How To Become An Effective Conversationalist
A person may be very knowledgeable about a wide variety of subjects and updated with the latest happenings here and around the world, and yet not be very good at holding his or her end of the conversation. He or she may have a host of good tales to tell and yet provoke grunts of boredom and annoyance, instead of encouraging laughter.
What makes a good conversation? A conversation involves more than one person and demands the recognition and acceptance of the other people in the group. To be a good conversationalist, you must discuss topics that are of interest to the group, and not just to yourself. The topics you bring up should also be slanted toward your target audience. They should not be one-sided.
If you are the primary speaker, the opinions and suggestions of the other people in the group should be recognized and listened to. Just because you have the floor doesn't mean you own it 100%. Conversation requires participation and interaction.
Below are five tips on how you can be a good conversationalist.
1. Be nice. Don't engage in useless banter. The quality of the conversation is reduced if you start criticizing the people around you or do not welcome their input. Neither should you show the other persons that you think badly of them. Maintain a professional and congenial attitude.
2. Be tactful. Think before you speak. We often hurt other people's feelings by not being sensitive to their circumstances. This is plain thoughtlessness.
3. Keep a positive attitude. Show the group that you are enjoying the company. Smile. Let people gather around because you have something substantial and entertaining to say, not because they are curious about what you are complaining about with your life.
4. Be open to topic changes. People have different interests and are exposed to various stimuli. Acknowledge this fact by allowing others to shift the conversation to another subject. A good conversationalist is one that knows how to adjust nicely to these changes.
5. Show interest in what is being discussed. Do not show impatience if somebody else is in charge of the discussion. Being a good conversationalist does not mean you should dominate every discussion that you enter. It means knowing what to say, how to say it, and when. Put your ego aside and enjoy the exchange of words and information. You can learn a lot from people, as much as you believe they can learn from you.
Effective conversation follows the realization and acknowledgement that humans are social beings. Thus, we must always be open to others' ideas and be patient enough to wait for our turn to impart knowledge to others. You never know what wisdom you will be able to obtain by learning to listen. Do not pick arguments with others. Instead, compromise. You are not the only person in the world. Make room.
About the Author: Michael Lee is the author of How to be a Red Hot Persuasion Wizard... in 20 days or less, an ebook that reveals mind-altering persuasion techniques on how to tremendously enhance your relationships, create unlimited wealth, and get anything you want...just like magic. Get a sample chapter and highly-stimulating "Get What You Want" advice at: http://www.20daypersuasion.com. He is the Co-Founder of http://www.self-improvement-millionaires.com and is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant.