Can you improve your conversational skills? Certainly!
It might take a while to change the conversational habits that has been ingrained throughout your life but it is very possible!
Now, let’s skip right to the common mistakes that we had often made during our conversations and a couple of solutions.
Don’t be like most people. Don’t just wait eagerly for your turn to talk. Put your own ego on hold and listen to what people are actually saying. When you start to really listen, you will pick up some potential paths in the conversation. Avoid Yes or No questions as they are not going to give much information. Prod a little further. Once they begin to open-up, the conversation becomes more interesting because it’s not an autopilot anymore.
- Asking too many questions
If you start asking too many questions, it can feel like an interrogation process. Or like you don’t have that much to contribute. One alternative is to mix questions with statements. And then the conversation can flow on from there.
- Tightening up
When in conversation with someone you just meet or the few usual topics are exhausted, awkward silence prevails. Or you might just become nervous not exactly knowing why?
As quoted well,” Never leave home without reading a newspaper”
If you feel that you have run out of topics to be discussed about, then start with some current news.
Assume rapport. If you are meeting someone for the first time and you are feeling weird and nervous, then assume rapport. That means imagine how you feel when you meet your best friend and start behaving the same. Don’t overdo it though, as you might not want to hug or kiss right away and then, you will go into the positive emotional state. It might sound a bit loopy but it really works!
- Poor Delivery
One of the most important things in a conversation is not what you say, but how you say it. Change in these habits can make a huge difference as your body language is also a vital part of communication.
SLOWING DOWN- When you get excited about something, you start talking faster and louder. Try to slow down as it will enable people to listen to you much more carefully.
SPEAK CLEARLY- Don’t mumble!
SPEAK WITH EMOTIONS- No one listens to you as long as someone notices the real feelings and emotions in your voice.
- Hogging the Spotlight
I have been guilty of this on one or more occasions than I wish to remember:) Everyone involved in the conversation should get their time to be in the spotlight. Don’t interrupt someone when they are telling their anecdote and don’t hijack their story about skiing before finishing to share your best-skiing anecdote.
- Having to be right
Now this is one of the most important advice to be learnt because this is one of the most repeated gross error committed by each one of us!
Avoid arguing and avoid proving that you are THE MOST RIGHTEOUS MAN in the world! No one will be that impressed if you really ‘win’ the conversation. Just sit back, listen carefully, enjoy, spill out your opinions and learn to submit(not every time 🙂
- Talking about weird and boring topics
Avoid bragging about you new car or your new Hilfiger cardigan! Talking about your bad health and relationship, your creepy boss, serial killers or technical lingo that only you and some other guy understands or anything that sucks the positive energy out of the conversation, are topics to steer clear from!
But take this all easy! Don’t do it at all once. You will just feel confused and overwhelmed. Instead, pick up one and start working upon it. Notice the difference and keep at it. SOON YOUR NEWS HABITS WILL START TO POP OUT SPONTANEOUSLY WHEN YOU WILL INDULGE IN ANY CONVERSATION! 😉
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