Break the Ice In Any Situation with These 10 Conversation Starters

Break the Ice In Any Situation with These 10 Conversation Starters

Whether you want to start a conversation with a new guy or girl, or you want to get a meeting off to a great start, a good ice breaker can help you make a memorable first impression. It can turn that first encounter with someone new into something wonderful—maybe even a lasting friendship or valuable partnership.

A bad ice breaker, however, can be a recipe for disaster. It can spiral out of control pretty quickly and at best be a terrible waste of time—or worse, an embarrassment for everyone involved. So, how do you start a meaningful conversation with someone new and avoid embarrassments or awkward moments of silence? Where do you begin?

Understand that it’s normal to feel a bit nervous when approaching someone new. Everyone gets a little shy at first—after all, you don’t know what this other person is like. Start by filling your idea vault with possible ice breakers to start a conversation, and follow-up questions to sustain the conversation. Listen attentively to the other person’s responses because this can make or break your follow-up questions. To help you out with ideas for starting a conversation, here are ten of the most effective ice breakers you can use in different scenarios to get a conversation off and running.

“How Are You Doing Today?”

A genuine hello accompanied by a heartwarming, three second smile is one of the most basic, highly effective ice breakers there is. Often, we brush simple things aside as being too simple not realizing the simplest things can have the biggest impact in life.

Think about the people who say “good morning” or “howdy” to their neighbors. This simple greeting is usually followed up with “how are you” or “how are the kids?” Before long, the two parties are talking about their families and even favorite sports teams.

“Nice Earrings!”

This comment represents a classic technique that is quite effective for starting a conversation. Regardless of whom you are talking to, saying something genuinely nice about their outfit, accessories, or even mood will usually be received well.

The person receiving the compliment will thank you and possibly say something nice about you in return. In doing this, a dialogue begins. Keep the dialogue going by asking a question like “Where did you buy the earrings? I really like them.”

“Does This Shop Always Have Such Long Lines?”

Simply commenting on an unpleasant or uncomfortable situation that you both experience in your immediate surroundings is another effective strategy for starting a conversation. You can comment about a long bathroom line or wobbly waiting-room chair.

By focusing on an unpleasant situation that you both find yourselves in and subtly complaining about it, you cleverly suck the other person into an unwitting pact that unites both of you against a common enemy.

“Chicago Really Is the Windy City!”

Yes. Talk about the weather. It may sound clichéd, but it works wonders in real life. People talk about the weather all the time—it’s a topic everyone has an opinion on. Think of how you have an opinion about what dress or fashion choice is right for different weather.

Once the person responds, you can ease into the conversation with “small talk” like, “The wind is so strong; it nearly blew me over!”

“Oh, Did You Hear About…”

Kick-start a conversation with a description of an interesting, entertaining and/or funny story. Get right in to your story description and then allow the other person to make a remark or share an opinion of the story.

If your story is interesting enough, there really is no telling where it could take the ensuing dialogue and for how long you could stretch the conversation once your new friend gets on board.

“What Kind of Drink is That?”

People love eating and drinking. If the person you want to start a conversation with has a nice-looking drink or a delicious-looking burger, comment on how delicious (or not delicious) the burger is. Alternatively ask what kind of drink he or she’s having.

When he or she replies, follow up with something like “Do you really like it?” or “Can I buy you another?” Introduce yourself and don’t forget to flash your best smile.

“That’s a Lovely Name; Are You Named After Someone?”

This works especially well in a workplace setting, business meeting, or conference where people are wearing name tags. If he or she has an interesting name, walk up to them and say something like, “Camille, lovely name. What’s the origin of the name?” She’ll probably be excited to tell you about her name and before you know it, a conversation has ensued.

“Hello, Do You Work Here?”

This also works well at a workplace or business setting where people are wearing name tags. Even if you know the answer, ask whether he or she works there anyway. If you know some people who work at his or her company or retail store, mention them.

Follow up with related questions like, “What do you do here?”; “Have you been working here a long time?”; “Do you like it here?”; “What’s your favorite/worst part of your job?

“People Call Me David, but You Can Call Me TONIGHT.”

Okay, telling a joke is easier said than done. Jokes can be tricky, but they’re some of the best conversations starters to throw at someone new. They help the other person see a witty, fun side of your personality.

That said, unless you’re really confident about your joke-telling skills, it’s probably a good idea to avoid them or start with a self-deprecating joke. You can’t possibly offend yourself, can you?

“Excuse Me, I Just Thought I Should Come Over and Talk to You.”

Sometimes the best and most fun ice breaker is honesty. Walk up to him or her and just be honest. Tell him or her that you want to talk. Point out how awkward and funny the situation actually is for both of you and that you are trying to make the best of it. Honesty really can be the best policy.

10 of the Most Effective Ice Breakers for Starting Meaningful Conversations | Lifehack


David K. William is a web writer, publisher, and consultant. He writes and publishes articles, reports, and fiction for web and print media. David is also founding editor of WebWriterSpotlight.com where he shares tips and tricks about the art of web content writing and building successful businesses online. Follow on Twitter @writerspotlight.

