A typical conversation between a guy and a girl at a bar might sound something like this…
HIM: So what do you do?
HER: I’m a school teacher.
HIM: Oh really? Cool. What grade do you teach?
HER: Eighth grade.
HIM: Ah, ok…so do you enjoy being a teacher?
HER: Yeah, I love it.
HIM: That’s cool…um…so how long have you been a teacher? (He’s already running out of steam.)
There is no rule that says you’ve got to stick with whatever topic is being discussed at the moment. You never want to run out of steam, and bouncing from one topic to the next can keep things interesting.
The idea is that YOU control the flow.
For example, you’re standing next to a girl at the bar. You look at her, make eye contact, give her a smile, and say…
YOU: “I can tell there’s more to you than meets the eye.”
HER: “What makes you say that?”
YOU: “Well, I’m sure a lot of guys judge you based on your looks, but you’ve got a deeper, more complicated side that they don’t know about. I’m right, aren’t I.”
HER: “I guess that’s true.”
YOU: “OK then, so let me ask you a hypothetical question, and this question is really interesting because it reveals a lot about a person.
If you could have the power to fly, or the power to be invisible, which would you want?”
HER: “Hmmm, I guess the power to be invisible.”
YOU: “That’s very interesting. Now tell me why you would want that power…”
Now you’re immersed in a cool conversation. You’re capturing her imagination, instead of asking the same old “job interview” questions while she sizes you up and thinks of all the reasons why she shouldn’t keep talking to you.
Listen for transitional words and topics that will allow you to take the conversation in new directions, and plant seeds about your own positive qualities (without sounding like you’re bragging).
For example, if she says, “I’d want to be invisible so that no one can bother me at my job. I can’t stand dealing with rude customers all day…”
…you could jump on the word “job” and use it to transition to that subject. Then take this opportunity to mention how passionate you are about what you do.
If she would want the power to fly, maybe it’s because she would visit some interesting, exotic locale. Now you can move onto the subject of travel. If you haven’t done much international travel, that’s okay: you can mention some amazing place that you’re planning to visit, and relate some details about it that make her imagine going there with you someday.
Another rule of dynamic conversation is that you should keep her in a positive, enthusiastic frame of mind as much as possible. If things take a negative turn, and she starts complaining about something (her ex-boyfriend, her bitchy roommate, her asshole boss, etc.), it’s your job to take her mind off the negative and keep things on a positive track.
So let’s rewind, back to when she says…
HER: “I’d want to be invisible so that no one can bother me at my job. I deal with so many obnoxious customers, I don’t even know why I work there…”
YOU: “My opinion is, if you’re going to have a job, you might as well make it something you’re passionate about. I’m fortunate, I’m really love what I do.”
HER: “So what do you do?”
YOU: “Well, I didn’t come out tonight to talk about work, but let’s just say I’m well compensated and it’s the perfect use of my talents.”
HER: “Hmm, ok…”
YOU: “So tell me, if had a hundred million bucks in the bank—let’s say you won the lottery—how would you spend your days? What would you be passionate about doing, if you never had to worry about paying another bill?”
Here’s another example of an original approach, followed through with Conversation Control:
YOU: Are you friendly or mean?
HER: Why do you ask?
YOU: You look a little bit mean, but I think it’s just a front. You’re actually a sweetheart, once people get to know you.
HER: Yes, I’d like to think I’m sweet.
YOU: Let me ask you something. My best friend Jay broke up with his girlfriend about a week ago. And he really wants to ask out one of her friends, but he’s worried that it’s too soon. Should a guy wait a certain amount of time before he asks out a friend of his ex? Is there a rule for this?
HER: I think he should give it a few weeks at least.
HIM: A few weeks, hmm. That makes sense. I bet you’re the girl that all of your friends come to for “guy advice.” You have a knack for this stuff; maybe you should have your own talk show.
HER: (laughing) Well, my sister had something similar happen. She met this guy when she was in college…
HIM: Where did she go to school?
HIM: Really? I went to (name a school). I majored in business, with a minor in throwing parties. Which reminds me…you’re invited to this party I’m throwing next month, I’m just trying to decide what theme to go with. I was thinking toga party, but that’s so played out…maybe “pimps n’ hos,” because I’ve got this killer fur coat and a giant wide-brimmed hat I could wear…but then I started thinking, maybe a 1980s theme would be cool. Just think of the party playlist I could put together for my iPod. Banarama, the Go-Gos, Journey, Men at Work, Duran Duran…who I am forgetting?”
As you can see, within the space of the first minute, you’ve planted cool seeds about yourself and taken the conversation in interesting, unpredictable directions. You’ve engaged her imagination, and you’re relating to her on a level that most guys would never get to. And you didn’t need to stay on any particularly topic…you bounced around to keep things moving along. (By the way, you can always return later on to any of the topics you touched on earlier and then moved away from.)