Years ago, I had never been on national TV or spoken in front of huge crowds. In fact, I was socially awkward. I would say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Everyone around me would stare at me silently. And later, I would beat myself up about saying the wrong thing. This went on for years.
And it wasn’t just work stuff. How many of us have felt this way when we tried to talk to someone at a bar? Or even to talk to new people at a wedding or event?
The places change, but the story’s the same: Unlike the “naturals” who always seem to know the right thing to say, when we say something, it comes out completely wrong. Or worse — we just sit there quietly like a wallflower.
If there’s one thing worse than saying the wrong thing, it’s being forgettable.
I never wanted to be forgettable. And I definitely never wanted to be awkward.
Ugh. I’ve been there. MOST of us have.
The worst part is, we use these singular experiences to write our internal story of WHO we are. Literally, we’ll say, “I’m not a natural. I’m not smooth. I could never talk like [that guy].”
And the more awkward situations we get into, the more we reinforce this belief, leading to a tighter and tighter loop of doom. You’re doing it again. Stop. Why can’t you just act like a normal person?
What can you do?
There are tons of books, courses, and articles about confidence. “How to be confident at work!” “How to stop being shy on dates!”, “How to make everybody at a party love you!” The list goes on and on. The #1 piece of advice in all these materials is: “Just be yourself!”
That’s like telling people, “Just spend less than you earn!” Yeah, true, but HOW? What about all the details? What do you say? What do you do? What happens if you self-sabotage?
You can find a lot of feel-good attitudes and motivational talks when it comes to getting better at social skills. And they might even work for awhile. You walk a little taller at one event. But then, it doesn’t go well or you have a few missteps along the way.
A week, 3 months, 6 months, a year down the road, you’re back to the same old awkward, shameful, self-loathing square one.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
After studying, testing, and improving for years, I identified a few simple beliefs holding me back… and some key insights that completely changed how I talked to people I already knew and people I just met (I’ll tell you about those a little bit further down this page).
Point is, I slowly and painfully crawled out of it — and have even been on national TV.
I still can’t believe it sometimes — because while so much of the world knows Ramit Sethi as that guy behind I Will Teach You To Be Rich, as a leader in personal finance, behavioral psychology, and entrepreneurship…
I still remember those awkward situations where I couldn’t manage to get out a single word.
Where I just embarrassed myself.
It didn’t matter how smart I was or how great my ideas were, I was being dismissed before I could let my best qualities shine through.
This is the truth nobody tells you.
It doesn’t matter how smart or prepared or accomplished you are — if your first impression bombs. And if you can’t carry a conversation that connects with the people around you, you’re forgettable.
In other words, nobody can see what’s in your head. But they can see your social skills. That’s why your ability to talk to anybody is more critical than even most technical skills.
Your social skills are the tip of the spear — one of the first things that others notice about us. They don’t see your education, or how hard you’ve worked, or how funny and nice you are. All they know is how you make them feel in the first 5 seconds of meeting them.
Now, you and I both know that people aren’t rational. They’re not making reasoned decisions based on the soundness of our Excel formulas. Like it or not, they’re using our social skills to make split-second decisions about if they like us and trust us — or not.
You can try to fight it. You can protest it and shake your data at them. You can pretend that likeability doesn’t apply to you. Or you can acknowledge this is the way the world works, and learn how to talk to anybody.
This isn’t just about business meetings. Great conversational skills open up opportunities. And poor social skills limit our professional opportunities, romantic options, even our day-to-day interactions.
But here’s another truth:
Being awkward is a label we give ourselves.
It’s just a label.
That’s like saying, “I’m not strong…I can’t lift weights” without ever setting foot in a gym.
Being “awkward” simply means we haven’t practiced improving our skills at talking to anyone, and connecting with everyone.
You can talk to anybody without anxiety or nervousness or fear. In fact, you can get pretty damn good at it.
I know, because I did exactly that.
Isn’t it funny how much time we’ll spend improving our finances, our career, even what shampoo and body wash we buy…but we almost never take the time to improve our social skills?
