The art of conversation takes practice, but is not as hard as
you might think. With some patience and these steps, you can
learn to relax and enjoy a great conversation.

1. Be confident.

Being around confident people makes you feel good, for example
having a confident boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or a
friend makes you feel better and amazing so what you need to do
everyday is remind yourself of how amazing and beautiful you are,
and how good you are at talking with others, this is the key to

2. Find out about the person you'll be talking to before you
actually talk to them, if you can.

If it's someone who you work with, or go to school with, look
at their department website and see if a person on social
networks before talking to them for the first time is not okay!)
The information you get can be good for starting conversations:

"I was looking at the biochemistry department website and saw
that you're working on a pretty interesting thesis! How'd you
come to choose that topic?""I saw on the office memo that
you're working on the outreach project for local schools. How's
that going?""Milly here told me that you went skydiving!"

3. Ask questions.

What do they like to do? What sort of things have they done in
their lives? What is happening to them now? What did they do
today or last weekend? Identify things about them that you might
be interested in hearing about, and politely ask questions.
Remember, there was a reason that you wanted to talk to them,
so obviously there was something about them that you found
interesting. However, try to space out your questions or they'll
feel like you're interrogating them which is very bad and closes
off friendships.

See How to Come Up with Good Conversation Topics for ideas.

Ask clarifying questions. If the topic seems to be one they are
interested in, ask them to clarify what they think or feel about
it. If they are talking about an occupation or activity you do
not understand, take the opportunity to learn from them. Everyone
loves having a chance to teach another willing and interested
person about their hobby or subject of expertise.

Try to get them talking about something they enjoy thinking about
and something that you're interested in hearing or else the
conversation isn't fulfilling and one of you will feel unsatisfied
with it.

Make sure you don't be too creepy asking questions. Nothing personal,
or they will think different of you.

4. Listen.

This is the most important part of any conversation. Pay attention
to what is being said. Make acknowledging noises or movements to
indicate that you are still listening. A conversation will go
nowhere if you are too busy thinking of anything else, including
what you plan to say next. If you listen well, the other person's
statements will suggest questions for you to ask. Allow the other
person to do most of the talking. They will often not realize that
it was they who did most of the talking, and you get the credit for
being a good conversationalist - which of course, you are!

Practice active listening skills. Part of listening is letting the
other person know that you are listening. Make eye contact. Nod.
Say "Yes," "I see," "That's interesting," or something similar to
give them clues that you are paying attention and not thinking about
something else - such as what you are going to say next.

Paraphrase back what you have heard, using your own words. This seems
like an easy skill to learn, but takes some practice to master.
Conversation happens in turns, each person taking a turn to listen and
a turn to speak or to respond. It shows respect for the other person
when you use your "speaking turn" to show you have been listening and
not just to say something new. They then have a chance to correct your
understanding, affirm it, or embellish on it.

5. Consider your response before disagreeing.

If the point was not important, ignore it rather than risk appearing
argumentative. On the other hand, agreeing with everything can kill a
conversation just as easily as disagreeing with everything. When
pointing out your difference of opinion, remember these points:

Agree with something they said (state common ground) before disagreeing.

Try to omit the word "but" from your conversation when disagreeing, as
this word often puts people on the defensive. Instead, try substituting
the word "and"--it has less of an antagonistic effect.

Playing devil's advocate (pretending to defend the opposite point of view)
can be a good way to keep the conversation going, but if you overuse this
technique, you could end up appearing hostile.

Don't manipulate the talk to serve your own agenda and steam-roll your
counterpart. If you come away from the conversation feeling full of
yourself, you used the occasion to show off your wit and knowledge.
Try to keep from using a conversation to boost your ego.

6. Do not panic over lulls.

This is a point where you could easily inject your thoughts into the
discussion. If the topic seems to have run out, use the pause to think
for a moment and identify another conversation topic or question to
ask them. Did something they said remind you of something else you have
heard, something that happened to you, or bring up a question or topic
in your mind? Mention it and you'll transition smoothly into further

7. Remember that sometimes if a conversation isn't going well, it might
not be your fault.

Sometimes the other person is distracted/lost in thought, isn't willing
to contribute, or is having a bad day. If they don't speak or listen,
then they are the ones not using good conversation skills, not you. But
in any case, it's still a good idea to strive to do your part as a good

8. Know when the conversation is over.

Even the best conversations will eventually run out of steam or be ended
by an interruption. Smile if you're leaving, tell them it was nice talking
to them, and say goodbye. Ending on a positive note will leave a good

How to Have a Great Conversation




Many people find it hard to come up with good conversation topics.


