It’s no secret that I have a gift for gabbing. Not only did I earn my pin name Miss Congeniality 1920 participating in pageants; I’m also a super social individual who has mastered the art of conversation! I realize that everyone isn’t as comfortable as I am with making small talk, so I decided to put together a quick guide to becoming a conversationalist!
At this point you maybe asking, “Why is being able to hold a conversation so important?” Well… I’ll tell you why! Conversations are super important because they are literally the foundations of relationships. It is through dialogue that we are able to connect with individuals based on similar backgrounds, interest, and experiences. Many people find it difficult to establish small talk; others struggle to end a conversation with out coming across as awkward or tacky. Whether you are a shy introvert who avoids conversation, or the life of the party… the following tips will aid you in communicating with people throughout your everyday life.
Getting off on the right foot
I ‘ve always found that leading with a compliment is the best way to start a conversation. Whether it’s a “Hey girl, I really like your hair”, or a “Wow… You smell really good! What are you wearing?” If you can make a person smile, or feel good about themselves, I assure you, a great conversation will soon follow! Keep in mind that when initiating a conversation you must be both kind and genuine. Do not over reach or embellish things for the sake of creating small talk. If someone compliments me on my outfit and I’m wearing sweats (Not the cute sweats, but the oversized dingy ones that I love to lounge around the house in), I’m going to think the he/she is being sarcastic; and I’m immediately going to shut down any further conversation.
Many people don’t realize how important small talk is. Chatting it up about the weather, current events, or the atmosphere at the company holiday party, often leads to deeper conversation. During small talk it is essential that you are, or at least appear to be a good listener. People really begin to open up when they believe that you care, and are actively engaged. You’ll be surprised by the connections that can be made during one simple conversation.
It’s important that you avoid giving too much too soon or “Over-sharing”. This rule doesn’t just apply when engaging in conversation with strangers, it’s also a good rule of thumb in general. Unless you are having an in-depth conversation with your loved one, Bestie, or Therapist, stick to the highlights of your day, and leave a bit of mystery.
I hate it when this happens! Continue reading to find out why its rude to interrupt the conversation in order to make your contribution.
Be a Fountain
If you’ve read any of my previous post, you know exactly what a DRAIN is! A Drain is someone who is overly critical or negative. When you are meeting someone for the first time or engaging in small talk, stir away from complaining about your life. Be as light and upbeat as possible. If for some reason you are having a bad day or you’re just not in the mood to do a lot of talking, you can once again put your listening skills to good use. If you’re actively paying attention, you can scan the dialogue for “Oh really/tell me more” opportunities that will both prolong the conversation and keep you off of the podium . Once you’ve noticed the conversation dying off, you can politely bow out by saying “It’s been a pleasure meeting/talking to you”, or “I really enjoyed catching up”. In the event of your conversation being interrupted by someone who is less skilled in the art of communication, you can simply EXCUSE yourself and move on to small talk with someone else. At this point it is also acceptable to turn your attention to your cellphone.
When talking in small groups, avoid taking over the conversation and appearing to “One-Up” the other participants. Even if you have cooler vacation stories or have scaled Everest a million times; talking about it after someone else has brought it up can cause you to appear cocky or selfish. You can talk about your amazing adventures some other time, or lead with shared experiences when it’s time to mix and mingle again.
That’s all folks
As you can see, there really is an art to carrying on a conversation. I’m confident that if you lead with the suggestions that I’ve laid out, you’ll have little to know problem engaging in conversation. In closing, I cannot emphasize enough… the importance of relaxing and being your wonderful self! Be confident in who you are, and open to sharing your interest and ideas with the rest of the world! You my LOVE, are worth getting to know 🙂
The days of mustering through lame conversations are over! You can now ensure that you and your soon to be friends always have interesting topics to discuss.
I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading my blog! Please share it with your friends and family and continue coming back weekly for updates, advice, and love. I’m just a girl trying to change the world one smile, kind word, and sweet gesture at a time ❤