have?" or
"Who's your favorite comedian?" or
"What's your go-to secret ingredient?" or
"What part of Christimas do you love? The carols, the presents, decorating the tree, etc?" or
"What do you think is the funniest film?"
Or literally hundreds more. Chances are their answer will remind you of an Awkward Silence question you saw as part of your subscription, and you can ask that too.
And this has immediately put the conversation on a much more interesting trajectory than asking “what do you do for work?”. The next steps of conversation will come easily and you’ll have a lot more fun.
For easy introductions, try The Scattergories Method.