I want to introduce you to a good friend of mine. His name is Patrick King. He’s the founder of Patrick King Consulting.
Patrick is a Social Interaction Specialist, in other words, a dating, online dating, image, and communication and social skills coach based in San Francisco, California, and has been featured on numerous national publications such as Inc.com. He’s also a #1 Amazon best-selling dating and relationships author with the most popular online dating book on the market, and writes frequently on dating, love, sex, and relationships.
Today, he is going to do a guest blog post for us. Please welcome Patrick King.
“Conversations with girls we find attractive are typically goal-oriented.”
The goal is, well, ahem, but many of us overlook the fact that in order to get to that point, there are many more mini-goals that we must first meet.
Luckily for us, that’s pretty much exactly the same exact goal that improv comedy strives for – improv comedy just does it in front of people, as opposed to with people.
Even more fortunately, improv comedy has developed a ton of guidelines for exactly this purpose, and they are 100% applicable to talking to girls and people in general.
If you take out the wacky improv comedy context, what you end up with are just incredibly insightful rules for amazing conversations.
Without further ado, here are three ways that you will never run out of things to say to girls using improv comedy techniques.
Rule of Improv Comedy #1 – Adopt the mindset of “Yes, AND…”
In response to someone else’s suggestion, thought, or topic, always say “Yes, AND…” to move to their topic and add something to it, to keep the conversation flowing.
It means that you are collaborating with the person that you’re talking with. This preserves a flow, keeps them interested in the conversation at hand, and makes interactions as smooth as butter.
Instead of throwing your conversation partner off and telling that person that you want to talk about something else, you carry that person deeper into the topic of their choice by talking about it and adding to it.
This highlights your intelligence, but it also highlights your emotional engagement.
An added bonus is that you make your conversation partner feel extremely heard and validated, and that just makes them enjoy talking to you even more.
Recall that improv is about accomplishing a shared goal. This requires flow, working together, and accepting what other people bring to the table regardless of what it is. That’s the essence of “Yes, AND…” and the opposite of “Yes, BUT…”
There are no right or wrong answers, only answers that lead to flow and those that do not.
Your agenda and shared goal is simply to create an environment where you can get the other person to trust you and make them feel that you are a friend. “Yes, AND…” makes people feel heard, validated, and that you are willing to go with them wherever they lead.
A great conversation has a million different directions, and you must be open to all of them.
Rule of Improv Comedy #2 – Ask specific questions
Don’t force others to answer broad questions because it puts a conversational burden on them and interrupts banter; use specific questions instead.
If you’re trying to get a great conversation going, questions, especially open-ended ones, can lead to minefields.
When you ask open-ended questions like, “What do you like to do for fun?” this has a tremendous impact on the free flow of the conversation.
The recipient of the question ends up having to do a lot of work. Answering an open-ended question like that takes a lot of mental work. The more open-ended the question, the more work is involved. This has a net effect of forcing your conversation partner to stop whatever they’re doing just to come up with a reply.
How do you really answer that question of what you do for fun, anyway? Uh… I like to go running sometimes and watch movies.
No one really has an answer to that in their pocket.
A better example would be “Have you seen any good movies lately” or “Have you seen the latest Toy Story?”
Worst of all, when you ask open-ended questions, you put the burden of keeping the conversation going on your partner.
Instead of feeling that they are equal partners in keeping the conversation going and contributing to a flow of easy information, they feel overburdened. They feel that the conversation has become imbalanced. Eventually, it becomes more of a chore rather something enjoyable.
Very specific questions are easier to answer because they often only require one piece of information. This is good news because when people are prompted to supply this piece of information, the person asking can then contribute to follow up on that question or with a statement.
Another advantage of specific questions is they allow you to direct a conversation depending on the specific answers given.
It’s as simple as this – statements make interaction and conversation easy for people to engage in because they don’t require massive amounts of thinking, and create a great conversational flow.
Rule of Improv Comedy #3 – Talk about history, philosophy, or metaphor
One of the most powerful techniques you can adopt from improv comedy is HPM.
HPM is like a mental template you can use in the best and worst of situations. It’s a concept that can apply to any topic, anytime… and best of all, it does not matter how intelligent or creative both you and the people you are speaking with are.
HPM stands for history, philosophy and metaphor.
These are multiple angles that you can take with any kind of conversation to add renewed life to a conversation. You can address the history, philosophy, or metaphor of almost anything that was just said.
The best part about each component of HPM is that they are universal, and are incredibly fertile grounds for conversation. Everyone has an HPM on just about every topic, and just by saying it loud you galvanize others to bring up their own HPM.
The history angle is when you talk about what your conversation partner said in a personal way and relate it back to something that happened to you – your personal history.
“Last time I was on a rollercoaster, I lost my $500 sunglasses!”
By philosophy, I am not talking about an abstract theoretical argument about what life is.
I am talking about personal philosophy, beliefs, and opinions. The philosophy angle is where you demonstrate how you feel about something, for better or worse. The stronger you feel about something, the more this engenders additional conversation.
“Oh my God, I absolutely hate rollercoasters. I can’t stand them, they are so terrifying.”
When you throw out a metaphor, you communicate with the person you are talking to that you are both emotionally and intellectually engaged.
It also just makes you appear witty and clever to link unrelated elements together like metaphors usually do.
“Rollercoasters are like charities, I donate so many things because I lose something every time I ride one!”
This communicates to the person that you are a deep thinker and it also communicates to the person that what they said resonated with you enough for you to draw these connections.
When you use HPM correctly, you will never run out of things to say, ever.
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