Art of Charm Toolbox | Banter (Episode 409)

In this toolbox episode of The Art of Charm we’ll talk about the three characteristics you embody through banter, how to keep it playful throughout, and why you don’t have to be funny to be good at banter.

“A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” -Malcolm X

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Do you always have to be funny to create banter?
  • What is the conversation formula?
  • What are the three traits you want to embody through banter?
  • What is “yes and” and how does it apply to bantering?
  • How can you practice banter?
  • And so much more…


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One of the keys to connecting with anyone is banter. Whether you’re hanging out at your third place or you’re out with your friends and spot someone you’d like to chat up, banter is the best way to strike up a conversation.

In this toolbox episode of The Art of Charm we’ll talk about the three characteristics you embody through banter, how to keep it playful throughout, and why you don’t have to be funny to be good at banter.

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More About This Show

Banter is a playful, lighthearted conversation between two strangers to ease the tension of getting acquainted. In this episode we’re primarily discussing how to use it to chat up someone you haven’t met before.

There are three traits or aspects of your personality you’ll be highlighting when using banter: your playful side, your lack of need for others’ approval, and your sexual side.

1. Your Playful Side

You open the conversation with this side of you. Ask your romantic interest a question like “What are you drinking?” or “Who are you here with?” or “Why are you out tonight?” A who, what, where, when, why, or how question is a good opener.

When they answer, come back with something playful. If you ask her what’s drinking and she says “cosmo,” tell her it’ll never work between you because your last girlfriend drank cosmos and she was a lush. Make it playful; smile with your lips and your eyes when you respond and you’ll put her at ease and give her a role to play.

2. You Don’t Seek the Approval of Others

This part of bantering comes next and it’s done by misinterpreting what is said to you.

Again, smile with your eyes and your mouth when you respond to let them know you’re being silly and playful — yet you are your own person who isn’t reliant on the approval of others. But be careful of overcompensating — there’s a fine line between a charming rogue and a boorish try-hard.

3. Sexual

We’ll let you learn directly from the AoC coaches during the show for this one.

Those are the three traits and the order in which to highlight them. You’ll want to practice these to get good at them; banter is definitely a muscle to be used daily. An improv class is a great way to practice banter, and so is chatting up people you interact with every day.

Check it out on this edition of The Art of Charm.


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Resources from this episode:

Worksheet for This Episode

Attraction Toolbox episode
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Other AoC Toolbox episodes

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Download Worksheet for Banter

AJ Harbinger - author of 1114 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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