I’m talking about what we say…how we say it…our body language, our intonation, even knowing what kind of jokes work around different people.
We don’t want to admit this stuff matters, but it does. In fact, it’s more critical than many of the things we spend our time on (like finding the latest productivity app).
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
— Maya Angelou
You can have the best technical skills in the world. But if you can’t communicate to the people around you — if you haven’t learned the skills of being likeable — what’s the point?
Social skills aren’t just about turning into a smooth-talker. The ability to set aside your awkwardness and make other people feel great when they meet you cuts to the core of our very ability to live a Rich Life in personal, professional, even intimate relationships.
And as we get older, our relationships matter even more than our technical skills.
Knowing this, it’s bewildering how we put our social skills on the back burner. The very thing that people notice first, the skills we use every single day of our lives…and most of us never spend even a day learning how to improve them!
It’s almost like we expect to automatically have social skills just because we can speak English. What the hell? Who thinks because they can spell their name, they can write The Grapes of Wrath on the back of a napkin?
But we think we should be able to magically talk to anyone. Then we get frustrated because we don’t seem to be as “natural” as some other people — without putting in the time to learn how.
A few years ago, I thought I was in a great spot. My business was growing, I had just moved to NYC.
But if there’s one thing I remember about those first couple of years, I remember the Friday nights.
See, I knew some people when I moved here, and we’d go out sometimes. But I remember some Fridays when I wanted to go out…but my phone didn’t ring. When I texted friends, they were all busy. I wanted to go out…but didn’t know enough people to hang out with.
I checked my phone at 5pm. No texts (“Maybe people are going out later”). 7pm: Nothing. By 9pm, I sighed and fired up Netflix. Sometimes, I went to sleep by 10pm on a Friday — nights when I wanted to go out. It took me 2 years to really get comfortable with a group of friends.
It’s moments like this where you question what the hell you’re doing with your life. Sure, you’re working hard during the week, but what’s the point if you don’t have people to hang out with and have fun with? And why are you always the one putting in the effort?
I finally had an epiphany. I had been treating my social life as if it would just happen on its own. Do you notice what I was doing those Friday nights? WAITING FOR PEOPLE TO TEXT ME!!
When I started trying to understand why I was being so “lazy” about learning how to make more friends, I realized I had an invisible script that systematically trying to improve my social skills was weird.
We’re just supposed to magically walk into a room, order a martini on the rocks, and watch people swoon to us? Get a life, Ramit.
You know what I think is weird NOW? The fact that we’ll label ourselves “awkward” or “shy” and go our entire lives without even trying to test that assumption once!
Think how powerful it would be to develop the skills to become likeable. What an amazing advantage — to know you can go anywhere and be confident you can walk in authentically and honestly, and walk away leaving people smiling. That’s more important than any marketing or psychology tactic I had ever employed.
Just imagine what this can do for you. Of course there’s tomorrow morning, first thing, when you feel just a little bolder getting involved in an important conversation at work. Or having a friendly chat with that barista you’ve wanted to talk to for weeks.
And then there’s next month. You used to feel like the decorative plant in the corner that everyone ignored — but now you’re starting to get noticed, people are paying attention to you and interested in you.
And a few months down the road, when these changes aren’t just showing up in your interactions — they’re showing up in your paycheck.
Now just imagine what difference this confidence can make — how much bigger and better and more influential your life can be — one decade, two decades, even 50 years from now.
There’s so many of us that just plod through with social awkwardness. Nobody sees our untapped potential. You could keep on like that forever — so many people do. They keep feeling stuck — prevented from letting their best self shine through.
OR you could be someone who gets through the barriers that are keeping you from letting your best self out.
How much more could you accomplish, not by being brash or bold or overbearing, but by being comfortable in your skin, in your own style. You can make a difference in every situation, in every area of your life.
Of course, the decision will be yours — I’m here if you choose to be the person who is confident and successful.
Jessica Hamilton was right in the middle of a common situation. She was sitting at a bar and noticed a good-looking guy near her. And then… he started talking to her!