Find out what your conversation partner is interested in. Sometimes
this is hard to do, but is not impossible. The best way to do this
is by looking at their clothing and their eyes. By doing this, you
may be able to tell what type of person they are, and if they are
shy or not.

Choose a topic that holds your interest, and that you know a lot
about. You want to be secure in what you are saying to the other
person. You want them to see that confidence, and to feel at ease
with you rather than you passing your nervousness onto them. Not
to mention, picking a topic that you know a lot about will make
them perceive you to be more intelligent, and more of a leader.

Come up with something that you and the people surrounding you
might have in common. A lot of good conversations start on so-called
“common ground”. Sometimes even the smallest things like you both
liking the same food, the same music, and etc, can help you to be able
to start a conversation that lasts for hours on end. It helps you to
come up with lots of good conversation topics. Another good thing is
sometimes you can learn from each other when one might have strong
points, where the other one does not.

A good way of starting the conversation is by complimenting them;
for example, "Ooh I love your dress! Where did you get it from?"
This gets the conversation going and the person can't just say
"yes" or "no".

Remember you'll never run out of things to say, as long as you're
curious about something.

How to Come up With Good Conversation Topics




How to Have a Great Conversation

Come Up with Good Conversation Topics

Have a Witty Conversation

Start a Conversation when You Have Nothing to Talk About

Join a Conversation

How to Clarify Thoughts

How to Kick People Out Politely

How to Answer the Question What are you Thinking

How to Keep the Conversation Flowing with a Girl (for Guys)

Great Conversation Topic Examples

Sample Conversation Starters

Sample List of Questions

How to End a Conversation With a Girl

How to Keep a Conversation Going Without Sounding Stupid

How to Get With Any Girl (No Matter What You Look Like)

How to Flirt

How to Make That Special Girl Like You Back

How to Talk to a Girl You Like for the First Time

Great Conversation Topic Examples




The Rules

I don’t have many rules in this life, for conversation or anything;
but when it comes to approaching strangers,
there are a few I’d like used.

•1. Be polite. Within context, don’t be a creepy, arrogant
loudmouth or anything. Acknowledge that you are in the
company of strangers and don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable.
First impressions mean something.

•2. Keep it light. Don’t launch into a heartfelt rant or a
story of tragedy. We’re out to have fun.

•3. Don’t be a prude. This just means relax. This isn’t a
science and conversation isn’t a fine art. Talk to people
like you’re already friends.

•4. Be honest. Be yourself. People can tell.

Who To Talk To?

I’m of the ilk that likes to talk to everyone and anyone.
Everyone has a story and good personalities. Some are harder
to get to than others, but if you’re on a people-finding
excursion, like I usually am, then everyone is pretty much
fair game.

That said, if you’re out at a function and you want to build
a network of people in your niche, you will want to distinguish
those people from the others. Find the ‘leaders’ in a group of
people or ask around for what you’re looking for.

In a more general environment, like at a bar, you will want to
do the same sort of thing. Acknowledge what you actually want
and try to distinguish suitable people. Once you find someone,
or a group of people, that you want to meet and talk to, hop
to it.

Think of a few things you might have in common. What did you
notice about their dress sense?

Topics Of Conversation

Other than confidence, the next thing people who have trouble
initiating conversations lack is conversation! So here are a
few tips to get the ball rolling.

•1. Small talk sucks. It’s boring and a lot of people already
begin to zone out when questions like, “What do you do?” or
“What’s with this weather?” come up. Just skip it.

•2. Everything is fair game. If you are in the company of someone
and a thought strikes you, share it. “This drink is garbage! What
are you drinking?” “Where did you get that outfit?”

•3. Opinions matter. This is any easy way to hit the ground running
in conversation. Everyone has one, and when you share yours, another
will reveal itself. The great thing about this line of thought is
that you are instantly learning about the other person and what they
like, dislike etc.

