Five Ways to Be a Good Conversationalist

Five Ways to Be a Good Conversationalist

Have you ever found yourself at a loss for words or wishing you were better at starting conversations? Not all of us have the gift of thinking quickly on our feet and it can be very hard to get the conversation ball rolling among colleagues, strangers and even sometimes friends.

A good conversation is a two-way street.  You must discuss topics that are of interest to all parties involved, and not just yourself, so they will feel inclined to participate and keep the conversation going. So, the next time you are at a loss for words, try one of the following:

  1. Find a common topic. There needs to be a common topic or interest that really engages the other person. It should be a topic that both of you can talk about; otherwise, the conversation will run out. Throw out out certain topics until you find one that sticks.
  2. Never be afraid to ask questions. Being curious will keep the conversation going. As long as your questions are not too personal and inappropriate, try to get them to tell stories about their experiences.  By showing an interest in them, they will feel more comfortable talking with you.
  3. Speak clearly. You may not realize it, but if you talk too quietly or quickly, some people may having a hard time understanding what you are saying. Make an effort to learn how to speak clearly and pronounce your words as clearly as you can.
  4. Try to follow a logical progression. This will make it easier for those who are trying to listen to you and understand what you are saying. If there is an unusual thought process going on in your head that is leading from Point A to Point B, be sure you explain it, so people will follow.
  5. Be nice. Criticizing the people around you or not welcoming their input will reduce the quality of the conversation. Always keep a friendly and/or professional attitude.  No one wants to converse with someone who makes them feel uncomfortable.

-M. Germaine Parra
D.C. Area RealtorFeng Shui Consultant
Licensed in DC, MD and VA
Long and Foster Realtors
6862 Elm Street Office, McLean, VA  22101
Fax:   703-873-1901
Cell:  703.650.8838

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