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Tips to become a better conversationalist

One of the most difficult but ignored subject is the art of conversation. Few know it. The ability to hold a natural conversation is an important key to success. Knowing when to initiate a conversation, keeping it interesting, sharing your own stories and ending it on a pleasant note is indeed an art. Here are some tips to become a better conversationalist.sni

Make others comfortable

The foremost requirement to become a smooth conversationalist is your ability to make others comfortable. But you can only do this if you are comfortable with your own self. Always remember that enthusiasm is infectious; if you introduce it, you will start noticing it in others. You can project confidence, kindness, and leadership just by the way you carry yourself. Keep your head up, shoulders back, and chest out. In fact, how you carry yourself can impact how you think and feel about yourself.sni

It is easy to connect better with someone who is well mannered. The simple things your parents taught you when you were a child can go a long way in making you a likeable person.sni

Show interest

People generally like folks who show interest in them. Putting your energy and interest in another person marks you as a great conversationalist. This can be done by a simple question which sometimes can start an entire conversation. And many a times asking something a bit unusual sets you apart from the crowd.sni

One of the most important social skills one can develop is the ability to ask questions; not in an interrogating way, but in the way that will help you understand people better and strengthen your relationship with them. People love talking about themselves. So asking questions that trigger memories cause them to give their opinion; or asking for advice, will put you in the driver’s seat by allowing them to be the center of the conversation.sni

Praise strengths

One way to bring the best out of someone is to praise their strengths. Giving praise is a sign of confidence on your part, and a tremendous confidence builder for the other.sni

Connect with people

Another way to build rapport with someone is to find something common and build on that interest. Do not shy away from topics that have nothing to do with business. They often create the perfect connection. Many go through life in quiet desperation with little or no support from family or friends. The problem is people are so good at hiding it, they give off the impression that everything is good in their life and do not need helpsni

People have lives outside of work, school, and other places you see them. A simple awareness of others’ body language, behavior, and facial expressions will give you insight into how things are really going for them.sni

Benefit those around you

Use what you know or do to be a benefit to those around, with no intention to ask for anything in return. Share what you are good at with others. And then it of course depends on the things you are ready to share in a discussion. If people find that you have timely and interesting information to share, they will huddle around you. The kind of information you share depends on the nature of people you mingle with. The caliber and quality should depend on the people you are interacting with; but it should be of interest to them.sni

Do not argue

Remember not to argue. Ask yourself if you wish to be happy, or want to be right? Sometimes people do not need to hear your opinion. The next time you want to chime in and give empirical data supporting your side of an argument, stop and ask yourself the above question.sni

Celebrate their happiness

Sometimes, people share good news with you. It is important at such a stage to celebrate it by being genuinely excited for them, instead of getting jealous or dismissing it by sharing good news of your own. Remember that confident people smile more. It does not mean that you walk around with a beaming smile all the time like the missionaries. But the least you can do is to smile when you are in a good mood. Smiling at others will trigger their brain to smile back at you: it is contagious. People with great social skills are approachable, and nothing says it better than a genuine smile.sni

Focus on your speaking style

People will reveal a lot about themselves by not only what they say, but how they say it. Some people connect better when you speak loud and fast, while others prefer to be communicated to in a softer tone. It is thus important to change your tenor depending on the person you are talking to.sni

Be aware of who likes to lead the conversation, what people like to talk about, and if someone is being excluded from the conversation. If you are in a group, you must never exclude anybody from the discussion. Make eye contact with everyone, not just the person who asked you a direct question.sni

Pay close attention in group setting

The last thing you want to do sitting in a group is to pull back and start checking your phone, and exclude yourself out of the conversation. You should pay close attention in a group setting, by concentrating on what they are saying, how they are saying it, and even what they are choosing not to say.sni

Focus on positive side

Refuse to be a person who transmits negativity by complaining all the time. Negativity can spread quickly. Instead, be the person who can look at the bright side of a difficult situation and keep tough times in perspective. This does not mean to be unrealistic and overly-positive, it means to be a person who can look at adversity in the face and focus on what you can control.sni

You can tell a person’s character by how they talk about others when they are not around. If you know someone who is constantly talking bad behind people’s back, you can be certain they are talking negatively about you when you are not around. Be the kind of person who speaks highly of others in their absence.sni

Develop the skill to see the good in others. It is human nature to put others down in order to make ourselves feel better; but be a person who can spot the diamond in the rough; especially when they cannot see it themselves.sni

Pay attention to your words

Different words affect people differently and cause different reactions. This applies to every sort of communication. The words you repeat in your mind, in your inner conversations, also have a tremendous power. If you change them, you can change your life, and also how people treat you. Pay attention to the words you constantly repeat in your mind. Be aware of what is going on in your mind, when you are not too busy, such as while waiting or walking, or at any other time you are mentally not busy.sni

Unfortunately, there is little doubt that in a world where technology is increasing our capacity to connect with people worldwide, it is also diminishing our ability to effectively connect with people in person. Just like learning any skill, the ability to connect with others is a skill and you can learn how to do it more effectively..sni

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