Our 4 Steps to Become a Great Conversationalist make it easy for ANYONE to learn IMPERATIVE conversation skills that everyone can benefit from- in bothprofessional and romantic relationships.
Do you ever feel like it's pulling teeth just to get the conversation going?
Perhaps you're stuck on a date where your date just won't.stop. talking.
Or, maybe the person you are talking to just isn't listening?
Every now and then, you will stumble upon someone who you can just talk to naturally for hours, like you've known them forever. Ever wonder why you connect so much better with these people as opposed to others?
Whether you realize it or not, one or both of you are using some key conversational techniques in order to keep the conversation engaged, flowing, and interesting.
You may not even recognize it, but that other person may be using these particular techniques to give you the feeling of a great connection.
When, in reality, it's just great conversational skills.
So, what does it take to be a truly great conversationalist?
Here are four key ways to perfect the art of conversations:
1. Actively Listen
People love to talk about themselves.
When you first meet someone, ask them a question that's a bit different than the same ol same ol. Ask them why they chose their profession versus "Where do you work?" Allow them to talk, and activelylisten.
What are the key things this person is saying to you? React to those things.
While listening to this person, look for "hooks" in what information they are giving you- then try to make an inference from that information, and comment on it. "Hooks" are any statements or facts mentioned in a conversation that you can "hook" a topic out of for the purposes of continuing your conversation in a relatable way.
For example, if your date says that she used to swim competitively for ten years, you could say "Wow, that's really impressive. You must be a really passionate person to be dedicated for that long to such a rigorous sport". You've hooked the topics of swimming, as well as a compliment to her character (being dedicated), and she can naturally and easily elaborate on either to further the conversation.
Note to all: Humor never hurts when practicing this technique.
In conclusion to this tip, if you actively listen and comment on what someone says, people tend to feel complimented and attracted to the fact that what they are saying is interesting to you and that you are paying attention to them.
2. Remove the Ego
The conversation is not about you. As they talk, instead of thinking about how you are going to answer, or what story that you have that is so much better, just try to listen to the person and be involved in their story.
Share naturally with the person and from your heart.
Let go of the “I.” Try not to start the conversation with, “Well I…” or “I think.” Instead, try to remove your ego and just try to be with the person you are talking to.
When they tell you they've been to Paris, don't jump in and tell them all the details of the time you went there. A conversation is not about you telling your life story. Allow them to ask and show interest before you just start revealing all.
You will notice such a change when you are thinking with your heart and not your head.
3. Practice on Strangers and Sing in the Shower
One of the key ways to find our voice is to just talk more, sing more, and to let the vocal chords be active.
I often tell people who are shy or timid when using their voice to start practicing on complete strangers. When standing in line, turn to the person next to you and say something like, “It’s a beautiful day” or “Those are beautiful shoes.”
You’ll be surprised how a compliment from a stranger can turn someone’s entire day around. Also, just start saying "Hi" to people you pass in the hall. This friendly gesture will get you far especially if you make it a habit.
Practicing on strangers is also less intimidating than practicing on someone you like. If your conversation skills fail you, who cares? It’s a stranger, you will probably never see him or her again.
Another great way to hear your voice is to sing. Sing in the shower or in the car, who cares if you can’t carry a note? It’s your voice! Use it.
4. An Equal-Sided Conversation
When engaging in dialogue on a date, it’s extremely important not to dominate or withdraw from the conversation.
Give each of you time to speak and share. Remember that listening is just as important as talking, and acknowledging the person who just spoke leads to a more personal conversation.
Some conversations will be easier than others, but keep these tips in mind during the best and worst of your dialogues. Each conversation is important.
Give your date time to share, give yourself time to share, and make the conversation as balanced as possible.