“I gave a weak ‘hi’ and tried not to make eye contact. He kept trying to ask questions but all of my answers were conversation enders. I wanted to disappear. Then two of my co-workers came to the bar and I ran to them. I was really pissed at myself for not truly engaging in conversation.”
She spotted her friends and ran off, never engaging with the good-looking stranger. Who knows what she missed out on?
“I was really pissed at myself for not truly engaging in conversation.”
How many of us have come home after a night out and regretting not talking enough, or talking too much, or saying the wrong thing… or the worst, saying NOTHING?
Jessica decided it was time to change. Here’s what she had to say after using my material:
“Now I’ve had conversations with people on the train platform no problem. When I’m at the store checkout or even a restaurant getting to know the server or checkout person is not hard…If I ever see that guy again I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to have a much better conversation with him.”
I studied this the same way I would study anything else. I tried to put aside my invisible scripts and dive in. I DIDN’T want to become a cocky pick-up guy. I just wanted to be COMFORTABLE in any situation.
Just as my trainer says, “I want you to be able to walk into any gym and no matter what they’re doing — 225lb bench, squats, deadlifts — walk over and do exactly the same thing.” I wanted to be comfortable no matter where I found myself.
One thing I discovered when I was studying social skills was that underneath all of the tactical, “what should I say when…?” details that most people obsess about, were 3 crazy beliefs holding me back.
Discovering the truth about these beliefs unlocked possibilities I didn’t know existed before. I want to share them with you now.
Belief #1: We think some people are “naturals”
WHAT I THOUGHT: Some people are just born “naturals.”
MY INVISIBLE SCRIPT: I’m a loser, I’ll never catch up, I’m not like them.
THE TRUTH: We all start at different levels, but everyone can improve their social skills. The uncomfortable truth is that socially skilled people get more practice — more interactions, more people wanting to talk to them — resulting in a virtuous circle of becoming better and better.
Belief #2: It’s “weird” to practice talking to people
WHAT I THOUGHT: It’s “shallow” to try to practice this. (After all, I can’t improve it anyway!)
MY INVISIBLE SCRIPTS: “My skills should speak for themselves,” “They should recognize I’m a nice guy.”
THE TRUTH: It’s NOT other people’s responsibility to recognize how nice or smart I am. It’s my responsibility. Of course it’s embarrassing to admit I wasn’t born with all the skills to be the perfect gentleman. And of course I immediately jumped to the most logical extreme — “I’m going to have to use fake canned lines and become one of those slicked-hair weirdos!” — but it wasn’t true. The truth is, learning these skills helped me share my REAL self with the world instead of hiding behind the excuses of being “shy” or “tired.”
Belief #3: Every day I wasn’t improving, I was
WHAT I THOUGHT: “I’ll do it later…when I have more time.”
MY INVISIBLE SCRIPTS: “I can’t do this, and even if I do, where do I start? How do I learn to talk to anybody? This is overwhelming. Ugh, I’ll do it later.”
THE TRUTH: Every single day I wasn’t improving, I was losing opportunities. I would walk in and meet someone, but they wouldn’t remember me. My CEO at work wouldn’t listen, even though I had all the data. I was getting passed over because other people were better at their presentation!
What we forget about “naturals”
Have you ever seen a child meet someone? They walk right up and say “hi!” Why? Because they haven’t been rejected, humiliated, and embarrassed. They don’t have walls up yet.
You ARE a natural — you’re natural at being curious, friendly, and most importantly, yourself. It was only years later that society chipped away at our natural confidence and made us worry about saying the wrong thing. I won’t let you label yourself “awkward” or “shy.”
When I started working on my social skills, I set a goal: I wanted to be able to talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Since then, I’ve talked to 3-star generals, anchors on the Today Show, and bestselling authors, as well as taxi drivers and janitors. I can’t remember the last time I felt nervous to talk to someone. The best part is, I’ll have this skill forever.
And now I want to teach you how to do it, too, because your ability to connect with the people around you is the greatest single competitive advantage I can give you.
The art and craft of talking to anyone, anywhere, anytime
…even if you’re not a “natural”
We ALL have challenges talking to people.
