Updated: Feb 26
Whether we are introverts, extroverts or ambiverts we all desire to be great conversationalists. We all want to be great to talk to, want to be known for our conversational skills as it also reflects our intellectual level. Great conversation is all about connecting well with others, having fun, and giving others a feeling of time well spent. If we can master the art of good conversation we will: be able to impress others, be liked by others and seldom feel left out or lonely at social gatherings.
According to the World Economic Forum, Communication is one of the top ten 21st century skills and a good conversation is an important part of communication especially, when the success of businesses and individuals depend largely upon their network, yet conversational competence is one of the most overlooked aspects of communication.
When we say conversation, it means face to face, 3D interaction with others and not written communication, though it does include telephonic and video conversations, be it with your business partners, customers, clients, community members, employees, seniors, other stakeholders or even your neighbours, children, friends, parents, etc.
Why to converse:
Good conversational skills help us to:
1) Improve our likeability quotient
2) Build our credibility
3) Increase our impact and impress others
4) Close the deals
5) Sell our product or service
6) Build relationships
7) Know others better
8) Understand the environment, and
9) Crack interviews
How to develop good conversational skills:
In order to hold a good conversation you need have some idea of interesting topics on different subjects and diverse fields, you should:
1) Read newspaper to stay updated with current affairs and the editorial to understand various topics of importance.
2) Read magazines to know about latest trends and contemporary issues.
3) Watch infotainment programs and news.
How to converse:
While engaging in a conversation one must be very careful in choosing a topic of discussion to avoid offending anyone or any kind of controversy. You should:
1) Choose a topic according to the occasion. At celebratory functions choose light-hearted topics rather than something like war, economy or politics.
2) Choose a topic according to the interest of the group. Like, with a group of youngsters you can discuss sports, fashion, movies, career or lifestyle.
3) Listen to others enthusiastically, even if you know about the topic. Good conversation is about balancing between speaking and listening.
4) Give everyone a chance to speak once you have started a topic, do not just carry on
5) Engage everyone in the conversation. Encourage people who are shy to speak by asking them their opinion and commend them for their participation
Things to avoid:
1) Sarcasm, vulgar jokes and poor in taste humour
2) Gossiping and backbiting
4) Showing off of superior knowledge and not giving others a chance to speak
5) Forcing people to agree with you, that is, not respecting other people’s opinion
6) Rudeness or aggression in the tone
7) Interrupting others
Apart from the above points one must also take care of the tone, pitch, clarity of voice, body language and posture to make an impact while conversing.