How to start an interesting conversation
We all know someone who seem to charm everyone they talk to. It seems like they can talk to anyone about anything so effortlessly, and make people like them instantly. Don’t you want to be like them? I used to envy people like these so much, because life is just that much easier when you are good with conversations. Luckily, I came to understand that conversing is a skill that can be learned. I have some food for thought on it too, hope it helps you!
1. Focus on the person you’re talking to, not yourself
I’m sure many of us experienced the painful process of hearing someone ramble about something we have zero interest in. These people seem to be completely blind to the fact that others may not share their interest. Don’t be that person. The best conversations begin with showing an interest in the other person, their passion, interests and values. Ask them an open ended question about something that you have notice about them. If you can give them a sincere compliment or give them positive feedback, you’ve made a great start.
2. Listen attentively
Many people focus on thinking of a response when another is still speaking. Be aware of this during your future conversations. Try to force yourself to listen. This is not easy, especially if you are highly extroverted. You can practice by spending time with your partner, or a friend, by repeating back to them what they just said. This exercise helps create awareness of the amount of time we actually spend active listening with others. The more you listen, the more you are able to have a meaningful and indepth conversation.
3. Moving the conversation to a deeper level
Some people make you feel so comfortable in a conversation that you are willing to open up to and share very personal issues. What is it about them that makes you so open up so easily? Watch out for these clues: they are probably good at making eye contact, and help you feel like you are receiving their full and undivided attention. Watch their expressions. Notice they are emotinally in sync with whatever you are telling them. Their faces light up when you are sharing something happy, and take on a solemn, sad look when you are sharing bad news. You sense and feel they are totally engrossed in what you are telling them. Even if they do not genuinely care, you are inclined to believe that they actually do. If trying this seems unnatural to you, practice and push yourself to do so.
4. Asking good questions
Sometimes, just nodding and saying “uh-huh” is not enough. To really build an emotional bond, encourage others to share more of themselves. You can do this by showing an interest and asking open ended questions to help them delve deeper. Good questions are asking someone how they think or feel about a topic they are discussing. If you have talked to someone before, ask them about something you previously discussed. They will be delighted to know that you remember what they said. It shows that you do pay attention.
5. Spend some time
Never start a conversation beyond exchanging quick greetings, unless you have the time to talk. Setting is important too. Places that are noisy with a lot of people around, such as a club or a sports bar, are not the best venue to engage in great conversation. Good conversation requires a slow, relaxed pace and a pressure free atmosphere devoid of distractions. Perhaps a quiet bar or a coffee shop. Take the time, sit down and show that you are ready to engage the person you are talking to. You’d be amazed with the results.