Perfect Your Conversation Skills

Lesson 12/15 - Getting Deep Quickly


Perfect Your Conversation Skills


Lesson Info

Getting Deep Quickly

This next lesson is one that I think is very important, and it's about getting deep quickly. Because all too often, we just can't connect with someone. We'll say a lot, but we won't say anything at all. They'll say a lot. They won't say anything at all. Ships passing in the night. No one really connects on anything. So, why does this happen, and how can we prevent it from happening? And how can we get deep quickly with people? It's part of the same thing, right? We hate shallow talk. I mean, we hate small talk because we feel like it's shallow and boring. We feel like it's just going through the motions. We feel like it doesn't go anywhere ever. It's even easy to slip into interview mode. Small talk, interview mode, they're all two sides of the same coin. And it's easy to miss connections when you do this. When you don't get somewhere emotional, When you don't get somewhere personal, that's what happens. News flash, as is the common theme throughout today, it might be your fault. But w...

e're doing that, I'm doing that in a way that's intentional because, here's the thing. When you have these tools, when you know these things, you have to take the burden of making conversation easier for other people. You have to take the burden of being that person who creates the connection because other people might not know how to, they might not care to, or they just can't. So, news flash, always your fault, sorry. But, what's happening is you're probably not sharing details. You're not sharing details like we shared in the conversation threading part. You see how hard it was, how difficult it was to just share three or four distinct details when you're answering a question. You're not sharing personal matters. Why would you expect others to? We kind of expect others to tell us about their lives, but we don't offer it first. We may not even offer it in return. So, this all culminates in the fact that vulnerability, that is when you share about yourself. That is when you talk about yourself. You talk about your emotions, positive or negative. It signals comfort, familiarity, non-judgment. And that's really one of the things that hangs over people, not just you but other people. They wanna feel like they're not gonna be judged by you. So, sharing first, being vulnerable first, sharing details, sharing personal matters is very paramount to that. Sharing details and personal matters also allows you to find commonalities, similarities. Commonalities are one of those things that get you deep quickly. And that really is the first step. When applicable, just like we did in the last lesson's conversation threading exercise, make sure that you include at least three personal details, when applicable, when you're answering. Don't just give a one word answer. Make sure there are three personal details that people can ask about, people can connect on, people can relate to. They're basically hooks. You're basically leaving hooks for people to pick up. "How was your weekend?" Here's just a very simple version of this, actually more simplified than what we did in the previous lesson. "Ah, I went skiing." "I went skiing, watched a movie, and visited my brother." Easy fix, move on from that. Why do commonalities matter? Similarity is familiarity. It creates comfort. It immediately puts the other person on the same level as you, and that's a good feeling. So, I always make the comparison. What if you were born in a tiny village? And now we're in the big city of San Francisco. How would you feel if you met someone else from that village right here? How close would you feel to them? How bonded would you feel to them just because of this commonality, this one similarity? It makes you, makes them feel familiar. It creates this comfort, puts you on the same level. How would you feel towards them? How would they feel towards you? An instant bond would be created just because of this commonality. This isn't always gonna happen to us. That probably will never happen to you. But there are other ways to create smaller similarities, smaller commonalities that we can think of. The first one was to share more details about yourself. That way, they can at least find out, other people can at least find out things about you whereas they might not have had any information before. Cold reads is the next big part. Cold reads are another way to find commonalities. What is a cold read? You can call it an assumption, a summative statement. It doesn't need to be correct. Here's what it sounds like. "You seem like you might be," "You wouldn't by chance," You're making an assumption about someone. And, in a way, that's a much better way of starting conversation because it gives it direction. And what happens if you're right, you look like a mind reader. You say, the other person's gonna reply, "Yeah, how did you know that?" If you're wrong, the other person's gonna say, "No, why did you think that?" So, it immediately gives the conversation a direction where you can find more commonalities. This is also one of my favorite things. The best cold reads are when you assume a common commonality. You're essentially functioning like a horoscope, right? You can say something very general, get them to agree, and then you can have something to share about that. So, a very easy way to do it is like, "Hey, you know what, I don't know why "but you seem like you're into fitness." Maybe on the off chance that they are, you know, with something very general and common that there's a likely chance that they'll say, "yes." You say, "Hey, me too." And then you share a detail about yourself relating to fitness. See, but it all works because you make one very common assumption that you can essentially always get an agreement on, you can always find a commonality with, and then you can share details on that commonality once you've established it. So, that's what the cold read is. It's an assumption. Perhaps, that I've found, the most effective way to get deep quickly, to talk about significant things, to talk about interesting topics, to talk emotionally, is to put boundaries on topics and conduct what I call The Thought Experiment. For whatever reasons, people have various various reasons, various hangups, I should say, for talking about various topics. So, using these boundaries, which I'll get into, boundaries/qualifiers, get past that. You'll see an example of this in action. I think it'll make a lot more sense through illustration. Boundaries allow people to speak freely and without a fear of judgment. When you put a boundary on a statement, you make it okay for them to say "yes" and then you can actually talk about the actual topic versus hearing them say something like, "Oh, you know what, I don't know enough, "I don't have enough information. "I don't know, I can't estimate that. "No, that's against the law." Things like that. You get past that, and you'll see what I mean. The Thought Experiment contains number one, literally saying the phrase, "Let's do a thought experiment." And that in itself is actually a boundary because you're placing this as a thought experiment. It's not representative of them as a person. There's no judgment. You're accepting. You just wanna talk about something for the topic's sake. Number two, you set the premises, you set the story, you set the topic that you wanna talk about. Number three, then you set more boundaries. You set