We smile too much. We don’t smile at all. People get bored of our stories. They’ve called us bitchy. We apologize too much. We talk too fast. We talk too slow. We ramble…or we clam up and don’t say a word at all. We’re shy. We’re forgettable.
We chalk it up to genetics and say “that’s just the way I am.”
If you’ve ever seen a friend walking towards you and averted your gaze…
If you’ve ever thought about what you said the night before and winced…
If you’ve ever felt like people see you as…
Then it’s time to make a change.
You can change the way people see you. I’ve learned and systematically tested it with myself and my students. And now I want to show you how.
Of course, you’ve probably read a few books on anxiety and how to be more confident in conversations.
Maybe watched some videos on YouTube or listened to a few podcasts.
Maybe you’ve even bought programs meant to help you build confidence at work, in dating, or in any other area of your life.
Maybe you’ve even gone to a counselor or a therapist for help.
And yet — here you are — still not as confident and calm in conversation as you’d like to be.
You’re obviously still in search of a solution.
And I’m so confident that THIS is your solution, I’m actually going to let you try it out for yourself and start getting results for the next 60 days, at zero risk or obligation on your part.
That may be getting ahead of myself though — let me walk you through what this course is.
How to Talk to Anybody goes much deeper than simply “work conversations” or “pickup game.”
This course gives you the building blocks to talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time… whether it’s one-on-one or in a group setting, whether you’re trying to get a job or build a friendship. These skills are universally applicable during the most pivotal moments of our lives.
And unlike other skim-the-surface material, we’ve gone deep into the psychology of conversational skills at the highest levels.
We won’t give you cheesy lines to blurt out in different situations. Instead, we’ll show you how the best test and perfect a conversational style that’s all their own — and how you can, too.
I will give you a WARNING though. This course is not for everyone.
Corey Bustos knew he had to wow the interviewer if he wanted to get the job. The skills were a given — he knew he would be great at the position. What he wasn’t sure of was how to present himself.
“I used [your material], and my interviewing presence improved SIGNIFICANTLY. Everything was different, my posture was better, more eye contact, I responded less robotically, I had great questions ready, and I knew how to shape my responses based on what I know they need.”
So how did it go?
“The reaction is incredible, next thing I know I am sitting in a room full of interviewers who are literally arguing over who gets to hire me.”
You don’t learn social skills from a book. In this course, you’ll learn the exact words, body language, and even subtle “connection” strategies to use.
And then we’ll show you how to practice these skills until they become second nature. We’ll start off with “low-stakes” practice, like with the local FedEx delivery guy and your barista. If you’re nervous, we’ll give you small “cheats” to use at first. Then we’ll go deeper, showing you how to blend these new strategies with your friends, your co-workers, even your family.
We’ll never give you vapid statements like “Be yourself!” and “Act confident!” In How to Talk to Anybody, we’ll arm you with every conceivable tool you need to learn how to connect with anybody. The word-for-word scripts. The hours of video teardowns. And even psychological “barrier busters” to help you catch and conquer the insidious barriers that keep us from improving.
If you’re wondering how well this works, let me show you.
We distilled the most powerful conversational lessons, tips, strategies, scripts, and exercises into a fast, step-by-step system. Most “naturals” spend YEARS learning this material by trial and error, thousands of conversations, and painfully awkward encounters. We’ll save you the time and hassle.
In less than 30 days, you’ll learn…
If you’re inauthentic, you will be caught. How to Talk to Anybody teaches you to be totally authentic so you never feel forced or fake.
At first blush, this may sound simplistic, even boring. But this program isn’t designed to get you excited with bells and whistles and flashy feel-good motivational talks that do nothing for you in the long run.
You’ll get over 8 hours of stuff that’s like the concrete blocks that go into the foundation of a beautiful home. Those concrete blocks are the most boring, uninteresting part of the home — but they’re absolutely required before anything else can be built, and without them the whole thing comes crumbling down.
