How to have amazing conversations with anyone – the 4 step formula [chapter 3]

Most dating advice goes straight to picking up women. And I get it. That’s what you want most, right? It’s definitely what I wanted most. Especially when other guys would boast about which girls they had hooked up with. Sure, part of me wanted to fit in, to have something to add, to feel like “one of the guys.” But mostly I just craved the experience of being with a woman, and hearing someone else’s story just made that pit in my stomach a little deeper, because I always wondered “will that ever happen to me?”

The common theory in dating advice is “if you know how to talk to your friends and family, then surely you can talk to that really hot girl. You just need to learn how to calm yourself down and be yourself.”

Pardon me while I puke, because that is the biggest pile of horseshit I’ve ever heard. Last I checked, I’m not trying to get a date with my friends and family. And yes, I have heard the “don’t try to get something from women” advice. Let’s be real, okay? Sure, it may not be the only thing on my mind, but I’m biologically wired to be on the lookout for women to mate with. And wanting to go on a date (or have sex) with her is not me trying to get something, it’s actually a mutually pleasurable experience that the man has to initiate.

So the nerves and sweaty palms and stomach turning over is normal. Some dating advice even acknowledges this, and tells you to “just relax” or “change your emotional state” which is like telling you to relax when a pack of vicious bees is flying at you (i.e. dumb advice). You are wired to do something in that situation, and that natural, sudden emotional charge is helpful, if you choose to take action.

Case in point: a few months ago I was strolling around the local park with my roommate, and I chatted up a beautiful girl who was there with her friend. My roommate later said “wow, you were so confident!” And yes, I made it seem like I was incredibly comfortable, knew exactly what to say, and had no hesitation.

But do you want to know the first thought that went through my head when I saw this girl? I remember it clearly – I thought “she would never go for me.” Surprise! I have doubts, insecurities, and fears too!

But I’ve learned what to do despite them. And that’s what true confidence really is – action in the face of fear.

Even though I had fears, I was able to get her number, take her on a date, and be in a relationship with her for a while. How? Because I had practiced the correct actions over, and over, and over again. Thousands of times. Nearly every opportunity I could get. At work, at the grocery store, at the dentist’s office, on the airplane, and even in mosque. Anywhere and everywhere.

So what are those correct actions?

The first one is to be a phenomenal conversationalist. I don’t use the word phenomenal lightly. I really mean it – you need to make people fall in love with you through conversation. That’s the definition of a phenomenal conversationalist, and that’s the goal.

Again, most dating advice focuses immediately on the challenge of talking to attractive women, when in reality, most guys struggle to hold a conversation with anyone new. Unless they have a work related or school related reason to speak with someone new, they don’t know what to say.

That was definitely the case for me. I was always envious of the people who seemed like they could chat with literally anyone. Because when I met someone new, I just wondered: what in the world would I talk to them about? Why would they ever want to talk to me?

The answer to these questions is the fundamental skill you need to seduce women. You can try skipping this step by memorizing some lines (like I did). But when the lines run out, you’re back to square one, not knowing what to say.

To avoid this problem (and become a phenomenal conversationalist) the most important manual to consult is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. I make every client read and outline this book – it’s that important. And the most critical lesson in the book is on how to get people to love you: get them to talk about themselves and what they care about. It’s not about you, or your stories. It’s about them. Ironically, if the person you are speaking with does a majority of the actual talking, they perceive you as a great conversationalist. From my point of view, that’s awesome, because it means I don’t have to do much beyond asking a few good questions and paying attention.

I know – this all sounds great, and you’ve probably heard it before. So what? How do you actually put it into practice? The book doesn’t directly answer the question of how do I start? But that’s why you have me – to fill you in on exactly that. Ready? Here’s the formula for starting a conversation.

The 4-Step Formula For Amazing Conversations With Anyone

#1: smile, make eye contact, and say hello

#2: give an uncommon compliment

#3: make a positive assumption

#4: ask a specific, inviting question

Let's dive into each of these.

#1: smile, make eye contact, and say hello

This may seem obvious, but sometimes we are so wrapped up in our own heads, that it’s easy to forget. Your smile shows that you are friendly, eye contact invites connection, and a simple greeting lets the other person know that someone new is talking to them. It’s not very common to just strike up a conversation with a stranger, so people are often not expecting it, and they need a second to process what’s happening. Give them a moment before you go on to the next steps – if they meet your eyes and smile, it’s a good sign to proceed.

#2: give an uncommon compliment

Compliments always feel great, right? Everyone likes to be praised. But certain compliments are given SO often that they don’t register as compliments anymore. For example, girls are told they are “pretty” about 100 times a day on dating apps, so if you say that to a girl, it doesn’t mean much. She’s desensitized to it (and it actually annoys her, because you’re now just like every other guy).

