And more enjoyable person to speak with
By: Barron Boon
The internet-driven world that we live in these days has made communication easier than ever before. With an instant access to a wide range of tools, conveying your thoughts and feelings to a global audience in real time has become much easier and quicker. As a result of this trend, most of us now face various challenges when it comes to face-to-face communication.
Here is a list of 10 handy tips and tricks that can help you become an effective conversationalist in no time and help you break the interpersonal “walls” and establish new relationships with great ease.
- Focus On Understanding, Not On Replying
According to Stephen Covey, author of the bestseller “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”:
“Majority of people do not listen with an intention to understanding what is being conveyed rather they listen with the intent to reply”. Most of us are not even aware that we possess this character attribute; therefore we do not pay any attention to it.
Instead of paying our undivided attention to the speaker and formulating our response, we jump to the conclusion in the midway and put together a response or a follow-up question, this is the wrong approach. We should rather let the speaker fully convey his/her message before making our mind, this is the right approach.
It is therefore rightly stated that you have to become a good listener in order to become an effective communicator.
- Do Not Compare Your Experiences With Others
Always keep in mind that experiences are never the same, so never compare your experiences with others in any situation. If someone shares a bad story, never start taking about your bad stories. Although it may sound like that you are showing your empathy, in reality, it may be perceived as a dismissal of other person’s experiences. So instead of sharing your past experiences it is always a good idea to provide your support through your actions and words.
- Avoid Distractions
You may be good at multitasking in your office or school, but this kind of attitude can prove to be a killer during a conversation. Always try to keep your mobile phone and other such devices at bay and clear your mind of any distracting thoughts when you are in conversation with others.
This kind of behavior has flourished in our culture ever since we have started using those smartphones and smart devices. Next time you speak with your family members or your close friends, be mindful and pay more focus on the conversation rather than on your mobile phone, the speaker may think you are taking him/her for granted.
- Be Attentive
Once you have put all the distractions aside and cleared your mind, you need to be attentive and focus more on the conversation. Most of us have the tendency to shift our focus from one point to another even when there are no reasonable external stimulants to distract our mind. If you want to become an effective communicator, you need to try to block all those sidetracks and steer your full focus and attention to the speaker. This kind of behavior will reflect your attentiveness and the speaker will treat you as an excellent conversation partner.
- Be Assertive
If you want to be seen as an effective conservationist, you need to start using superlatives when narrating an opinion or sharing an experience. This will register you as a captivating storyteller in the mind of the listeners.
For example, instead of using the words “have a beer please”, you can use the phrase “here’s your glass of liquid courage”, such reminiscent phrases can put your audience on the edge of their seats.
- Be In Control Of Your Speed
Under certain circumstances, most of us stumble upon our words or rush through them as we try to string a sentence together. This is especially true when emotions get in the way. On the other hand, some of us maintain a steady speed while talking; this can result in a predictable vocal pattern. Both of these situations can be annoying to the other party and force them “switch off” without issuing any notice.
In order to become a great conservationist, you need to learn how to change your speed on the fly, and how to tailor your delivery to maintain the interest of your audience. Next time you are in a conversation with someone, try to slow down your speed when you are about to say something important, or make a momentary pause when you want the other party to reflect.
- Use The Power Of Open Ended Questions
In order to become an excellent conservationist, you need to ask open-ended questions. For a short question like “how’s work”, you can always expect the same short reply “It’s okay”. So, instead of asking such short questions, you need to relate the question to something that the person mentioned in the past. Following is a good example of using open-ended questions:
“You said something about too much workload in your office last time we met, how are things coming along now?”
Open-ended questions like these show your interest in other person’s life and you can always expect a better and elaborate reply.
- Be Open To Learn
Bill Nye, a famous TV personality and a beloved scientist is widely accredited with the phrase, “everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t“. You need to keep this important point in mind while having a conversation with someone, especially if it is your first encounter with that person. You need to treat every conversation as an opportunity to learn.
- Never Put Yourself Ahead Of Others
You should always avoid dominating a conversation with your personal experiences and achievements unless you are asked to. For example, if your colleague tells you about a recent promotion, you should congratulate him/her wholeheartedly instead of highlighting your own progress and telling that you also deserve a promotion.
Highlighting your own achievements and personal experiences when someone tells you about their achievements will not put your in high regards in their eyes, so it is better to let them have their moment and share you genuine joy with them.
- Body Language
Last but not the least, it is our body language that gives away a lot of information about how we feel about and perceive the other party. You cannot become an excellent conservationist without learning the science of body language.
Always face the other party square-one, move your face, your torso and toes towards your conversation partner and maintain eye-contact, this will show that you and your body is fully invested in the conversation. Use your hand gestures to emphasize some points and make your conversation more convincing.
Now that you have a good idea of what it takes to become an effective conservationist, go out there and orate your way to a great success!