Conversation Confidence by Leil Lowndes is a collection of tips to improve your social interactions.
- Empathizing with your speaker is far more powerful than you being smart or unique. So.. Quit showing off
- Listen at different levels: feel it within you, ask yourself how they’re feeling, and why they’re telling you
- Scramble therapy: try something different every so often
Touching people will make you come across as warmer and more friendly.
Leil Lowndes righteously warns to use with caution, especially with the opposite sex and especially male to woman, but most people touch too little so don’t let that deter you :).
We quickly move our eyes from what don’t like and keep them on what we like. Hence, if you wanna send a message you like someone, keep your gaze longer on them.
We tend to get closer to people we’re comfortable with and we tend to stay further away from people we believe are higher status or whom intimidate us. So standing far will send the message you’re not too confident.
Introverts tend to stand further away than extroverts.
Study show an interesting behavior of people first meeting.
When the woman moved forward the man stayed. When the woman moved back, the man did to -probably felt spurned-.
Reassure you’re listening
When people talk to you, reassure them you’re still listening by a perfunctory “aha”, “ok”, “I understand”.
Conversation Confidence affirms women need reassurance more than men.
Agree early on
Agree on something early on. “Early on” is the key here. When there’s so little of you two out in the open an agreement will be a huge part of what’s shared.
On the other hand, if you disagree after you exchanged just 5 sentences they will think you disagree on everything.
If you disagree, hold it off until you’re friends and say “that’s an interesting way of looking at it” or “tell me more”.
Say something positive early on
Same concept as above.
Say yes to compliments
Accept compliments and answer with “oh thank you for noticing”.
Saying “no” on the other hand implies bad judgement on their side.
Moving out of small talk: Cherry Picking
Any anomaly in conversation can be a great topic to expand. If she says “this rain is good for my garden” ask about the garden.
If he says “yes it’s been terrible, it feels like a a tropical storm” ask if he’s ever been to the tropics.
Or “I can’t take my dog out”, “it blows leaves in my pool”… You got it, you ask about dog and pool.
A feeling of empathy
Empathizers are simple short support statements like “I can understand how you felt about that” or “I can appreciate you decided to do that..”
If you pick an overriding emotion, empathize with it. Say “I can see that you.. ” Empathizing is far more important than YOU being unique, interesting or original.
En: 1. Use when you get half-assed “facade replies”. Tell them “you don’t seem really convinced”, and you’ll get to the bottom of what they really feel.
2. Sometimes people will flaunt what they’ve done. Reward them and acknowledge it:
“I’m so happy to hear, that’s an amazing achievement, congratulations”
What do you do
Only ask “what do you do” if they love their job.
Leil Lowndes brings a cool example of talking about work on a budget cruise for which low wage workers saved the whole year VS asking “what do you do” to a wealth people gathering where they live off investments and busy themselves with charities.
Use their names later
Some suggest to use their name often but Leil instead suggests to only use it later on when you want to stress a point.
For example, after a while that you’ve been talking, lean in and say “John, what inspired you to get into.. “.
Ed.: It’s much more powerful indeed and a similar concept to asking their name pronunciation later.
If you don’t remember their names
Similarly, if you don’t remember their name wait after you spoke for a while and say “you know, I really want to remember your name, could you tell me again please?”
Conversation follow an “intimacy level” from:
- Cliches (for strangers) ;
- Facts (for acquaintances);
- Feelings (for friends);
- You and me (for good friends and lovers)
Replacing clichés and facts with feelings and “we speak” is a great way to move forward quicker. For example, after she complained of a tough week you can say “wow we’ve really a tough week haven’t we”
Leil Lowndes suggest to create an inside story which you can use between the two of you.
The inside story should be funny and entertaining, possibly memorable and involving both of you.
You can use a person’s child nickname as a powerful tool in building a personal bond.
Ed.: I experienced this myself when a girl I used to date used an old nickname of mine and it did feel closer.
I couldn’t agree more with Leil Lowndes when she recommends to do something different every now and then. Communication Confidence says that even as a first timer you will get 80% of all you need to know to make you a valued conversation partner
Learn the keywords
Every profession has certain keywords and hot topics. Ask a friend working in that profession to give you the highlights and you’ll fit in with the crowd.
Righteously so, Conversation Confidence by Leil Lowndes expands on listening skills.
Whole body listening
Let yourself free to experience what you’re hearing. It helps making an imaginari video of your conversation partner story.
How are they saying. Are they tense, excited, holding back.. ? look at body language and the underlying emotions
Expected reaction listening
Some will tell you some stories to get a certain kind of reaction from you: ask yourself what that reaction is.
