I’m sure there are so many ways one could start a conversation about veganism but I’ve boiled it down to two based on my (very little) experience so far.
#1 Have something to give
This is quite a simple and straightforward concept. Basically, you use an item to sort of bait people into the topic that you want to talk about. In the case of vegan advocacy, it’s common to use free food as the bait. You’d talk about what the food is and its ingredients, which may rouse their intrigue even more. Then, it’s easy to get into the core idea of veganism.
#2 Just shamelessly approach people
If you have the guts, just go for it! But then again, you wouldn’t want to creep random strangers out. You need to be smart about it and have an effective opening line ready. I’m only just getting used to this approach. I used to just smile to people when I see them look over our booth without asking us anything. I thought that if they don’t ask anything, it means that I don’t have the permission to engage. But soon, I felt that that’s a missed opportunity for a possibly good conversation. So now I’d just start by saying hi and asking common pleasantries and see how they take the conversation.
I had never been one to talk in public and I did have a massive fear of talking to strangers, including the waiter.
But I knew I wanted to improve on that and to not be shy and reserved anymore. I wanted to be able to express myself clearly and intelligently. I wanted to connect with people.
And so I set my mind to it and did whatever I could do force myself to speak. That’s one of the main reasons I started a YouTube channel as it’s a great platform for me to speak without the pressure of people looking at me at that very moment. I could take my time and practice but eventually, the final product would have to be put out so that I could actually see my progress and get feedback from friends.
It’s quite surreal to think how far I’ve come.
I remember talking about my vegan journey to the camera in my room two years ago (which has garnered 2.3k views so far!), and then doing an interview on BFM radio the following year, and now having the courage to talk to random people in real life.
It has taken me YEARS to find my voice and cultivate the confidence to express and be vulnerable.
Despite that, I feel like I’m only just getting started.