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via Lifehacker Break the Ice In Any Situation with These 10 Conversation Starters

Use a Hot Spoon to Instantly Relieve Itchy Bug Bites

Use a Hot Spoon to Instantly Relieve Itchy Bug Bites

Tis the season for annoying bug bites, but a surprisingly simple remedy exists that can eliminate all of the itch within minutes.

All you have to do is heat up a metal spoon under hot tap water for a minute or so, then press it directly against the bite. Hold it tight against your skin for a couple of minutes, and when you take it off, the itch should be gone for good.

When mosquitoes bite you, they inject proteins under your skin to keep your blood from clotting. It’s this protein that causes you to itch, but it can’t survive at the moderately high temperatures a hot spoon can create. The bump might linger for a few days, but the uncomfortable itching should be gone for good!

LPT: Mosquito bite? Press a hot spoon (e.g. the one you stirred your coffee with) onto the spot. The heat will destroy the protein that caused the reaction and the itching will stop. | Reddit
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via Lifehacker Use a Hot Spoon to Instantly Relieve Itchy Bug Bites

13 Free WordPress Themes, Released in June 2013


  


  

Now that June is over, it is time to take a look at some of the best free WordPress themes that were released during this month. Most of the themes that were released during June were meant for personal blogs or corporate and portfolio websites. Quite surprisingly, there were not many based on Hybrid Core framework this time; though Twitter Bootstrap and _s did find representation. WordPress 3.6 is just around the corner, so expect the number of themes to rise in the coming month! Until then, have fun browsing through this collection!
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via noupe 13 Free WordPress Themes, Released in June 2013

Upload, Browse and Batch Download Photos with Flickr Mac App F-Stop

Flickr’s recent revamp has certainly made for a much more enjoyable experience when it comes to browsing the photo sharing website. That said, there are quite a few interesting and useful third party Flickr apps that can bring a full Flickr experience to your desktop. The free Mac app F-Stop allows you to browse Flickr photos uploaded both by you or your contacts, search the public feed, watch slideshows of photosets and even batch download images of your choice.

Continue reading the article

Read full article: Upload, Browse and Batch Download Photos with Flickr Mac App F-Stop

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via MakeUseOf Upload, Browse and Batch Download Photos with Flickr Mac App F-Stop

How to set up a Mac as a PXE boot server, with Debian Live

Here is how to set up a Mac, running OS X Client 10.5 or later, as a PXE boot server.  We will configure OS X’s built-in DHCP, TFTP, and NFS servers, start the servers, and put the client boot files in place.  (The NFS server may be optional, depending on the operating system we are booting.)

You’ll need the Mac, a PXE-capable PC, and an ethernet cable.  Some steps will require being logged in as an administrator on the Mac.

We’ll boot Debian Live on the client PC as an example.  We’ll show a regular setup with NFS, an alternate setup without NFS, and how to uninstall.

Regular setup (with NFS):

  1. Connect the Mac and the client PC with the ethernet cable.

  2. On the Mac, in System Preferences > Network, click “Ethernet” and enter the following settings:

    Configure IPv4: Manually
    IP Address: 192.168.1.1
    Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
    (All others can be left blank)
    

    Note the status may read “Cable Unplugge …

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via MacOSXHints.com How to set up a Mac as a PXE boot server, with Debian Live

Star Trek: The Final Frontier For Polo Shirts

Star Trek Original Series Blue Science Team Polo ShirtForget the Izod alligator or the usual polo pony for Polo shirts. Polo is finally going where no Polo shirt has gone before — straight into the final frontier. They are finally taking Trekkies seriously (okay, as seriously as anyone can), and turning the uniform shirts from the original series into business casual. How long before this fashion statement turns up on the Big Bang Theory? I’m envisioning Sheldon in science blue even as I write.


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via Inventor Spot – Inventions, Innovations, and Interesting Ideas for the Inventor in All of Us Star Trek: The Final Frontier For Polo Shirts

Wake N Shake, the Alarm Clock You Shake to Turn Off, Is Currently Free

iOS: We’re fans of the Wake N Shake alarm clock because it really forces you to get up and out of bed by making your vigorously shake your phone before the alarm turns off. If you’ve wanted to give this evil wakeup call a try, you’ve always had to drop a couple of dollars, but for the next few days the app is free.

The sale is to celebrate a host of new features, including a complete redesign that makes Wake N Shake easier to use as a whole. Of course, the basic premise of the app, that you have to shake your phone vigorously before the alarm turns off, remains the same. Wake N Shake is certainly one of the more sadistic apps out there, but if you struggle to get up in the morning it’s worth grabbing now while it’s free.

Wake N Shake Alarm Clock | iTunes App Store
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via Lifehacker Wake N Shake, the Alarm Clock You Shake to Turn Off, Is Currently Free