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A Conversation Starter

I wasn’t expecting to cause such a ruckus…

“Is everything ok?”

“There’s still some left…”

“Did you finish already?”

“Life without chocolate just isn’t worth living.”

My crime: I had opted not to have a piece of cake after lunch.

Click here to see 3 ways (not having to do with cake) to start conversations at chamber networking events.

It’s not that I’m against cake.

Quite the contrary, in fact. The previous weekend I had indulged quite heavily on cookies and cakes and pies and ice cream.

No surprisingly, I gained a few pounds. But now I know how to get back to healthy.

No Tuesday cake.

But from the reaction from my table mates, you’d have thought I was tossing babies into a bonfire.

I was surprised by the intensity of their reaction.

More than one person actually brought a slice of cake over to me.

“No thank you,” I smiled.

There was enormous pressure to conform, but I held my ground.

Because when you conform, you won’t be unique or memorable.

Once the onslaught had died down, a woman across the table from me caught my eye.

“So, have you lost weight?”

“Yes,” I said. “Thanks for noticing. 14 pounds between January 1st and March 31st, and the good news is that I’ve kept it off since.”

What followed was a great conversation between the two of us about our different approaches to staying healthy. The rest of the table dropped out of the conversation. They weren’t interested. But by being myself I had made a connection with another human being.

It’s where most people get stuck on their Elevator Pitch.

They go along to get along.

They sound like everyone else.

They’re afraid to actually say what they do clearly and concisely.

Because, when you do that, a lot of people will bristle.

And a few will connect and engage with you and your message.

So turn down the cake.

Be unique and memorable in what you say.

Ignore the ones who will try to force you to conform, and focus on the ones that want to learn more.

Start better conversations!

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