Being a great conversationalist can help you be successful in your emotional life, in your social life, and in your career. As with any other skill, you need to have confidence in yourself and practice in order to be successful in chatting with other people effectively. There are several steps you need to go through before you can start and lead interesting conversations and we invite you to explore them in this article.
Part 1 of 3: start a conversation
Step 1. Chat with a new person
Getting started is sometimes the hardest part of talking to someone. It can be very intimidating when you want to chat with someone you don't know. So try to find a common interest with the person you want to chat with to start the conversation.
- For example, if you are in a cafeteria line, you might say to the person in front of you, “What's good here? I have never tried any drink from this cafeteria. "
- You also have the opportunity to comment on the climate. Try this formula: "The weather is very nice today!" If the person responds positively, you can follow up with a few more specific comments.
- Another way to start a conversation is to make a comment about who you are talking to. For example, you could say, “I love your shoes. How much did they cost you? "
Step 2. Choose the right contact person
Go for someone who has an attractive demeanor who doesn't seem busy. For example, if you are in a queue and notice someone is watching you, smile at them and ask them an open-ended question. Avoid approaching someone who seems busy or is already chatting with someone else.
- When you are at a party, the best places to start a conversation are tables or bar services. These aspects provide natural elements to start conversations, as these examples show: “Have you ever tried this spinach in sauce? "" Can you show me how to use this bottle opener? "
- In case you're having trouble mingling with the others, go to the kitchen. It is usually a crowded place and you can help provide the snacks or serve the cocktails.
- You should apply the same rules when approaching a colleague. Approach him when he's not busy talking with another person. The lunch break is a great time to start a discussion.
Step 3. Approach someone you know
Chances are, you'd like to approach someone you know, but don't know how to break the ice. It would be effective to ask the person a question about themselves. Questions are a great way to keep a conversation flowing.
- If you want to chat with a colleague, questions can be a good place to start. Try asking him these questions: "How did you spend your weekend? Did the rain bother you a lot? "
- There may be times when you want to get to know your neighbor. When you see him picking up his mail, you can say something like, "How do you like your new neighborhood?" Maybe I could recommend an excellent pizzeria in the area! "
Step 4. Keep it simple
You don't have to get out of hand before approaching someone. You can start by using simple expressions like "hi" or "how are you?" The person you are talking to will pick up the thread from there and the conversation will continue.
- You can say something simple about yourself. For example, after a tough competition, you can say to the person next to you, “I'm going to need a good massage tomorrow. "
- Keeping it simple will get the conversation going, but allowing the other person to help you will get things done. It also helps relieve yourself a little of the pressure you feel when you come up with something interesting to say.
Step 5. Avoid saying too much
At the start of a conversation, it is essential not to make the other person uncomfortable. Many people tend to be nervous or stammer during casual conversations. This can lead to a common social problem characterized by saying too much about yourself.
- It would be best if you avoid sharing any sensitive information about yourself unless you are chatting with someone you know well. For example, don't try to strike up a conversation with someone you barely know by telling them the results of your most recent checkup.
- People often feel embarrassed when you share personal information with them. For example, the cashier at the grocery store certainly doesn't want to know that your partner cheated on you on your wedding day. Therefore, when starting a conversation, avoid sensitive topics.
Step 6. Know when to stay silent
It can happen that the silence becomes awkward and your nature might make you want to fill this silence by chatting. However, there are times when silence is the best option.
- If you are on a bus and are bored, you might be entertained by approaching your seatmate. However, if she subtly lets you know that she doesn't want to, find another way to entertain yourself.
- If a person avoids your gaze, it means that they do not want to discuss and it is the same with a person who is reading or who has their headphones in their ears.
Part 2 of 3: Leading a Conversation
Step 1. Ask questions
Once you've broken the ice, there are several things you can do to keep the conversation flowing. So asking questions is a great way to keep the dialogue going. Try to ask the other person for something simple.
- If you are about to take a bus, you could ask another passenger the following: "Could you please remind me of tomorrow's departure time?" "
- You could also ask your coworker for some advice by saying something like, "I'm having a little trouble mastering this software." Could you give me some tips? "
Step 2. Follow up with open-ended questions
Asking questions is a great way to keep the discussion going. However, by asking open-ended questions, you will be able to keep the discussion going. So ask questions that require more than a yes or no.
- Instead of saying: “How was your weekend in Marseille? You might try saying, "You did tell me about that trip." What did you do there? This will open up the conversation.
- Keep asking questions after the initial response. If the interlocutor answers like this: “We played basketball”, you can answer “Oh yes! And how many baskets have you marked? Could you recommend a center for my son? I would like him to do it too. "
- You also have the option of giving a compliment and leading to a question. For example, you can say this: “I really liked the dress you wore yesterday. Where can I find this type of article? "
Step 3. Be honest
Don't try to force the chat. Find a topic that is really close to your heart, because if you pretend to be interested, it will show up every time.
