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5 TEDx Talks That Will Help You Strike Up a Conversation With Anyone

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As a self-proclaimed introvert, speaking to strangers hasn’t always been my strong suit. I thrive on alone time and constantly find myself holding up the wall at parties, only interacting with people I’ve met before.

Being in a new city where I only know a handful people, I’m slowly beginning to wean myself off of the wall—with the help of TEDx Talks. Though I watch them all alone and secluded in my bed, the upbeat presentations boost my confidence and make me believe that I can talk to anyone. Here are five gems that will help you do the same.

[Read: 8 Amazing TED Talks Every Woman in Her 20s Should Watch]

1. “How to Have a Good Conversation”

Celeste Headlee has worked in public radio since 1999 as a reporter, host, and correspondent—a career path that made her a master of having great conversations with people. And the most important thing she learned, no matter who she was speaking with, is that a great conversation only requires a good balance between talking and listening.

2. “Talk to Strangers”

Danny Harris is an internationally recognized storyteller. In this talk, he explains how simple acts of kindness and conversations with the people of D.C. helped forged deep connections and made him proud to live in our nation’s capitol.

[Learn: Build Your All-Star Network]

3. “The Surprising Secret to Speaking With Confidence”

Accompanied by an unusual prop, author and voice coach Caroline Goyder shares the fun story of how she conquered her fear of speaking to others—and encourages everyone to use their voices as an instrument to find confidence within.

4. “Why You Should Talk to Strangers”

Economics student Aliya Dossa shares the results of a class project: 101 conversations with complete strangers over the course of 101 days—and how it allowed her to learn more about the dynamics of trust and human interaction.

[Read: 5 Inspiring TEDx Talks Every Job Seeker Needs to Watch]

5. “How to Engage in Better Small Talk”

Ready to really master those talk-to-anyone skills? Look no further than radio host and life-long storyteller, Malcolm “Minister Faust” Azania. After decades of interviewing people, he shares how asking unique questions results in hearing the most interesting tales and revelations.

Photo: Tara Moore / Getty Images

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