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Having good conversation skills is about being a good listener, making people feel comfortable, and being an interesting person yourself.
Being a good conversationalist is in my opinion one of the most essential skills to have in life. It opens up doors for you in your business, personal, social and dating life. With these skills you are truly abundant, you will have endless opportunities.
Imagine being able to make people like and respect you, merely by how good your conversation skills are!
It has taken me a while to develop proper conversation skills and I’m still improving and sharpening them up every day.
Right now I can comfortablY enjoy having a conversation with just about anyone in whichever situation. And almost all people respond to me in a positive way. There is mutual respect.
This has been very different I can assure you!
In this article I give you the best things I have learned and applied to my life. Techniques, advice wisdom and mindsets to make sure you can create amazing conversation skills for yourself in your life.
The First Step To Great Conversational Skills
Of course there are some very obvious things that make you a good conversationalist. Things like treating other like you want to be treated yourself, being friendly and respectful, and looking people in the eye when you talk to them. These are common truths.
What might be less obvious of having great conversation skills is being a good listener. When I started on the road to developing my conversation skills I believed that I had to be extremely interesting to be a good conversation partner.
I tried to impress people with all my stories and jokes and was talking to them nonstop. Later on I found out, that when you talk to people, it’s better to have the spotlight shine on them.
First let them shine and make them feel good. Then, after that, they will get curious about you. In my opinion a good conversation consists of the other party putting in at least half of the talking. So…
- Be a good listener
Probably the most important thing to be seen as someone with great conversation skills is to be a great listener. As I said, you don’t necessarily have to be a funny person with great stories. If you are a really good listener, people will believe and probably even say that you have great conversation skills.
So be attentive to what the person you are talking to is saying. Really listen. Shut out all the other noise and distractions.
Most people’s favorite subject is themselves, so let them talk!
Also, while they’re talking, don’t merely stand there staring at them. But smile when they say something funny, nod and agree when you think they’re right and say “uhuh” and “mmm” to acknowledge them.
These little gestures and noises show that you are committed to the conversation and that you are really listening. People love good listeners!
Ask verifying questions as this also shows that you are really in tune with what the speaker is saying. “Really?” “When was this?” “I didn’t get that, explain some more please.” “Where was this?” “How did you do that?” “With whom did you do that?” Etc.
When You Are Talking / Telling A Story:
- Paint the picture
Use emotional language and use your words to describe the noun.
Try to speak in a way that gets people to imagine how it was for you.
Tell it in such a way that they feel they were there with you. If you do so, people can really get into how it was for you and will start to imagine how they would feel in such a situation. They will be captivated by your story.
- Speak the details
Talk about how you felt in the moment. Who was there with you? What were you doing? Where was it? What was the situation? What was happening around you? Etc.
People can’t really imagine how it was for you when you say: “We went to a nice beach with clear water and hot sand…”
But when you say: “Me and two of my close friends went to this long stretched beach with crisp white sand as far as you could see. We had the day off so we really had that nice, free holiday feeling and were really excited to go to the beach.
When we got there the sun was hot as hell and when you were not wearing your flip flops, you would burn your feet so you’d be hopping and skipping over the beach like a skippy ball!
And the sea, wow! Emerald see through water, absolutely amazing. When we got in the temperature was just perfect. And the water was so incredible clear that you could see the bottom even when the water was 5 meters deep!”
To Keep The Conversation Going:
- Ask open ended questions
To keep a conversation going, you want to ask open ended questions. These are questions that you can’t answer with one word.
They most often start with the 5 W’s:
But, “how” and “what if” are also almost always at the beginning of an open ended question.
A quick example:
A closed ended question: “Do you like rock music?”
An open ended question: “What kind of rock music do you like?”
- That reminds me of… To keep a conversation going you can use this great technique. Of course you want to listen to what the person is saying, but all the while you can quickly ask yourself “What does this remind me of?”
You have an immense amount of experience stored in your brain. You can almost always find a thing in your life that relates to what your conversation partner is speaking of.