- After lunch, you can strike up a conversation with someone who shares the same interests as you. For example, you could say this, “Mike, I heard you have a new console. I myself am passionate about video games. "
- For example, when watching your son's baseball game, try talking to another parent about the new coach. You could say this: “I really like the training of this new coach, the kids are doing better. Is not it ? "
Step 4. Avoid items that kill the discussion
After a few minutes of chatting, you might be comfortable with the pace of the discussion, but you still need to make an effort to keep the conversation moving smoothly. To be a good conversationalist, you also need to know what not to say to make the other person uncomfortable.
- You are probably familiar with the old saying that you should avoid talking about religion or politics in a social context. You should follow this advice when you are with a group of people.
- Avoid annoying the other person. For example, avoid developing your dog's qualities at length and give your interlocutors the opportunity to participate in the conversation.
- Use the right tone. Most of the time, small chats should be happy. After all, you are looking to get another person to be in the same mood as you. Also, positive people naturally tend to attract us. When in doubt, try saying something positive.
- For example, you could say this, “We've had a lot of rain recently, but at least we can hope for some beautiful spring flowers. "
- No worries if you choose to complain about an embarrassing situation, but try to respond positively to it. Here is an example. “Too bad we have to work late tonight, but in case you want to dine late, I know of a great pizzeria. "
Step 5. Change the subject
Usually, during conversations that last more than a few minutes, you are likely to cover a lot of topics. Be prepared to move on to a topic other than the one you used to break the ice. To prepare yourself, it would be good if you learn about current events and pop culture. You will always have the opportunity to make some comments on this.
- For example, you could say something like "Did you follow the Deadpool movie?" I really enjoyed the crazy side of Ryan Reynolds. "
- Prepare to move on to new topics. Try saying something like, “Your story reminded me of a trip I took to Paris. Have you never been there? This technique will help maintain the natural flow of the conversation.
Step 6. Approach other people
The more people involved in the discussion, the less pressure you feel. Involve others. If you are in a work cafeteria and you see a coworker looking for a table, approach him and say, "Hey, will you join me and my friend?""
- You can also do this in a social context. There may be times when you are chatting with an acquaintance at a party and if you see someone alone in their area, ask them to join you. For example, tell him, “This shrimp is absolutely fantastic. Have you ever tried it? "
- Getting other people to join in on the conversation is not only generous, it can also help keep the conversation going. The more people involved in the conversation, the more things you will have to say.
Step 7. Be a good listener
Listening is as important as speaking. In order to be a good conversationalist, you must practice listening carefully. You can verbally indicate that you are listening and that you are involved in the discussion.
- Try neutral comments like this: "This is really interesting." Or if you want to get the caller to continue with their story, try this: “Tell me more. "
- You can show your interest by echoing. Here is an example. " Hey ! It's amazing that you were able to visit all the European countries! "
Part 3 of 3: Use positive body language
Step 1. Smile
During a conversation, your body language is as important as the words that come out of your mouth. One of the most effective ways to communicate is to smile. It's a perfect way to connect with someone you don't know very well.
- Smile at someone at the park. If you notice your dogs playing together, give the dog owner a big smile. It makes you affordable.
- Smiling is also a way to show support. If a coworker stops by your desk to tell you a story, smiling at them shows them that you're interested in what they're saying.
Step 2. Make eye contact
When you are chatting with someone, it is important that you look them in the eye. It shows that you are involved in the discussion and that you are listening to it, while respecting its opinion.
- Eye contact also helps gauge the interlocutor's reaction. The eyes are the reflection of the soul and let you know if the person is bored, angry, or emotionally affected.
- Don't stare at people. You don't have to stare at who you're talking to, but you can also look away from time to time.
Step 3. Nod your head
A simple nod of the head is among the most effective non-verbal methods you can use, and it can mean several things. For example, it shows that you understand what the person is saying.
- Nodding your head can also mean you agree. It is also a way of telling the interlocutor that you support him in what he says.
- Avoid nodding your head. If you nod your head all the time, it will distort the sincerity of the gesture.
Step 4. Have confidence in yourself
Your body language often reflects nervousness or anxiety. It can be intimidating to chat with people, especially when you're a shy person. One of the best ways to boost your conversational confidence is to prepare for multiple cases. For example, if you know you'll meet new people at a party, prepare a few conversation topics to discuss.
- If you're going to a birthday party that involves a game of basketball, prepare some trivia about when you made your first team when you were just a rookie.
- Train yourself. Challenge yourself to approach a new person every day. It could be a stranger on the street or a new colleague at work. Practice starting and leading a talk.
- Trust is the most important thing when it comes to approaching someone you like. Once you've found a catchphrase, try it out with the person you're interested in.
- Here is an example that might help you. “The background music during the fitness class was so exhausting that I wanted to dance. Do you know a good place to listen to live music? Say that with a smile and a frank look.
- Make a list of conversation topics and keep them in mind.
- Don't be afraid of new situations. Trying something new will help you meet new people and improve your conversation skills.