Josh is a comedian who has performed in NY, Philly, NC, and a bunch of other places. He is also helped produce the Arsenic Lullaby pilot cartoon, did voice acting, helped me write the pitch for Nickelodeon, and today he has advice for those of you who are not as outgoing as you would like to be.
Are you a socially awkward person? Do you not know what to say to people? Do you have trouble making friends? Then I have a trick for making small talk that could be the solution for you.
Simply parrot what you hear and see in the media!
For example, let’s say you’re going to the gym. Naturally at the gym, a lot of those guys are likely to be following whatever sport is in season at the time. All you need to do is watch Sports Center, listen to sports talk radio or even visit a website that offers opinions on sports. Memorize a few bullet points, then just repeat those as if they were your own ideas.
Let me give you an example of what I mean based on my own observations the day after the Super Bowl.
On the way to the gym, I’m listening to talk radio and naturally they’re disgussing about the game: “With the best running back in the league, why would you pass the ball from the Patriots’ one yard line, especially when you have a timeout left?”
I arrive at the gym, Sports Center is on. What are they saying? “This team has the best running back in the league, so I don’t understand why they would elect to pass the ball on the one yard line with one timeout left.”
That’s when the parrot game starts up in real life. Guy A walks up to Guy B and the conversations begins:
Guy A: Did you see the game last night? How bout that last play?
Guy B: Man, you’re on the one yard line, you got the best running back in the league, how do you pass the ball? With one timeout left?
Guy A: Yeah, I know. What were they thinking?
Guy B: I mean…you got one time out left. You’re on the one yard line. You’ve got the best running back in the league. Why would you pass the ball.
Guy A: I don’t get it either.
No mention of anything else that happened the entire game because that’s not really what the TV was telling them to talk about. Both guys walk off feeling as if they’ve had a real conversation to one another. They’ll also have the exact same conversation a dozen more times, each time feeling like they’ve had a meaningful interaction with other human beings.
Don’t feel like this is limited to just sports. It works for almost anything that most people will pay attention to.
Can you believe Madonna…?
Did you see that commercial about…?
What’d you think about the way Jon Stewart…?
Don’t think this is effective? Just listen to a day’s worth of talk radio. You will hear someone call into Rush Limbaugh to say something he heard on Glenn Beck in the morning. Later, someone else will call into Sean Hannity and repeat something they heard on Rush.
Forming your own thoughts and opinions is tough. Be a parrot and you too can be a social butterfly!
Josh is starting a podcast with advice on how to raise kids and still be a MAN. You can find that at the links below!