Example: someone is talking to you about a restaurant. Probably he wants you to admire his taste.
Ask yourself why are they telling you the story.
Example: maybe he wants you to go with him to that restaurant.
Work a room like a politician
Why the party?
Sharing the rationale of a party is what puts you on the same ground with the heavy hitters.
Is the host looking for a job? Make an intro. Did he just break up? Show up with two girls.
Don’t mix food and mingling
Leil Lowndes affirms that just holding the dish in front of you will put a barrier between you and people.
Ask for intro or for Info
If you want to talk to someone ask the host for intro or ask about some key information about the person and then say “hey, you’re John Smith, Susan told me you love to sky, where do you go to sky around here?”
Entering a group
Stand nearby, listen the topic and then when the convo is winding down jump in and say “excuse me, I heard you sky at X, I’ve been meaning to go there, how is it?”. Worry not about the people in the group, they’ll be glad for some fresh blood.
Think about your previous conversation and what’s something else you can ask or talk about. For example “John, I forgot to ask you, what’s a good place to stay in… “
Prepare something interesting about your job or where you’re from.
When introducing someone, imagine you are introducing him onto a stage and give a great intro. For example “this is mark, he’s a top lawyer at X, and he was just telling a fascinating story about… “
Conversation Confidence by Leil Lowndes also delves into body language.
Turn fully towards your conversational partner to give a warm impression. See where the expression “giving the cold shoulder” comes from?
if they are turned towards you it’s a good sign, if turned away from you, it’s a negative sign. If sitting, women will turn their legs towards you.
Women looking at you
If a woman looks at you smiling and is interested she’ll look away and return her gaze to you within 45 seconds
Wrist and palms
When she bears her wrist and palms the message is “I submit”. Now go ahead ?
Heightened body motion
Her hormones are in action. You got this ?
If she’s rubbing herself, it’s a great sign. Especially if rubbing inner parts like thigh or upper arms.
Learning forward towards your conversation partner says “I like you”.
All these signals are better explained in Undercover Sexual Signals.
There’s a tendency to let things slide with bullies or, worst, kissing up to them. Don’t do it. And don’t try to use subtle psychology.
Instead, let them fizzle out a bit by staying silent. When you begin talking and they’ll try to interrupt you repeat their name over and over again saying “Mr. Wilson, you interrupted me” as you look at them in the eyes, until they let you finish.
Sniper are people who attack while hiding themselves.
The example from Conversation Confidence by Leil Lowndes is a girl back in college. She who would accuse without making names but while mostly looking at a particular girl in the group. “Someone used my toothpaste here, and I would like to tell to that person to please stop and buy her own”.
Your task is to make them come out in the open. Ask openly if they are talking about you.
And if they say you can’t take a joke you keep going “yeah, it was a great joke, but underneath it all, I sense there was aggressiveness, did you mean it that way?”
Don’t ask what could be done to improve, that lends them credibility. Instead, once they come out in the open, ask the whole group “anyone else see is that way”?
Man VS Women
Men want to be trusted to being able to get the job done and their greatest fear is being a failure.
Women want to be cared for and women’s greatest fear is being alone.
Conversation Confidence by Leil Lowndes ends with a few interesting and entertaining suggestion on what you should not say. Ever.
You look tired
It’s like telling people they look bad. I guess you know why you don’t tell people they look bad :).
I bet you don’t remember me
Any smarter way of devaluing yourself? 🙂
I don’t drink / I don’t smoke
Do take care of yourself, but when offered a cigarette or a Coca Cola don’t shove down people’s throat how are those habits don’t cut it for your high health standards.
Don’t tell him I told you this, but…
The subtext is that you can’t keep a secret.
You promised to…
Whatever, that was in the past, now they didn’t manage or they changed their mind. Allow them to keep their ego.
En.: Also keep in mind they will not only not backtrack, but also like you less.
When someone asks you a question, reply. And don’t play childish guessing games.
Conversation Confidence by Leil Lowndes is sometimes laborious and sounds better suited for Blue Blood nobility circles. There’s indeed a feeling that in real life scenario a bit of inner confidence would serve you better than the proposed “games”.
Like for example asking information before approaching, or pointing at people pretending to know them.
What about just walking up and say hi, or really getting to know people without pointing at strangers?
Conversation Confidence shares a few similarities with Leil Lowndes’ biggest seller “How To Talk to Anyone“, but I feel Conversation Confidence is actually better and more complete.
If you are reading this summary because you want to get better with people, check out my in depth Social Mastery Guide.
Absolutely recommended, get Conversation Confidence here.