First dates can stir up feelings of excitement and curiosity. If you are shy, there is probably an added element of anxiety. You might worry that you will have nothing to say or that he will notice your nervousness. Being open and curious about your date can help you to be less self conscious -- and also help you to learn more about him.

Prepare for Small Talk

Prepare for small talk during your first date the same way you would prepare to give a speech at school. You wouldn't just walk out on stage and start grasping for things to say -- you would at least have a series of topics planned ahead. Do the same for a date, by identifying at least three conversation starters that you can use during awkward silences. Prepare for questions that he will probably ask, such as your favorite music, movies or television shows, suggests psychologist Diane Kirschner, on her Love in 90 Days website. Ask him open-ended questions to keep the conversation going such as "How do you like this semester so far?" or "How did you like growing up on a farm?"

Focus on Him

Move your focus away from yourself and toward your date to reduce shyness, advises Kirschner. Pay attention to what he is wearing and his tone of voice. Look for little details such as the way he folds his napkin or how his eyes crinkle when he smiles. Your goal is to become less self-conscious by allowing your attention to move completely to the other person -- and away from yourself. Much of your shyness and anxiety will slip away if you can lose your inward focus.

Monitor Body Language

People who are shy sometimes give off the wrong impression with their body language -- one of being cold and aloof. If you sit with your arms crossed and your body pointing away from your date, you are sending the signal that you don't want to be there, even if it is not true. Try to monitor your body language and keep it open and friendly, as suggested in the Social Issues Research Centre's "Guide to Flirting." Relax your arms, sit facing your date and maintain good eye contact.

Make Feelings Obvious

Shyness on a first date can sometimes be misinterpreted as a lack of attraction or interest, warns behavioral scientist Christie Hartman on her website, in an article entitled, "Online Dating: Can Shyness on a First Date Scare Men Away?" If you find yourself worried at the end of a date that you have sent the wrong signals, consider being direct. Say something like, "I just want to make sure you know I really enjoyed tonight." Remove any uncertainty, so that if he is interested he can take the initiative to make plans for a second date.