Many people feel uncomfortable meeting new people because they do not know what to say. They hope that someone else will start the conversation and think of something to keep it going. They may feel lost and not know what to talk about, never mind keeping the conversation going.
Being able to talk to others is very important, both in social settings and in the business world. This helps develop a relationship in which everyone feels comfortable. When it comes right down to it, we are more likely to socialize and do business with people that make us feel secure and comfortable.
Greetings are important in the American culture. It is the acknowledgement that the greeting provides that signals to the other person that you consider them important. A greeting can be either the beginning of a conversation or can be meant only as a way to say “hello.”
Greetings are used in two different speaking situations 1. A greeting can be used just as a way to say “hello” to another person. Sometimes a greeting is not meant to initiate conversation, but is meant only to say "hello". If you are at work and pass someone in the hallway, you will greet them but, most likely, will not carry on a conversation. In this instance, the simple “hello”, “good morning”, or “how are you” is sufficient. The person may respond with a short greeting, a nod, or a simple smile, and that may be all as you pass each other. Because this is a short greeting and is not meant as a time to initiate conversation, we always keep our greeting and response very short.
Let's look at some examples of common greetings: include the following:
How is everything going?
Nice to see you.
How are you?
2. A greeting can be the beginning of a conversation. In situations, such as parties, social get-togethers, or dinners, for example, greetings are used as a way to begin a a conversation. In these situations, when someone asks "how are you?" or "what's new?" you should provide an answer that allows a conversation to begin. For example: "I've been very busy with my son's soccer tournaments for the past two weeks." This is a good conversation starter!
Whether you are talking to a friend, saying hello to an acquaintance, a colleague, or meeting someone for the first time, use the following guidelines to make an appropriate greeting:
1. Make eye contact It is always important to look someone directly in the eye when greeting them. It is not necessary to maintain constant eye contact, but maintaining eye contact for about 10 seconds at a time means that you are confident in your self and that you are interested in what the other person has to say. Appearing confident will eventually make you more confident.
2. Smile When you make eye contact with someone, you should smile at them. This smile is an important part of the greeting process, as it helps the other person know that you are friendly. If you look at someone and don’t smile, it signals to the other person that you are not approachable, friendly, or interested in them.
3. Greet After you make eye contact and smile, you should say something, even if it's just to say “hello”. A greeting is something we do to acknowledge someone. “I’m Tom, nice to see you”. The exchange may end here, or it may continue into a conversation.
Let's look at some examples of speakers and greetings. Example 1: Speaker 1: Hi, how are you? Speaker 2: Good, and you?
Example 2: Speaker 1: How’s everything going? Speaker 2: Not bad, and you?
Example 3: Speaker 1: How you doing? Speaker 2: Great, and you?
Example 4: Speaker 1: Good morning, John. Speaker 2: Good morning, Anne, how are you?
Example 5: Speaker 1: Hello, Harry. Speaker 2: Hi, John.
Example 6: Speaker 1: Hi, John, nice day, huh? Speaker 2: Hi Mark, yes it is!