MP900385536[1]Starting a conversation can be one of life’s more difficult tasks. It helps if you are an extrovert and can think of what to say right off the cuff. Yet you, too, have ever-present challenges that are above and beyond the words you exchange.

A major one is image, a combination of appearance and behavior that communicates more than half of the message. Admit it. You look at the other person and form an opinion. You notice the person’s height and weight; clothing style, colors and fit; hair color and style; attractiveness by your standards; posture; eye contact; facial expression; gestures; and more.

And you do this while you’re are shaking hands (a major nonverbal communicator) and trying to say something meaningful or respond with words that are memorable.

Sometimes you are thrown even more of a curve … like the person is unkempt or dressed inappropriately for the occasion or has obviously been imbibing. This consumes more evaluation time making it more difficult to concentrate on words.

What are you to do? Stay tuned for helpful hints.


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