How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Script the start
Write out a script that you will recite at the start of the conversation. Think carefully about what you will say and the effect it will have.
Learn it off by heart so you can say it without sounding like you are reading it out. Record yourself and listen to ensure it is natural. You can also practice with a friend, which can be a very effective way of getting it right.
Do not script the entire conversation, but do have a practiced words for important parts -- and the start is usually the most important bit.
When you are going to regularly face a number of situations, you can have a whole repertoire of scripts.
A sales person practices her pitch in front of the mirror.
A boy who gets nervous with girls writes out a number of chat-up lines and learns to deliver them with wit and aplomb.
A person who is being given an award scripts the first part of the thank you and practices it with a friend.
Although you do not need to script the start of every conversation, when you are likely to be nervous or when the conversation is particularly important, it is well worth the investment of thoughtful words and practical practice.
Typical situations where scripting is useful include: