Hello and welcome to Creative Live, this is perfect your conversation skills with Patrick King, my name is Chris Jennings, I'm going to be your host for the class today. Now lets face it, I think all of us have been in an awkward conversation at one point in our lives, and whether you are in a business meeting, maybe you're just with a group of friends, or if you are out on a date, there are things you can do to be smoother and more confident with your social skills. Now Patrick is here to give you the blue print for social success. And if you're not familiar with Patrick King's work, let me tell you a little bit about him. He is a best selling author and a conversation coach based here in San Francisco, California, he's also a self proclaimed recovering social recluse, so he's done this before himself, he has overcome these issues, and he is eager to help all of us do the same. So please welcome to the Creative Live stage, Patrick King. (crowd applauds) Welcome Patrick, welcome.
Thank you for being here.
Now before we get into it, I know you've got a lot to teach us, but the first question I want to ask is what are people going to get from this class? If they stick around, if they watch us today, what is the big takeaway that they're gonna learn?
You're gonna learn how to be a conversation superhero. Yeah, no matter where you are, no matter where you are on that spectrum of awkward to engaging, fun or not having fun, when you leave here I want guys to all feel confident, comfortable, and know what to say and how to say it in conversations.
Great. Now one of the ways that we're gonna teach that is we're actually going to have a lot of exercises, this is gonna be a really interactive class.
We've actually set up an exercise zone here in the studio, so why don't you follow me over here, and this is where we're gonna be doing a lot of our exercises today during the class. Now, this first one to kick things off.
Set this one up, what is our first exercise?
Its terrible normal small talk because that's a big reason of why we're here today, because we have these terrible normal small talk interactions. So they usually begin something like this. Hey, nice to meet you, how was your weekend, man?
Yeah my weekend was good, didn't do too much, it was pretty low key, but I don't know, how about you?
So that's what happens usually, right? And you didn't forget the last part, the most important part, which is, "How about you?" and when we do this it turns into an exchange of, "Good, how about you?" "Interesting, how about you?" so, alright, how about now you ask me and we'll see what I do to answer that.
Alright, so Patrick, how was your weekend?
You know, I didn't really do too much, but I actually went hiking and I almost broke my leg.
What, how did you almost break your leg?
Well, details. But, what happens is, I gave the direction, I gave a clear direction and I actually provided something interesting for you to connect and hook on. So these are just some of the small things that we'll be learning today and talking about.
Great. And so everybody out there who's watching at home, there will be a lot of exercises, we want you to be a big part of this as well, so Patrick, I know you've got a lot to teach, so I'm gonna let you take it away.
Okay, thank you. I know you might have a few questions before we begin here, first question, why are the guys shoes so bright? Okay, I get it, but they're comfortable. Second question, conversation skills, a whole course on conversation skills, that seems a little, seems a little much, right? I don't think it is for the following reasons: its more than a simple conversation. Its what we know about the people that we have in our lives, and its about relationships, the new ones that we can create and the old ones that we can improve. So lets run down the list of these benefits here. I'm gonna tell you the why for a little bit and then I'll really get into the how for the rest of the day, really. Meet strangers easily, no matter the setting. No matter the setting, out there in breakfast, networking event at work. Connect better with friends, new and old. Improve your relationships, really. Create a social life that you're happy with, now this is something that I've really struggled with when I was younger, and that was probably the impetus for me to improve my conversation skills. Romantic success, of course. We may not say that on the outset, but that is a large reason of why we want to improve these skills. Upward career mobility. This is something I'll get into later, but life is not a meritocracy. Life is driven by who you know, who likes you. How do you build those relationships? Through conversation, right? And finally, just as a general thing, you're gonna be able to get small, get past surface level interview mode, small talk with anyone. So that means these chance interactions that you have, they're not gonna just remain like that person that you just met on bar, that person that you just met at breakfast, you're gonna be able to build a connection, you're gonna be able to get personal, and you'll be able to build a relationship with them. Most importantly, this is something that we all struggle with from time to time as well, you're gonna be able to feel confident and comfortable in yourself. Without that, its too easy, it really is too easy, because it sets in so quickly, its too easy to live a life driven by fear and avoidance, and it really ripples through everything. What I mean by that? People with social confidence, they expect to be accepted, they expect to be liked, they expect to do well, and if this doesn't happen, that's actually an anomaly. People without social confidence, these are the things that we take for granted. They don't go into a situation expecting to be liked, they approach situations saying, "They're gonna think I'm stupid." all sorts of variations of that, and these are just some of the things that we always take for granted. Okay. I want to take a little step back and talk about myself for a little bit and gotta tell you why I'm up here. So as Chris so nicely put, I'm a conversation coach, a best selling author, also a former dating coach, so you can see really why I started this is because I was overweight, I used to be a fat kid, I was a late bloomer, didn't get any girls, and you'll find that drives a lot of people to self improvement because that's one of our big human desires, right? No matter, again, if we want to say it or not. Also a former corporate lawyer, but I kinda skim through that part of my life, not interested. So right, I want to get to this. Most importantly, I'm a late bloomer who has seen social life from both sides. I've seen it to the point where I was a social recluse, as Chris described, I had trouble ordering at restaurants, I had trouble ordering coffee at a cafe because I had to talk to people, I wasn't comfortable with myself, I thought I was getting judged constantly, I thought people would think, "Oh my gosh, he's stupid." Right, its just a lot of negative self talk that's in there. And then, to the point where now, for some reason, I'm in front of you guys. But its getting from point A to point B that's really the important part, and that's why I'm explaining these things to you. So life is not a meritocracy. Do we agree with this? Generally, unfortunately? Mmm, okay. So my law school grades were terrible. I did terrible. I didn't do dropping out, getting kicked out terrible, but I was not competitive with the good jobs, I was not at the top of my class by any means, but I had good jobs. I had good internships, I had good externships, an externship in the law sense is when you work with a judge, so I was able to work with a very well renowned judge when I was still in law school, and this is all because these relationships. These relationships and these conversations that I was able to build through. So that's why one of my big things, if you'll say, if you'll go with that, is, conversation is the greasy crow bar or life. What do I mean by that? Is a burglar uses a greasy crow bar to get where he wants, he gets access, right? That's exactly what conversation can, and should be, for you guys, for everyone, because that's what gets us ahead in life. You may not feel like you belong, you're qualified, what other negative self talk, that you're good enough, maybe you have imposters syndrome, but you can build these relationships, you can use that conversation as that greasy crow bar, and you can get to where you want to be, even if you don't feel like you should be there. But that's great for us, right? So, our goal, as I kind of talked about earlier, is really two fold at the 30,000 foot level. Number one is to learn the confidence and mindset for healthy, engaging conversations. So, that's about confidence, that's about how you approach it, that's about how you perceive it, that's about your conception of it. And the second part is, how do you talk to people? What do you actually say, how do you say it, when do you say it? So techniques to open people up and be charming and witty, so its two fold. Its getting you there, and what to do when you're there.