5 Fun Conversation Hacks That Will Make You Appear More Attractive

How to bring the energy into every room

5 Fun Conversation Hacks That Will Make You Appear More Attractive

How to bring the energy into every room

Rookie of the Year

Broker of the Year

Two awards I’ve won at my commercial real estate firm Colliers International in Columbus, Ohio.

I’m not telling you this to brag. I’m telling you because, if you knew me, you’d think it insane.

Commercial real estate is one of the most extroverted, ole boys’ club careers out there. The best brokers run circles on the phone by day, then have the energy to hit the country’s club happy hour by night.

Me? I’m not those things. I lean toward the introverted side of the scale and often prefer Netflix to a happy hour.

So how did I do so well?

I read dozens and dozens of books about networking and sales, and studied my mentor John — perhaps the most outgoing, fun person on the planet.

In short, I learned, I practiced, and I got better. Now people ask me how I make so many connections, which I still think is bananas.

Here are a few tricks you can use in everyday conversation (business meetings, networking, dates) to make you appear instantly more attractive and memorable.

Get ready! I guarantee following just two of these will boost your popularity. The best part is, nobody will notice you’re using them.

1. Bring The Energy and Walk Into Every Room With A Smile

CRE brokers receive little direction on their first day.

The joke goes that managers give new brokers and desk and a phone and say, “Have at it. Sink or swim.” Capitalism at work, ladies and gentlemen.

Most junior brokers frantically cold call businesses and might spend an entire day leaving voicemails and getting rejected by receptionists. I took the inverse approach. Before I could call a company, I had to visit their office (in person) and introduced myself. Then, I could go back to my desk, enter the information in a database, and call.

What happened? I landed my first three clients, who I still work with today.

It sounds cheesy, but I’m convinced that introducing myself with a smile opened doors that never would’ve happened with a brash cold call.

It’s not a coincidence that Dale Carnegie dedicated an entire chapter to smiling in his timeless book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

Hell, in Leil Lowndes’ book “How To Talk To Anyone,” the very first chapter is about smiling.

A smile is disarming. If you’re neutral or serious, people will mirror your expression, but if you approach with a warm smile, the odds are they will reciprocate.

Conversation Hack: Bring the energy and smile. Be excited to talk about your passion, side hustle, or work project. There is a real magnetism around excitement and it rubs off on everyone. As Chris Martin from Coldplay once said, “I can’t dance but I have enthusiasm.”

2. Take Interest in Others Interests

“When was the last time you touched a monkey?”

The writer David Sedaris likes to ask his fans irrelevant questions whenever he’s at book signings or noticed at restaurants.

He’s a comedy writer, so the answers often make for great material.

“Oh, can you smell it on me?”

David’s questions represent much more than source material. It shows that he takes a deep interest in his readers. Instead of a bland “thanks for coming,” he gives the gift of a question you would only hear from an old friend.

“That’s the kind of moment you can create when you learn how to be really interested in other people and how to observe the world.”

-David Sedaris

Conversations, whether with strangers or lifelong friends, should be mutually beneficial. Here’s the problem: The “me” focus dominates how we think, act, and communicate.

It’s ironic how we remember the people who choose to act inversely: the people who take interest in others on a daily basis. We befriend such people, listen to them, and trust them.

Conversation hack: I call it the Sedaris strategy. Stay clear of small talk like “Where do you work?” Instead, ask a personal and pointed question. What deal is keeping you up at night? What sport did you play in high school? What’s your dream?

3. How To Banter Like A Pro

Banter is the art of playful, content-free conversation.

And folks, it’s the key to attraction. Plain and simple.

I’ve never seen anyone banter like my mentor, John. He could walk into a tense business meeting and make everyone feel like they were at a neighborhood bar watching the game with friends.

When I started networking after college, my topics of conversation ranged from work to TV shows. That’s about it.

John never focused on topics. He focused on making the other person laugh and let loose. That’s why everyone wanted to do business with him.

Conversation hack: I noticed two qualities about John’s banter style that everyone should follow if they want to appear more attractive.

1.) Tell it like it is: Don’t spill all your deepest darkest secrets but don’t hide behind euphemisms either. Banter is about saying how you feel because that’s how you act around people you trust.

As the saying goes, call a spade a spade.

2.) Be prepared to talk about anything: If you’re at a business happy hour and the conversation floats to the Lebron/MJ debate, do you steer it back to work? Of course not!

Banter is about keeping things light. You’re not trying to close a deal, score an interview, or get a date on the spot — that’s just adding unwanted pressure. Save that for the follow-up.

4. Ask For Help Even If It Makes You Feel Vulnerable

I’m reading a book right now called “Do Cool Shit” by Miki Agrawal.

It’s about a young entrepreneur who did cool shit in her twenties: she played professional soccer, produced films, traveled the world, and opened a pizza restaurant in New York City.

Her secret? She just put herself out there. She wrote down her goals, told people what she wanted to do, and asked for help.

Here’s an example:

While Miki studied abroad in London, she took a bike tour around the city with her classmates. Before the tour, the guide urged everyone not to stray. “We can’t afford a lawsuit.”

A fair request, but Miki had her own agenda: to make friends with actual British people and not just Americans.

As they neared Hyde Park, she noticed a group of guys playing soccer. “Brits playing my favorite sport,” she thought. “That’s my in.”

She had a choice to make: play by the rules, or accomplish her goal.

She ditched the tour, rode up to the pitch, and stopped her bike in the middle of the game — the guys had to listen. “Hey, quick, come over here. I need help with something.” She said, “I just flew in from New York, and I really need some people to play football with. Can I get your number?”

Everyone was shocked, but one guy slipped her a number. She called that evening and met the whole group at a pub. They became her entourage for the rest of the trip.

People rarely ask for help, especially around strangers. It makes sense. We want people to think we’re smart and asking for help exposes our vulnerabilities.

Conversation hack: You can swallow your pride for a few minutes to ask for help. Ask for advice about a project you’re working on, or ask about good recipes for a dinner party. 

Say this, “I’m happy I met you because I’m working on this thing and I need help…”

5. Tell Stories and Bring The Emotion

Stories will always win.

Don’t worry if you don’t like telling stories in public. I don’t either. Stories don’t come naturally to me (unless I write them down). I’d rather listen. But no denying they increase attractiveness because they drive emotion into the conversation.

Conversation Hack: If you’re like me and don’t like the spotlight, here are a few tips for storytelling in a conversation.

1. Keep it short: You should be able to wrap up any story in under a minute. In fact, I think people appreciate the brevity.

2. Tell a story you’ve told before: I sometimes lose my way when I try to wing it. Practice a story on your close friends or run through the narrative in your head before saying it in front of a new audience.

3. Who cares if you fall flat: Not all of Dave Chappell’s jokes land either. Who cares! Move on to the next story.

Do you use these in daily conversation or plan to use them in the future? What’s worked for you? Let me know in the comments. I’m learning every day about this stuff and eager to hear your suggestions, so please don’t hesitate to share your stories.