Further, people don’t typically put a lot of thought behind their compliments. They will usually say something like “I like that shirt” or “you’re so nice.” It’s hard to tell if they are being genuine, or just trying to be nice. Contrast that with saying something like “that shirt really brings out your eyes” or “you are so cheerful and positive.” Which ones seem more genuine? Which ones make it sound like the giver actually believes the compliment?

The first thing I said when I met my first girlfriend was “wow, is that blue nail polish? That’s my favorite color of nail polish on women.” It wasn’t actually that grandiose of a compliment, but how many guys do you think comment on women’s nail polish? It’s incredibly uncommon. Paying attention to those little details really pays off – because women put a lot of thought into the little details of their appearance, and you can make her feel great by acknowledging it. In general, it is acceptable to compliment fashion. Avoid complimenting physical traits in the beginning, as it will come across forward or cheesy.

#3: make a positive assumption

This is also called a pre-frame, where you tell someone they seem to have a positive characteristic before you know whether or not it is true. By doing this, the other person is more inclined to behave as if they did actually have that characteristic e.g. “you seem really friendly” makes that person act friendly towards you.

You don’t need to be uncommon here, because nobody does this. And you may be thinking but I don't know this person yet. And that’s the beautiful thing about this step – you don’t have to. Just compliment them on the personality trait you want them to exhibit.

For example, “you seem so goodhearted” or “you seem so genuine” or “you seem so warm.”

#4: ask a specific, inviting question

Most people ask boring ass questions when they meet new people.

Where do you live?

What do you do for work?

Or worse, yes/no questions.

Did you watch the game?

Have you been to this event before?

I wish someone would shoot me when I get these questions, because it shows ZERO creativity on the part of the other person. You’re basically passing the conversational buck to the other person, and hoping they come up with something interesting for you. This is incredibly selfish. So please, for the love of whatever you find holy, stop doing this.

Instead, you want to ask a question that is specific, yet invites the other person to share a story. Let me give you two examples of these steps together.

Example 1: “Hi :) I love the fullness of your southern accent, it’s very comforting. You seem like a classy gentleman. Why did you decide to move here?”

Example 2: “Hi :) I love that your socks match your earrings. You seem very confident. How did you learn to carry yourself in this way?”

Even if the person did not move here, or does not see him/herself as very confident, this will open up the conversation. And that’s the point.

Connecting Deeper

Once you have started the conversation in this way, the other person will want to connect with you, because you have shown that you are a genuine and thoughtful person. To create an even deeper bond between you two, use one of these four strategies:

#1: ask “why” about everything

Why did that happen? Why did you do that? Why did you enjoy that activity?

This shows that you are genuinely interested, another principle from How to Win Friends and Influence People.

#2: ask about their feelings

How did you feel when that happened?

People often get stuck telling you what happened, but real connection comes at the emotional, not historical level.

#3: ask them about memories related to the topic at hand

How did you learn to do that? What is the most unique experience you have with that activity? What did it feel like when you first did that?

These types of questions are more likely to draw out a story – and these are the stories people are just wishing someone would ask them about.

#4: offer your own perspective on the topic

Kids are great, but I don't think I'll have my own. I love taking care of my nieces for an afternoon, but I’ve never had an urge to be a father myself.

Share your genuine opinion on the subject, regardless of your experience level.

Do this everywhere

Put all of these pieces together and you will be well on your way towards forming incredible connections with new people. And this is critical for seducing women, because seduction is a skill that builds on top of having a great conversation. So start practicing this skill everywhere you go. At work, while waiting for the bus, at the grocery store, at a networking event, etc. Anywhere you encounter new people.

Because when you come across that cute girl you’ve been dreaming of, you’re going to be thinking “Oh my god she’s hot! Oh my god she’s hot!” but if you have practiced this skill, you will say the right things to make excellent conversation. It will have become second nature for you. Yes, you do need to add flirting (which we will cover later) but at least this will prevent you from not having anything to say, or bumbling around like an idiot (as I used to).

Recap of the formula

#1: smile, make eye contact, and say hello

#2: give an uncommon compliment

#3: make a positive assumption

#4: ask a specific, inviting question

Final tip: be sure to take. your. time. Speaking slowly, and even taking a pause (see my video on this) makes what you are saying way more seductive.

Previous chapter

So how did a 23-year-old, shy guy in a wheelchair go from zero success with women to dating 40+ women, getting his first kiss, losing his virginity, having 5 girlfriends, and being the life of the party wherever he goes? The strategies I still use, to this day, are spelled out in The 3 Step Guide to More Friends and More Dates – click the button below to download it (for free!) now.

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