If you’ve ever wondered how to be a better conversationalist, this article is for you.
You’ve probably experienced it while talking to another person. Finding yourself literally tongue-tied, butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms, and worst, stuttering and stammering – these are few signs that you better start honing your conversational skills. Possessing the knacks of an expert communicator is something you don’t learn overnight. The best speakers, particularly those who talk to strangers for a living, have spent years and years practicing and honing their craft.
There are two ways as to how a conversation starts. It’s either you want something from the person you’re speaking to, or the person speaking to you is the one who is in need. Either way, there is no denying that the strongest proof of a good conversation is the two parties being able to walk away from each other having resolved a good deal, a conflict or even just a mutual agreement. Here are some fifteen strategies you might want to learn in order to become a better conversationalist.
How To Be a Better Conversationalist:
1. Maintain eye contact
Sure, you’re spurting likeable and intelligent sentences like there’s no tomorrow, but it would be useless if you do not make eye contact with the one you’re talking to. Make sure that you establish a connection with the other person.
Awkward moments arise when the person you’re talking to cannot understand what you are saying. He or she will most likely ask you to repeat what you have just said. To keep things flowing smoothly, make sure you speak as clearly as possible.
3. Maintain a good pace
Have you ever spoken to someone who talked so fast you can’t understand a word he or she is saying? Make it a point not to speak too slowly or quickly. If the occasion sees the need for you to speak quickly, though, refer to strategy number 2.
4. Make your points relatable to the other person
Of course, speaking the same language is a must for a conversation to flow smoothly, but you should also see to it that the person can relate with what you are saying.
5. Do not stray from the main topic
It is quite annoying when people change the subject during a conversation, leaving the previous topic unresolved.
6. Don’t interrupt when the other person is talking
Part of knowing how to be good conversationalist involves learning how to be a good listener as well. Make sure you pause at the right moment to allow the other person to relay some of his or her own points.
7. Show some interest to what the other person is saying
If you have to feign interest to the conversation, do it. Acting bored and uninterested is just plain rude. You will not like the feeling when this happens to you.
8. Ask questions
If you’re up for a debate, do it. The more questions you ask, the better chances of you and the other person to learn new information from your conversation.
9. Be modest
Don’t brag too much. If you want the person to know, say, an accomplishment or an expensive item you own, say it in such a way that you won’t sound arrogant. Or find the perfect timing. In due time, you will be able to share that thing that you are proud of without being too pushy.
10. Have a sense of humor
Conversations get boring quite easily, so if you have a joke or two, say it. Don’t be afraid to express your funny side as long as the other person finds it alright for humor to be injected in the conversation.
11. If you’re telling a joke, keep it clean
Sure, you might have a rib-cracking punch line to spice things up, but if it’s a joke you learned from a red-light district, best to just stay silent. Remember to keep the conversation civil and polite as much as possible.
12. Don’t be conscious about your body language
People who tend to think too much about the way their bodies are positioned won’t be able to concentrate on what they’re saying. Keep your posture as natural as possible. Loosen up a bit and things will flow smoothly.
13. Paint using your hands
If you’re going to explain something, try raising your hands and use some gestures. That way, the other person would be able to visualize what you are saying. It helps. Try it.
14. Throw compliments
It wouldn’t hurt to flatter the person you’re talking to. Of course, know the difference between praising and flirting. However, make your compliments realistic enough because it can easily transform into sarcasm if not properly executed.
15. Express your thanks
Before parting ways with the person you talked with, make it a point to shake the hand of the person you talked to and thank him or her for the conversation. You can be assured that it won’t be the last time that you will be talking to each other.
Learning how to better conversationalist isn’t difficult provided that you constantly practice. Try talking in front of a mirror or even approaching random strangers on the streets. You’ll be surprised as to how quickly you’ll be able to get the hang of maneuvering a conversation.