There are instances where nerve wrecking silence rules and threatens to ruin the best of get-togethers for you. You may, at times, face a sudden scarcity of topics or even an unseen dip in confidence that can leave you speechless at a place where silence isn’t exactly welcome. Talk about first dates, meetings or even interviews; speechlessness and awkward silences do tend to spoil important events for people. However, these obstacles in conversations are quite manageable provided you are seriously prepared to deal with them. There are certain things you should keep in mind to avoid making your conversation passive, dull and draggy. For starters, don’t be overtly conscious while talking. Equip yourself with some common topics that can be discussed anytime, anywhere and, with almost anyone. Don’t be too bookish or too prepared for anything — let the conversation flow. The following write-up mentions a number of tips that can help you keep your conversation alive and happening.
Find Out Your Favorite Topics
We all have subjects we love to talk about. Talking about activities, hobbies, projects, goals, ideas or jobs are some easy ways of going about things. These are light yet interesting subjects which are generic enough. However, do make sure that you read your audience at all times; if they don’t share your enthusiasm regarding a topic then be flexible and choose something close to them to talk about.
A Bit From The Background
Personal background is an excellent topic to take the conversation further. You can either speak or ask questions about early childhood experiences, school days or first job experience etc. Topics like observations about the opposite sex or your surroundings or even travel experiences etc. can work wonders for you.
Ask Open Ended Questions
Nothing is more boring than one sided conversation. Keep your conservation interesting by asking open-ended questions from your audience. For example, “What is your opinion about the latest development in Egyptian politics?” This will give others a chance to talk. Questions like “Do you like Indian classical music?” elicit very monosyllabic answers like “yes” or “no”; steer clear away from them.
Don’t be too calculative while talking. Adopt blurt technique. Blurting is a conversational technique in which you tell the person about what you are thinking in that moment. This makes for interesting conversations. However, needless to say, make sure you aren’t rude or hurtful in any way.
Let The Other Person End Silence
Silence can also work for you. When faced with a situation when you have exhausted your list of topics, don’t leave the scene to avoid the awkwardness; face it. The best method to tackle the situation is to stick around even when there is a silence between you and your audience and wait for the other person to end the silence.
If you have serious problems in dealing with people, then always take an extra effort to go out of your comfort zone and meet people. This will give you hands-on practice on mingling and socializing.
Common Mistakes In Conversation
Indifference: This is the most common mistake people do. You cannot ignore your audience. Listen to what they say or ask and respond appropriately. Indifference to their jokes and questions can cost you an interesting conversation.
Too Many Questions: Asking questions is good but too many questions often irritate the other person. Do not make it an interview session. Say something about you and combine it with questions wherever need be. Also avoid delving into private matters.
Negative Words: Using negative words is a common mistake people do while conversing. Being pleasant and positive doesn’t hurt anybody’s reputation. Practice the magical art of euphemism and say “it is not so pretty” in place of “it is ugly”.
Sarcastic Jokes: Making sarcastic jokes thinking that they will evoke laughter can be an unforgivable mistake in decent company. If your friend asks for your help with a new computer program, then jokingly saying “Are you always this stupid or are you making a special effort today?” may be accepted once or twice but not every-time.
Interrupting People: If you are serious about making a conversation work then let others speak their minds. Listen to them carefully. Interrupting people while they talk is the most irritating thing you can do during a conversation.
Look At These signs
Know your audience and keep modulating your conversation to suit their interests. To do this, you must understand when their attention is wavering. Look out for the following signs; they tell you when your listener has lost interest in your conversation.
- The person just nods his head for everything you say, without saying a word.
- The person looks at his watch.
- The person looks past your shoulder.
- The person leans back when you talk.
If you ignore the above signs and continue talking, then the listener may very well take the next step and disappear from the scene.
So, this is how you keep a conversation going. Take cue from the tips given above and stay cool when you speak to someone.