Someone on Quora asked:
When a couple (say 2 to 12) of people are gathered in one spot and the conversation is non-existent, or boring, what techniques can be used to kick off an interesting exchange?
This was my response:
You’re already gathered with the people, right?
You don’t have to invite them out and get them to gather, right?
Because I can’t help you with that. Hell, I barely get any invitations out myself.
I’m like the person who just stays home all day because no one wants to have fun with me. Because I’m not fun. I’m just a social recluse who hides in bed all day.
I love bed. Bed is fun.
So anyway, on those rare instances I do get invited out, I usually look around and smile and ask something completely off topic and irrelevant like, “So… What’s the meanest thing you did before you were an adult?” or “OMG, Have you tried Baco Mercat (restaurant) yet?” or “What’s the worst troll you ever dealt with on the Internet?”
Then people usually answer. Then they ask me and I answer. Then who knows what happens from there.
But I think this engages people to talk.
My friend once made two retired cheerleaders who he never met before do a dance off at a barbecue. Oh, they didn’t know each other either. He caught it all on film. It was hilarious.
Originally posted on Quora.
Leonard Kim consults startups and writes books like The Etiquette of Social Media: How to Connect and Respond to Others in the World of Social Media