more boundaries to reduce people's objections, to reduce people's friction to answering this. It's a very, okay, it's an interesting topic, right? The first step, "Hey, let's do a thought experiment." I want you to ignore step number three. How many of you would feel comfortable or would know what to say if we just stopped at two? If you were stuck on a desert island do you go cannibal? Could you go cannibal? Would you do that or would you eat, you know, would you eat yourself? Would you allow the other person to eat you? (audience laughing) I guess that wouldn't help. The point is, what if we just stuck with the top two? Would we be able to answer that? And now what we do with these boundaries, "Okay, okay, okay, what if the other person died naturally, "it was their last wish, you'd die otherwise, "rescue was imminent, and you had no other choice? "There was nothing else on the island." You take away people's objections. You take away their moral objections, any cultural objections, and then you just get to the point. It's like, now it's a yes or no answer. Yes or no question and a yes or no answer. Let's try another one. And again, let's just stay with number one and two this time. "Hey, let's do a thought experiment. "Could you commit massive fraud to feed your family?" Now, I realize these topics are a little heavy, but the point is that it's an interesting topic, one that begets morals, emotions, values that you wouldn't talk about otherwise in just normal interview mode small talk. So, when you stay at the first two levels, yeah, that's a pretty weird, no, well, yeah, it's a pretty weird question to answer. But it's also just almost impossible to answer because now I don't know what kind of answer you're expecting. And now, I'm thinking about all these objections. So, when you place these boundaries, "What if there's no chance of being caught, "someone would die if you didn't do it, "someone would starve to death, "no one was affected by the fraud, "no one was hurt. "What if you weren't the person doing it?" When you place these boundaries on the question, you make it easy for them to say "yes" and then you can actually talk about, you know, the actual moralistic views on it. Does it feel more acceptable to talk about these topics when the boundaries are defined for you and no judgment was inherent? I hope so, so let's, when you do this, you're gonna make clear that you're not looking, you're just looking to discuss the topic itself. You're not making a judgment on them. You're not saying, "What do you think about this? "I wanna know what you think "because I wanna argue with you. "I wanna debate with you. "I wanna see how your views and values stack up with mine." Often when people do things like this, when they ask questions like that, there's a degree of, what would you say, moral high ground that they're trying to impose. But when you put these boundaries on it, dude, you free them. So, it's a deliberately designed hypothetical to allow free thinking and expression of ideas. (audience laughing) I really wish that didn't show. Okay, well, someone that didn't read that second part. Did anyone not read the second part? No, alright, I'm gonna need a volunteer. I'm gonna choose someone unless someone volunteers. Thank you, thanks, come on up. Much appreciated. Yep, anytime. Alright, so, The Thought Experiment is about freeing, free expression, right? Lack of judgment. What if I was to ask you, could you kill a burglar? Do you feel like you'd be capable of killing a burglar that breaks into your home? Like physically? (audience laughing) Yes. (audience laughing) Depends, are they, is it like, is it like Treon or is it like someone as big as Jesse? (audience laughing) Jesse-sized man. Jesse-sized burglar? Yeah. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. See but that's not really what I'm asking, right? No. Now, we dip into the small talk conversation, right? But, now we place these boundaries. And now it becomes a conversation about what you feel like you're capable of. And now we get to somewhere deep. So, what if Jesse was gonna kill you and your family, (audience laughing) he had a gun, he was terminally ill, he's racist. Whoa, build a wall. (audience laughing) And you would be legally clear? See, but when you put all these around it, how does that affect how you answer it? Um, wait, so he's terminally ill? He's terminal, he will die anyway regardless of whether you kill him. But I don't know that, right? Or do I know that? You do know that. I do know that. Why's he in my house? (audience laughing) To steal, to rob you. (laughing) That's so weird. How would I affect? Well, so, in other words, you're saying I'm kind of expediting his fatality or morbidity. You could put it that way. I guess that puts a, it polarizes in a way that makes you feel less bad. But it's still a human life, right? I mean, Sure. If it comes down to survival instinct, it's like him or me, right? Yeah. So, So, you would, so that means you'd feel more okay doing it? Um, when it comes to like your home, you're also thinking about your, like the first prompt is like your family, right? Yeah. So, then, of course, you're first decision is to protect your kids or your wife or your family, you're aged grandmother or whatever. Yeah. That's the position you're in. Okay. So, of course, as a man in the masculine world, you're supposed, no matter what you're doing, you're supposed to step up to the occasion, right? Ah, yeah, some say so. Does it make a difference if you just have the top part versus when you have the boundaries on the question? Mmm, it does, yeah, it changed the way you think about it. Yeah, how's that? A little bit, for me the answer still remains the same. You just do what you have to do to protect your family and your loved ones, but adding those, you know, other additional angles does kind of elicit more emotion, more feeling, and more thought processes behind the initial answer. Does it make you feel like you are more able to engage in it? Well, then you start to feel badly. You know, why is he sick? You know, can we talk about it? Can we be friends? (audience laughing) You know, can I talk him out of it? Like, Can you? Can we just live in harmony? What if he was gonna kill you unless you did something to him? Then it becomes, so what I'm trying turn this into is basically it's a discussion about your moral views on harming other people, your moral views on value of a life. And that's what these boundaries do. Yeah, I think we've actually gotten there in other words, in other terms. Okay. Alright. Thanks (laughing). Thanks. Alright, yeah, that's funny. It's so heavy. I know, I know, well, you know, so it doesn't have to be this. But it's whatever interesting topic that you wanna think of. Another way to even think about it, less heavy way, is someone asks. Here's something that I encounter far more frequently than I should. I ask someone how much something costs. They say, "I have no idea." So, when you put a boundary on it, you say, "Okay, it's fine. "You know, just a very rough ball park. "It doesn't matter if you're right. "I'm not depending on this for anything. "I'm just curious." Suddenly, I get a number, right? So, that's what happens when you put boundaries on questions is you make it okay for people to engage in the conversation and to talk about things where otherwise they just didn't, they didn't wanna be wrong. They didn't wanna feel judged for what they said. You've made it okay for them to say "yes" and talk about it.

