People skills is the super card to pull to handle most situations. It can rescue you from embarrasment and get you a ton of new friends. So here is a cheat sheat to making great impressions.
Find Common Ground
The ice breaker might be hard to come up with and your first line is truly important. No matter what, you always have something in common with the person you wish to approach that is relevant as an opening subject. It could be that you know the same person ( I heard you know ... and wish to send my condolenses") or are wearing the same outfit ("wow you have great taste").
You are worth talking to and if the person feels bothered by you in that moment they are not worth it. Take a few deep breaths and know that you are interesting. To keep you solid think about all you have that you will still have after the conversation.
This goes without saying and is the very thing that will make you the next Jimmy Fallon. The more you talk to strangers the better you will become. Cashiers and bus drivers alike love it when you ask how their day has been and helping a person struggeling to carry something can start a friendship. If you strike up conversations daily it will start becoming the norm and your days will definately be enriched.
Respond Rather Then React
Walking up and beeing the one taking initiative, a sense of responsbility for the conversation can wash over you. You initiated interaction so now you have to manage it and be the pilar that holds it up. This is not the case, you walked over there to get to know someone, not to have a leacture and preach. Introduce yourself with confidence, depending on their personality, they might even take the lead.
It´s also vital to listen when others speak. Repeat what they said earlier "like you said before.. " or nod to show your following and remember to respond without judgement. If you strongly disagree with what is beeing said simply use neutral phrases such as "Interesting, how come?"
Silence does not kill you, ignore Jeff Dunhams puppet. It can make a point and be a great time to grasp the situation and gather your thoughts. Although aviod using the time to think of what to say next, which might feel scripted.
Even though a silence can feel like an eternity, it is not and it is preferred to filling up space saying everything on your mind. If what you say is not relevant your crowd will stop listening and when it comes to words: quality tops quantity.
Go, talk and prosper!