Speaking confidently while you’re on a date is a skill that can be learned without much difficulty. Talking with the guy or girl you’re interested in needs to consider a different set of factors than when talking to someone in the family or to a group of friends.
There’s definitely a goal you have in mind when you’re talking to that guy or girl. You want to gauge how much they’re interested in you, if there’s any chance of taking the relationships further, and you want to find out if you are interested in him or her beyond initial attraction. The following information contains some simple, but proven ways to talk more confidently when you’re on a date. These strategies are part of the free guide and video series called Talk More Confidently, so sign up for those free resources to learn more.
Yes, this article IS about learning to talk more confidently on a date, and learning to listen better sets the stage for more confident speaking. Give the other person opportunities to talk and listen carefully to what they say. Not only does this habit give you more information about that person, but it also communicates your interest in them.
Great conversationalists actually do much more listening that they do talking. Put it this way, have you ever been on a date where the other person did most or all of the talking? Assuming it wasn’t because you were shy, but because the other person was a conversation hog, how did that make you feel that you weren’t able to say much? You probably felt ignored or even disrespected.
How do you think the people you date feel if you talk all the time and don’t give them much of an opportunity to speak? It will probably make them feel ignored or disrespected, and you definitely don’t want that. So, in order to speak more confidently on dates, don’t speak so much!
Ask Interesting Questions
It’s an extension of what we just discussed, about listening more than you speak, but another way to speak confidently with someone on a date is to ask questions that he or she will really enjoy answering.
Don’t ask questions they’ve already been asked a hundred times, ask things that make them think and open up. Some of the same old boring questions people ask each other on dates include things like:
- What do you like to do?
- Where do you work?
- Where are you from?
- What kind of music do you like?
Some better questions to ask that would get people interested in talking more would include things like:
- If you never had to worry about money, what would you do?
- What’s your next job going to be?
- What musical instrument would you like to learn to play?
These types of questions get people talking more, and if/when the other person has shared their ideas with you, they often ask you the same questions. If you know what the questions will be, in advance, then it gives you an advantage to speaking more confidently on a date. So, think through interesting questions you can ask the other person, before you go out with them.
When it’s your turn to talk, it’s important to talk humbly about yourself. People often misunderstand the concept of humility. It’s NOT having low self-esteem. Humility doesn’t mean you try to embarrass yourself.
Talking humbly means you don’t try to impress other people by giving only the favorable facts about yourself or your accomplishments. When you talk, being honest is the best way to maintain some humility. People like others who show some vulnerability.
Sure, go ahead and talk about things you’ve done that you’re proud of, but always keep it in check by admitting any mistake you made, and attribute your accomplishments to timing and or a bit of luck as it’s appropriate.
Use Self-Effacing Humor
When you talk to someone else on a date, you can communicate a bit of humility and also show a sense of humor by using some self-effacing humor. Self-effacing means you are confident enough that you can tell a joke on yourself. Your self-esteem is high enough that you can say something that exposes some of your own vulnerability. This doesn’t diminish what other people think of you, in fact, they will like and respect you more.
Here are some things people might say that qualify as self-effacing humor:
- “I don’t really think golf is much of a challenge, because I always get the highest score.”
- “My boss says that I’m the best person on the team. Of course, everyone else quit last month.”
- “I’m a great guitar player! I can play one chord perfectly!“
Speak Well of Others
Don’t try to appear confident by speaking poorly of other people. If your goal is to have your date think more highly of you, then speak well of other people. It’s a temptation, if we feel insecure or intimidated, to point out others’ perceived weaknesses to make ourselves look better. But this always backfires. Your date will wonder what you say about him or her when you’re talking to someone else.
As Stephen R. Covey has taught, always speak about people as though they were present in the room with you. You’ll feel more confident talking and your date will feel at ease listening to you.
You’ll feel more confident as you speak with your date because you know they won’t be worried about what you really think of them. You won’t have to worry that your date knows the person you’ve criticized.
When You Speak, Communicate Emotion
Another thing you can do to speak more confidently is to express the emotion associated with what you say. Realize that you are attempting not only to communicate information to someone, but feelings as well. Communicating emotion makes your conversation more interesting. People enjoy listening to people who can (appropriately) show some emotion when they talk.
Expressing your emotion, the feelings associated with your thoughts and experiences, relies not just on the words you use, but your body language as well. Some people who try to act “cool” try to be deadpan and show no feeling or emotional reaction to anything others say. But these “cool” people are just boring.
Smile, frown, show excitement, fear, confusion, etc. All of those feelings have specific facial expressions. Use them! Remove your inhibitions so people can understand what you feel in addition to what you know.
Talk About Your True Passions
Expressing some of your emotions when you talk to your date comes much easier when you talk about things you are really passionate about. When I use the word passionate about, I mean things you are excited about, or things that really get you fired up, things that may activate your sense of injustice.
Realize that as you talk about what you’re really interested in (assuming you already gave your date a chance to talk about their interests), you open up to show him or who you really are. Yes, there is some risk in this, they might not like all that they see, but at least you know someone will be interested in your true self. If they’re not interested in you when you talk of these things, they’re probably not the right person for you.
Tell Stories and Experiences
We go into how using stories and experiences makes you a much more confident communicator in that free video series, Talk More Confidently, so be sure you signed up for that.
For now, realize that you can be much more interesting to your date when you share stories and personal experiences instead of just abstract ideas. Be thinking about what stories you might share beforehand. Look for interesting things that might happen the day or two before your date so you can share them with him or her.
It’s easier to speak confidently when you’re sharing your own stories or experiences. You lose your self-consciousness and visualize what you’re trying to relate to your date. You don’t worry about the words you use and focus on the experience. You’re not s worried about saying what’s right or wrong, because it’s your story.
Ask Some More (Interesting) Questions
We talked about this already, but to reemphasize the point that you should listen a lot more than you talk while you’re on a date, be sure to ask some (more) interesting questions. Remember that you should ask questions, and follow-up questions, that your date would enjoy answering.
Realize that a good conversation while you’re on a date is an exchange: keeping giving the other person plenty of opportunities to talk about themselves.
Summary: To Talk Confidently on Your Next Date
So in summary, here are the things you can do to talk confidently on your future dates:
Give your date many opportunities to talk, and do this by asking questions they would enjoy answering.
- Be humble when you talk about yourself to give a balanced representation of who you really are.
- Try to use some self-effacing humor so you can make the other person feel more comfortable around you and to have more fun.
- Speak well of other people and realize that criticizing someone else will not improve your date’s perception of you.
- Feel free to express some of your emotions when you talk (verbally and non-verbally) to be more interesting and confident.
- Talk about things you are really interested in and passionate about.
- Share stories and experiences to be more interesting and engaging when you talk to your date.
- Sign up for the free guide and video series, Talk More Confidently, to learn more strategies for better communication.