Are you named “quiet” in your social circle? Do you face those awkward “silent moments” during conversations? Or do you consistently fail to present yourself as an “interesting” person in your talks? If any of the above questions answer YES, you, my friend, need to know how to be better at everyday conversation.
Who doesn’t know the benefits of excellent communication skills by now? (except the person living under a vast old rock)
Being good at making conversations helps us to connect with people on an emotional level and exchange values. Moreover, by communicating well, we draw people closer to us, create deep relationships, and have a good reputation in our groups.
A journal article published by LiveStrong showed that people who are good communicators tend to have higher self-esteem levels.
Here’s another good news.
You can practice this skill and be a pro at holding great coffee chats. High-five!!!
In this article, we have come up with 18 proven ways by which you can take your conversation skills to a whole new level.
Before that, here are some essential things you need to know.
Which Conversation Is A “Good” Conversation?
A good conversation is that in which the purpose of sitting together is fulfilled.
And if there is no purpose, like chatting with a stranger at an airport, there should be an exchange of insights between both people.
That time should be a quality time in which one can say, “I had fun!” or “It was a pleasure to talk to you.”
Gail Heyman, a UC San Diego psychology professor, said, “I’m interested in college students’ conversations in their dorms. That talk is never seen after college.”
Why Do Some Conversations Just Fail?
A conversation fails when one of the two parties puts less energy into the conversation.
It might be possible that the person beside you talks too much about themselves or you talk too much, not letting them speak. Or one of you is too quiet to be disturbed. One person may get bored in the company.
Above all, not resonating with each other can be the most significant cause of a failed conversation.
How Being a Good Communicator Is Good For You?
We are social beings. We need to sit together and exchange our thoughts with each other. For this, we must know how to have better conversations.
Good conversations can:
- Build trust.
- Connect you deeply with people.
- Strengthen relationships.
- Improves your health and well-being.
- Improve your self-esteem.
So now, do you want to know how to have better conversations?
By the word BETTER I mean those exciting, memorable, and fun talks that make you a pro at talking with people.
After reading this post, let’s look at some practical tips that you can bring into practice.
How To Be Better At Conversation?
1. Have An Intentional Conversation
You should always have an intention in mind for a conversation before even going to a party or a gathering. Prepare and practice making valid points in your possible conversations with different people there.
Setting up an intention gives you purpose while talking to people. All you need to do is make a plan, know your crowd, and answer a few open-ended questions like who, why, when, and what.
2. Maintain An Open Body Language
Eyes judge more than the brain. The movement of hands and eye contact with the next person show confident body language.
Though you talk with voice, maintaining open body language helps you how to be better at conversation. This way, the listener will understand the content of the conversation and won’t be bored.
Let me give you examples of open body language.
- Keeping your body posture calm.
- A firm handshake to show your confidence and respect.
- Nodding your head to ensure that you are listening.
3. Don’t Talk Too Fast Or Too Slow
A person should have an appropriate speaking pace because it helps your listener understand what you are talking about. As you know, listening is not a one-step thing; first, we hear and then process the word’s meaning.
We often speed up our speech when we are excited or tense, which results in losing the interest of the next person. So, slow-paced speech is appreciated because it makes the listener more interested and attentive toward your words.
4. Statements Are Better Than Questions
When you ask a lot of questions during a conversation with the next person, it gives you the vibe of an interview. To avoid this situation, I suggest you replace the questions with statements. Let me give you some examples.
“How was your day”?
Turn this question into a statement.
“Sounds like you had a long day.”
This way, you will make the other person feel that you look interested in them and are just not interrogating them.
5. Reply to Them Openly
People who give one-word replies are such a turn-off in conversations. If one person asks a thing, they are not expecting a “Yes” or “No” reply.
Show your interest and talk to them openly to keep the conversation going. Like if they have asked you: “How was your day?”
Instead of saying, “Hmm, good.”
You can say something like, “Quite better than I expected. Actually, today I had a plan for ….”
6. Don’t Be Super Accurate When Replying
Sometimes people ask you questions that you don’t feel like answering because you might not know the answer. Here is what you can do in such situations.
You don’t need to answer the question exactly. You can replace it by saying something different.
Like if anybody asks:
“Have you heard about the latest news related to the new labor policy?”
If you don’t know the answer, instead of saying “no,” you can replace it with something like
“I have been busy with my work-life these days, and I’m really exceeding in my field, so I got no time to watch the news.”
In brief, keeping the conversation going is the real deal if you wanna know how to get better at conversation.
7. Make It More About Them
While communicating, we sometimes focus on what we will say next instead of listening to the person right before us. It leads to the disadvantage of not catching up on a few essential details.
So to overcome this situation, you should listen to the next person.
According to Heleo’s Editorial Director, Panio Gianopoulos, “Instead of being a conversational narcissist who is all about himself, you should entirely focus on what the next person is telling you about.”
