• Sameen Fatima

7 Tips to Master the Art of Conversation

Sometimes getting a conversation started is not that easy. These steps should give you a good formula to practice the art of conversation, and after a few times of practice, will become your second nature.

  1. Lead with a compliment: A sincere compliment is always a good way to start a conversation. It makes the other person feel good about themselves and now you have something to talk about. It is good to be specific like perhaps compliment them on an item of clothing they are wearing?

  2. Make small talk: Some people are not a big fan of small talk, however, the fact is that it is necessary to do this first in order to get to the deeper subjects. It should be easy to think of questions you can discuss like talking about the venue or the event or asking where they travelled from or commenting on the food are all good ideas. All these questions can open new discussions, allowing you to ask more probing questions. That leads us on to point # three.

  3. Ask lots of questions: Look for an opportunity in something they say to talk about something more meaningful so the conversation never dies. Try to be as specific as possible in the questions you ask about it.

  4. Make sure you keep your demeanor friendly and open: It is very important to smile and look friendly! Maintain eye contact when someone is talking to you so it is obvious that you are genuinely interested in what they are saying.

  5. Keep the other person engaged: Let the other person do the talking as much as possible and listen to them attentively when they do. This way they won't lose interest in the conversation and if they know that they are being listened. You can do this by asking them frequent questions, but if they do not respond to questions then jump in with your own anecdote.

  6. Keep it positive: Do not immediately launch into something too personal that could make them feel uncomfortable, regardless of what is going on in your mind. 

  7. Make introductions (if required): Intros should be kept brief but you should include enough information to give them a connection. So include the third person’s name and who they are to you. This way your conversation partner can work out the third person’s relevance and, hopefully, think of something to ask them.

Now that you have learnt the art of starting a conversation, find out how you can bring it to close without being rude. See How to (gracefully) bring a Conversation to a close?

Author: Ayesha Hamid

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