“I transformed my social skills… I have not only completely rebuilt my confidence and conversation skills (from edge-of-the-crowd shyness 4 years ago to being the life of the party now), but I’ve also been able to connect with and even develop close friendship with some of the biggest players in my field. This would have been unbelievable before.”
— Timothy Moser
“My social skills are much better than they were. I stopped rambling, learned how to listen to people and how to pitch, how to find people who could teach me to dress. Now I know how to test something, when to change direction (or abandon something).”
— Carolynn Ananian
We’ve packed a lot into the next 30 days, and I want to make sure that you not only get all that content before you fully commit to this — I want to give you another 30 days on top of that to continue to let it
digest, integrate it into your daily life and conversations, and make sure this is really working for you.
Try the entire course. If you don’t LOVE it, I insist that you get 100% of your money back. I’ll even eat the credit-card processing fees.
It’s simple: Join the program and try it for yourself. If the powerful mental frameworks, strategies, and scripts don’t help improve your life in 60 days, I want you to email me. Show me you did the exercises, and I’ll give you all your money back.
This guarantee lasts 60 days, which completely covers the course. That means you can try the ENTIRE course and then decide if it’s right for you.
“I’m really shy/introverted/awkward. Will this work for me?” How to Talk to Anybody isn’t just a few conversational scripts or generic advice like “just get out there!” It’s also not a band-aid. It’s a deep, transformational program that will teach you to ENJOY conversations and social situations, one step at a time. You’ll learn how to quiet the anxiety weighing you down and calmly, consistently, successfully talk to anyone. And from now on, whenever you’re feeling anxious or nervous, you’ll have the tools to shine for the rest of your life.
“How does the course work? Do I have to go to a class/practice in front of people?” How to Talk to Anybody is an online, self-paced video course. You don’t have to stand in front of a room of people and “role play.” You don’t have to publicly ask embarrassing questions. I’ll email you every week with new lessons and links to videos in the private IWT student site. You’ll be able to learn and practice in the privacy of your own home, although there are some “field challenges” that help you improve conversations during everyday real-life scenarios. I also include supplementary materials, including scripts and drilldown videos. And, if you do get stuck or have questions, you get access to my support team who will privately answer your questions 1-on-1.
“Is this course live?” This is NOT a live presentation. It’s an online video course you can take at your own pace. I predict you’ll revisit this material every year. The course comes with lifetime access so the strategies, tactics, and scripts in this course will always be available to you, ready whenever you need them.
“How is this course different than other programs/books/courses on the market?” Unlike hotel room conferences, books, and speech coaches, How to Talk to Anybody covers the gamut of conversation — whether you’re struggling with getting over shyness, or you want to connect better in group dynamics, or you want to get more invitations to parties and events.
We abhor trite sayings like “Be yourself” and “Confidence is the key!” We believe in deep, tested psychological findings and scripts that work.
We start with deep analysis of the barriers and invisible scripts that we all struggle with, then use proven systems, action steps, and reframes to break through those barriers. You’ll get specific actionable tactics and word-for-word scripts, live teardowns, and body-language analysis. I drill deep into my own conversation toolbox to show you how I navigate difficult and delicate social situations. Plus, you’ll get full, lifetime access to the course materials to use as you grow and become more comfortable.
“How fast will I get results?” Will you be as smooth as Bill Clinton next week? No! But if you commit 2 hours per week for 4 weeks to watching, practicing, and applying these simple lessons, you will see amazing results. Just one subtle insight (and there are literally hundreds packed in the course) can completely change the direction of a conversation. And changing a single conversation can be the difference between landing a job, getting a second date, making a lifelong friend, OR sitting at home replaying the awkward conversation in your head over and over.
“What if I fall behind?” Don’t worry — all of my courses come with lifetime access so you can take a break from the material if you’ll be out of town, on vacation, or just get swamped for a few days. Interruptions happen, but How to Talk to Anybody will ALWAYS be here for you when you’re ready.
“How much time does it take to do this course per week?” I recommend spending at least 2 hours a week on this course for maximum benefit. You can also download the material to listen to on your phone, or read the transcripts — whatever’s easiest for you. 2 hours is my guideline, but because it comes with a lifetime access, you can go faster or slower if you want.
“Does this work for international students?” Yes! The principles, strategies and tactics for great conversations are universal. We’ve had successful student results from around the world.
“I am less intimidated by people, even those who are 100xs more senior than me… I used to be the type who would walk around, looking down to avoid eye contact, but now I tend to greet and talk to people as I pass by! This also considerably helped improve all my relationships….”
— Michelle Huynh
“Areas that I was running into roadblocks with I have noticed have almost melted away…This was a complete turnaround.”
— Sam Montoya
“I used to run into a problem with being too ‘serious’ about life… Often the conversations would run flat VERY quickly. Now, I feel like I can “fit in” much more comfortably regardless of who I’m talking to from any walk of life. Pretty proud of myself.”
— Brandon Lee
It would be easy to put this off until another day. After all, you’re doing fine. What are the real consequences of not learning how to talk to anybody?
And that’s exactly the point. Just as you can become overweight by eating poorly for decades, you can actually do just FINE by going through life without spending a single day learning how to deeply connect with the people around you.
But every day you don’t learn how to control the world’s perceptions of you, you’re losing out. Maybe you say the wrong things (and don’t even know it). Or even worse, you’re just “nice.” Maybe your boss looks at his boss and, at review time, they both agree that you’re not management material. Or maybe when you talk to someone at a bar, or a coffee shop, or a friend’s house party…you’re forgotten minutes later.
So opportunity after opportunity slips past you — and you never know why. Maybe you can try harder. Maybe you can take that extra training class.
Or maybe it’s about matching up how you communicate with what’s inside. Every one of us can improve the way we communicate and connect with the people around us. Even if you’re not a “natural.”
What life-changing opportunities have you already missed because you didn’t have the conversational skills to make something happen? That girl or guy you didn’t talk to at the bar?
That chance encounter you were so excited about that never turned into anything? That job you interviewed for that fell through?
We all have a “What if…?” regret in our lives. Some people have them again and again — but they never take the time to understand why it keeps happening to them.
But there’s another kind of person. Someone who knows that social skills are a skill like anything else. And if they practice, they’ll improve. They’ll be able to open doors at work, have deeper relationships with their friends and family, and open up new ways of building their intimate relationships. They know living a Rich Life isn’t just about improving what’s inside — it’s just as important to control what’s on the outside.
Which person will you be?
Just an hour or two of improving your social skills per week, for just a month, could dramatically change your life. Why not give yourself every advantage you can?
Learn how to talk to anybody, anywhere, anytime…today.
This is one of the most powerful skills you can possibly imagine. When you close your eyes and imagine the most socially skilled person you know, imagine what it would be like to be him for just ONE day.
How would people treat you? What would be different when you walked into a room? Would people stop and look up at you for just a second? Would you catch them staring and see them nervously look away? How would it feel to be in control and in command of the situation unfolding around you?
You can do that. It’s my goal to help you lead a Rich Life, and this is a core part of it.
That’s why I didn’t stop with just the coursework. I went even further with How to Talk to Anybody and added over $200 worth of bonuses.
Access to the all-new How to Talk to Anybody Vault
I added in complimentary bonus videos that show you exactly how to apply the course lessons to the most difficult and delicate social situations — including how to make friends at work, gracefully exit any conversation, and build rapport without getting hit on. I went one step further and showed you how to apply these lessons to your own style.
A 90-minute interview with Olivia Fox Cabane,
author of The Charisma Myth
We cover how we can be more likeable and make new friends, become a better leader, and connect with everyone we meet. Watch Olivia do a social-skills teardown of me! The video also includes specific techniques to build your confidence, starting right now.
Will tomorrow be the day that you finally contribute what you know to that meeting at work or will you still sit in the corner and think about speaking up?
This weekend, when you’re out with friends will they lean in to hear what you have to say or roll their eyes when you start to tell a story?
Will you talk to that girl at the bar or make an excuse and walk away (again)?
Tonight you can start having better, more meaningful conversations with anyone.
Or, you can continue on, doing what you’ve always done.
What will you choose?