Don’t act like you know everything because there’s always something new to learn.
8. Use Their Name Often
During a conversation, when you call the next person by their name, it makes them feel important, and they look more attentive towards you. This trick also helps you look more interested in them and forces you to invest a couple of seconds thinking about that person.
“Hey Alexa, how’s your project going on?”
“I’m working on it, sir.”
Then after some time: “Alexa, I think that you should work on… “
9. Prepare A List Of Topics Ahead Of Time
By preparing a list of topics in advance, you can keep the conversation alive, and if someone brings up the same conversation, you both can have an exciting chat.
Remembering many topics to make your social conversations beneficial is not essential. In fact, preparing lots of different topics will be hard for you, and you might forget half of the information at the time of need, so you need to keep things simple.
10. Always Ask: “How About You?”
To have a better conversation, you need to reciprocate, which means that if someone shares something, you should share some of your thoughts too. If they ask a question, don’t just reply. You should ask back a few other questions too. This method helps in keeping a long conversation.
Just remember not to be an open-upper because this way, you won’t let them speak, and you will start your own story. If they tell you about their worst experience, don’t just start talking about yourself, it’s better to listen to them first.
11. Compliment On The Things They Are Proud Of
The use of compliments in a conversation is compelling. What if someone throws a compliment on your smartness? Ahh, it doesn’t seem like they have just made an emotional deposit of $100k with you!
If you compliment people the right way, specifically on the things they are proud of, this can make their day. The best thing to compliment is how hard they must have worked to achieve their goals.
For example :
If someone has built a company from scratch and is now one of the best in the market, you should compliment their creativity, intelligence, and dedication.
12. Spark Up Your Talk With Anecdotes
One of the great tricks to make your conservation look more interesting is that you use the art of storytelling. Telling a story involves emotions, experiences, and climax. And all these factors grab the listener’s attention.
So people remember your words and your advice when you add your personal experience to that. People connect and get the point you make because you used anecdotes.
13. Humor Helps You Connect Faster
Why is a funny guy always the life of a crew?
Because no matter what, everyone on this earth loves laughing. When two people laugh together while talking, their brain gives them the impression of being friends. And that’s what helps most in connecting them.
Besides, you can handle a rough conversation by giving a little touch of sarcasm to it. As George Bernard Shaw said:
“If you’re going to tell people the truth, you’d better make them laugh. Otherwise, they’ll kill you.”
14. Try To Resonate With All Kinds Of People
We shy away from having a chat with people who are a bit odd to us. Like if they watch thriller genre seasons, but you don’t go beyond animated movies, there’s no point for you to be on the same page with them.
Well, you can still sit with them and have a decent chat.
But why bother to do so?
Because once you’re comfortably resonating with every type of person, you can be a good communicator. You know the FORMULA for how to make anybody comfortable vibing with you.
15. Non-Judgmental People Are Attractive
Come on, we all hate that creepy judgmental mate who always has problems with our choices and decisions. It can be your class fellow, a mutual friend, or just an aunt from our family. Why would you sit with them and chat like a friend?
But often, you don’t know you’re acting like those people. So how can you not be like them?
- Don’t pass critical comments.
- Accept them and their faults.
- Show support.
- Be truthful but in a decent way.
16. Keep It Lowkey
Nobody wants an all-time excited chatterbox. It becomes too overwhelming, and the next person starts feeling you as dominating.
Thus, keep the conversation going but in a chill way. Let the other person speak as well. Let the silence take place for a minute or so. Therefore both of you can refocus on things.
17. You Can’t Have A Dazzling Conversation With Everyone
You’re not one of those BTS boys everyone dies to talk to.
So let’s accept a fact here. Not everyone is ready to have a conversation all the time.
- They may be tired.
- Having a long day.
- Maybe busy.
- Hungry, angry, or sad.
- Or don’t want to talk.
It’s a fake concept that you can know how to communicate better with everyone on this earth. No, not all people are for you or your cup of tea. Accept this fact and take a step back if you feel the other person doesn’t feel like having a conversation.
18. Make Smart Exits
You are having a great conversation, but you have to end it somewhere.
Remember, the first impression can be the last impression, BUT the last impression is always ever-lasting in a conversation.
Be smart about exits and create future opportunities to build connections with them in the following ways:
“I can’t wait for our next meet-up…”
“So glad that we had a fun time. Let me exchange my number with you.”
“Hey, why not make a plan of visiting….”
There You Have It:
If you’re planning to have a dazzling dinner chat with someone important, be it your partner or professional contact, these tips can help you get the most out of that talk.
Now knowing how to be better at conversation, don’t let yourself be too overwhelmed by applying all these at once. Go for just two to three at a time. When you have automated the previous ones, go for the next!