This technique takes a little practice, but if you keep asking yourself this question every time you are speaking with someone, it will come as second nature to you within a few weeks.
- Change the subject
A real master of conversation skills knows how to change the conversation. So, when the subject you guys are talking about gets boring, or there’s a silence in the conversation, use this magic word:
You can say this brilliant word in just about any situation. You say anyway and you follow it up with a question.
“Anyway, what do you do for fun when you’re not working?”
Conversation Skills For Conversational Mastery
Before you approach someone, and while you are talking, smile! There is nothing more inviting than a smile. It is disarming and shows you are a friendly person. It communicates that you approve of the other person. It makes the other party feel at ease.
- Use their name
For some reason, people love to hear their own name. It gives them a sense of importance and recognition.
Can you recall a time when someone asked you “what was your name again?” You probably felt as if you were not important enough.
You don’t want to do this to other people, so remember their name and use it sparingly in conversation.
To get people to open up, it has been my experience that the easiest way to do this is to open up yourself. An example:
You might first ask them a question.
“What kind of sports do you like?”
The person might answer:
“I like a lot of different sports, but I’m a big fan of soccer”
Then if you can relate to that, tell them a story about how you like soccer also. Maybe you are a really bad player, but you like it so much because of the third half (drinking beer with your buddies in the canteen).
If you can’t relate to that, maybe ask them why they like soccer so much.
They might say they like the team aspect of it and being completely in the moment, not thinking of anything but the game.
Then relate to that. Where do you experience this in your life also? Then tell your personal story.
Relating to other people, and telling a personal story, gets the conversation deeper and invites the person to open up. People feel comfortable doing so because you showed them that it’s OK. This is the way to a great conversation.
When people tell you something that you find interesting, tell them! Reward them for telling you something interesting.
This will encourage them to tell you more impressing things.
In my training in NLP they taught me that to improve your conversation skills you should mirror the other person’s body language and voice tone. This makes them feel more comfortable with you.
You do this by sitting or standing in a way similar to how they sit or stand. If they sit back, you sit back. If they use a lot of hand gestures when they speak, you do this also. Of course wait until it is your turn to speak. You don’t want them to think you’re mocking them!
With your speech and voice tone the same thing. If the person speaks very fast, you speak a little faster as well. If they talk very slow, you slow down a bit also.
You are not parroting here, don‘t make it too obvious. Just make it so that your way of speaking is more similar to that of your conversation partner.
What this accomplishes is it makes your conversation partner feel “this person is just like me”. It creates a bond of familiarity and one of “old friends”.
The tips and techniques written above are a lot of ways to improve your conversation skills. Don’t try to use them all at once because you will feel overwhelmed. And you will not succeed either!
Instead, take one of them. Or maybe two. And practice those for a week with everyone you speak to. Then in about a couple of months of practicing you will have amazing conversation skills. Now how would that benefit your social life?
If you are looking for a permanent solution to not knowing what to say or how to react and to completely overcome your social anxiety BY YOURSELF from the comfort of your own home, my unique Social Confidence System is exactly what you are looking for.
Beware as this is not a simple change your thoughts, think optimistic, face your fears program… This system changes you at a deep level, eliminating your social anxiety for good. Try it out for 30 days risk-free!
“Become Comfortable Starting A Conversation With Anyone”
Go to Part 1/3: Asking Questions To Start Conversation?!
Go to Part 2/3: Conversation Starters For Every Situation
Go to Part 3/3: Asking Conversation Starter Questions…
“Starting Conversations 101”
Go to Part 1/4: Creating Interesting Conversation Starters
Go to Part 2/4: Steps To Creating Your Own Good Conversation Starters
Go to Part 3/4: How To Start Conversations
Go to Part 4/4: Mentally Rehearse Your Conversation Openers
“Conversation Topics Mastery”
Go to Part 1/2: 24 Interesting Conversation Topics
Go to Part 2/2: Conversation Exercises For Conversation Confidence
“Conversation Questions Mastery”
Go to Part 1/2: Excellent Conversation Questions For Conversational Mastery
Go to Part 2/2: Questions To Keep Conversation Going?
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