Class Description

Whether you want to charm and befriend strangers, be a better networker in professional situations, or become charismatic and bold instead of nervous and lost in social situations, Perfect Your Conversation Skills, with Patrick King will get you there.

This class will teach you repeatable tips and tools to allow you to command any social situation. Bestselling author and conversation coach Patrick King will give you the blueprint for social success even if you’re the furthest thing from a natural conversationalist.

Just a few of the things you’ll learn:

  • How to break the ice with complete strangers in any situation 
  • His proven formula for directing the flow of a conversation 
  • How to avoid awkward silences, long pauses, and other conversational dead ends 
  • Tips for building your self-confidence before important social events 
  • The trick to “owning the room” without being fake or annoying 
Never feel boring or uninteresting in networking opportunities or social situations - instead, look forward to them with excitement!


a Creativelive Student

I would never have thought you could teach conversational skills. But Patrick's information is brilliant and does just that. Even just a few of his techniques have changed my ability to have a successful and fun conversation with anyone. A lot of the suggestions are actually easy to put into practice, even if you're shy. I'm so grateful for this course.

April S.

I'm listening in to a rebroadcast of this course. I am fairly confident in certain kinds of social situations with having conversations but I had to be very intentional about learning to do that over the years. Patrick's course has affirmed some things I was doing naturally so I know I'm on the right track, and he also gave lots of great tips about reading people to determine whether they are interested in the conversation, simple conversations starters and enders, and keeping a conversation moving. I gleaned some useful techniques in a short time and will definitely put them into practice. For anyone who wants to hone their ability to converse with others, as well as anyone who really struggles in this area, I think you'll find some very helpful explanations and techniques.