Being good in conversation is a valuable skill that enhances relationships, builds connections, and fosters understanding. Engaging in meaningful conversations is an art that requires practice and genuine interest in others. In this article, we present 11 effective tips to help you become a proficient conversationalist and make your interactions more enjoyable and meaningful.
Communication is an art and only one that has proper communication skills can do this effortlessly. In like vein, the process of initiating and continuing a conversation demands one to have a certain set of skills. Conversation is an art too. Proper conversation skills do not just come from the blues but from practice. One has to learn the act and art of conversing. He must also possess some qualities to aid him in having a proper conversation.
Who is a Good Conversationalist?
A good conversationalist is someone who can effortlessly carry on a conversation, whether it’s a casual chat or a meaningful discussion with others. Being a good conversationalist is a talent that is necessary for practically every aspect of our lives, whether it is in business, social settings, dating, at work, or even in our personal lives.
The conversation is the path to idea development and success, both individually and as a team, since it stimulates your brain, inspires creativity, and links you to the rest of the world. When you improve your conversational skills, you can give the same enriching experience to the individuals you interact with, engaging their minds, boosting their creativity, and connecting with them. This stimulation can lead to better problem-solving abilities, more satisfaction, and a better grasp of previously unknown topics.
Being a good conversationalist benefits your coworkers and people close to you by providing a forum for them to discuss ideas, vent frustrations, provide or seek advice, and generally experience improved emotional health.
Apart from building relationships with people, being a good conversationalist is important in a few different ways. such as:
a. Helps you navigate an interview with ease.
b. Establishing credibility and professionalism.
c. Find more fulfillment in your job and your relationships with others.
d. Building your reputation.
With these points, you can see how very important being a good conversationalist is. Now the question is, how can one achieve the aim of becoming a good conversationalist?
Effective Tips to Become a Great and Better Conversationalist
1. Good Listening: The first and foremost quality of a conversationalist is that he must be a good listener. He must have the ability to listen; and attentively too. For there to be a proper grasping of the issues of discourse, you must learn to be patient and listen attentively to whoever you are speaking with. You should talk less and listen more. This will help you to appreciate the issues and give an informed decision when you are about talking.
2. Interest in the person you are conversing with: To be a good conversationalist, you must show genuine interest in the person you are about to or already having a conversation with. Your focus and interest should be on him. Pay attention to his issues or problems and treat them like yours. Letting the person know that you are genuinely interested in him and his course will get him more relaxed with you and will make him open up details to you.
3. Converse and not argue: Your conversation should not be argumentative. You are not in a debate in which you seek to prove a point in order to win. No one is giving you a prize for winning an argument in a conversation. While you are in a conversation, try as much as possible to limit the way you argue.
The purpose of a conversation is to come to a common ground or to be on same page with each other and not to prove a point that will give you victory. It is therefore very important that while you converse, you limit arguments in the course of the conversation.
4. Discuss but do not interrogate: It is pertinent to not that a conversation is not an interview or interrogation. When conversing, you should not have a superior stance in which you try to bully the other party with questions. In the event of questions being asked, use open ended questions.
Questions that give the other party the chance to explain things to the fullest, should be asked. ‘WH‘ questions should be asked and not tag questions. This is because the former gives an opportunity for explanation but the later does not give such room. Again, purposeful and insightful questions should be asked. Do not ask questions that are judgmental or critical of the other party.
5. Respect People’s Opinion: While engaging in a conversation, you should bear in mind that everyone has his or her own opinion about issues. Do not try to force your opinion on others. Even a child has his own opinion about issues. Do well to respect their opinions and decisions.
If you must disagree with them, do so politely and with respect. Do not shove their opinions away as though they do not count. In as much as you disagree with them, know that they are free and entitled to hold their opinions (which may be different from yours) just as you are entitled to yours.
6. Be Focused and Concentrated: In a conversation, it is necessary that you focus and concentrate on the conversation. Be in the conversation and not out of it. Do not be easily distracted. Keep your phones and any other gadgets that may distract you easily away. It is disrespectful to lose concentration and focus while conversing with someone.
7. Have Good Cognitive and Reasoning Ability: As a conversationalist, you must have the ability to reason fast and well too. Sound and intuitive reasoning is key to having a good conversation. In the course of a conversation, questions might be thrown at you. Keeping the other party waiting for so long before providing answers makes the conversation dull and less interesting.
To avoid this, you must be able to provide rationale answers to questions asked and within good time too. If one has a flawed reasoning, it will affect whatever information you intend to give out, as such may not have come from a good sense of judgment.
8. Have sufficient knowledge on the subject of your conversation: When engaging in a conversation, ensure that you have sufficient knowledge in the area or field you are having the conversation on. You should ensure that you are well prepared for the conversation. To this end, you should do a lot of reading and researching to keep you updated. Try as much as possible to know the subject of your discussion to enable you converse effortlessly. This also ensures that you give out correct and verified information during the course of your conversation.
9. Be Truthful to Yourself: You are human and are subject to fallibilities. You are not omniscient to know all things. You should be truthful enough to admit that you do not know an answer to a question asked; that you are not knowledgeable in certain fields; or that you have limited knowledge in certain areas. You are not expected to know everything.
In order to be a good conversationalist, admitting these frailties only makes the conversation more interesting as you either have the opportunity to learn (if the other party has sufficient knowledge in that field) or the conversation progresses to another level. It is better one admits that he does not know a thing than pretending to know such things. You must not have to say something to everything all the time. Sometimes, just be quiet and learn.
10. Keep the Subject Matter Light: Topic selection is critical, as is how you phrase things. Find a topic that both sides are interested in to keep the discussion going. If you’re not sure where to begin, introduce yourself and tell them anything about yourself. If the other individual is interested, they will reply accordingly.
Avoid becoming entangled in bad themes like workplace disagreements or unhappiness. Instead, focus on the positives, such as your team or forthcoming initiatives that you are excited about. Avoid challenging topics such as politics or religion unless they are relevant to your career. You’ll be able to tell what connects with people and what doesn’t. Professional goals or projects, family, leisure activities like movies or music, and industry-specific issues are all safe topics.
11. Know When to End the Conversation: As a good conversationalist, you should know when to end the conversation and take your leave. An extremely long conversation tends to be boring at the tail end of it. Your conversation should be concise and straight to the point. Avoid pointless and irrelevant facts that may drag the conversation for too long. Observe when the conversation is taking a different toll from what was actually intended and take your leave at that point.
Conclusively, there is hardly anything we do that we do not have to interact with people. This is the reason for our existence as we converse with people everyday to seek clarifications. We must therefore have a strong ability to converse. One should also have a good sense of humour in the conversation process. It is therefore, of great importance that one be able to initiate a good conversation, keep it going and in the duration of the conversation, make it interesting, while also knowing where to end the conversation leaving all parties satisfied at the end of the conversation.