•4. Environment. The place you’re in is full of things to comment on.
The DJ, band, fashions; start talking about what you see.

•5. Current Events. Unless it’s something accessible or light-hearted,
forget it. Don’t launch into your opinion on the war. If your city has
recently put a ban on smoking inside venues, like mine has, ask what
they think about it.

•6. Speaking of smoking. If you are a smoker in such a city, you are
in luck. Although there is the inconvenience of being ostracized outside
to smoke, you are instantly thrust into a group of like-minded people.
Consider this possibly the easiest forum for flirtation and new

How To Initiate Conversation




The ability to connect with people through small talk is an acquired skill.

1. As you prepare for a function, come up with three things to talk about
as well as four generic questions that will get others talking. If you've
met the host before, try to remember things about her, such as her passion
for a sport or a charity you're both involved in.

2. Be the first to say "hello." If you're not sure the other person will
remember you, offer your name to ease the pressure. For example, "Charles
Bartlett? Lynn Schmidt... good to see you again." Smile first and always
shake hands when you meet someone.

3. Take your time during introductions. Make an extra effort to remember
names and use them frequently.

4. Get the other person talking by leading with a common ground statement
regarding the event or location and then asking a related open-ended
question. For example, "Attendance looks higher than last year, how long
have you been coming to these conventions?" You can also ask them about
their trip in or how they know the host.

5. Stay focused on your conversational partner by actively listening and
giving feedback. Maintain eye contact. Never glance around the room while
they are talking to you.

6. Listen more than you talk.

7. Have something interesting to contribute. Keeping abreast of current
events and culture will provide you with great conversation builders,
leading with "What do you think of...?" Have you heard...?" What is your
take on...?" Stay away from negative or controversial topics, and refrain
from long-winded stories or giving a lot of detail in casual conversation.

8. If there are people you especially want to meet, one of the best ways
to approach them is to be introduced by someone they respect. Ask a mutual
friend to do the honors.

9. If someone hands you a business card, accept it as a gift. Hold it in
both hands and take a moment to read what is written on it. When you're
done, put it away in a shirt pocket, purse or wallet to show it is valued.

10. Watch your body language. People who look ill at ease make others
uncomfortable. Act confident and comfortable, even when you're not.

11. Before entering into a conversation that's already in progress, observe
and listen. You don't want to squash the dynamics with an unsuited or
ill-timed remark.

12. Have a few exit lines ready, so that you can both gracefully move on.
For example, "I need to check in with a client over there," "I skipped
lunch today, so I need to visit the buffet," or you can offer to refresh
their drink.

When should you exit a conversation? According to Susan RoAne, author and
speaker known as the "Mingling Maven," your objective in all encounters
should be to make a good impression and leave people wanting more. To do
that, she advises: "Be bright. Be brief. Be gone."

12 Tips for Making Small Talk / Article / CB-482-Getting-Ahead-12- /




There are certain conversations all leaders dread: the ones in
which we have to deliver bad news, discuss a sensitive or
"political" subject, or talk about a project or meeting that's
gone wrong.

The mere thought of having these difficult conversations fills
you with anxiety, and distracts you from other work. You don't
want to play the bad guy, and or have the situation to blow up
in your face. As much as it's tempting, you don't want to just
avoid the whole mess, either. You want to take charge and talk
about it - effectively. But how?

Here are some of my favorite, action-oriented tips:

1. Keep your goals realistic. You can't ever eliminate the stress
you'll feel around telling your supplier you're cutting back, but
you can reduce it. Spend your energy on preparation - focus on
developing your specific script.

2. Give bad news upfront. Tough messages should be simply and
clearly stated in the first sentence.

3. Adopt the "And Stance". Take control of the conversation by
pre-empting distractions, objections and blame by using "and".
"I know you worked all night, and I know you want to do well,
and I know you just joined the company, and I know the graphics
people sometimes get the data wrong, and I know I could have
been clearer in my directions to you...." And, and, and.

4. Get out of the "blame frame." Each person involved in the
situation has a different objective story about what happened.
Your goal is not to judge who's right and wrong, it's to manage
to better outcomes in the future.

5. Paraphrase. To create clarity and to let people know you're
genuinely listening, summarize what they're telling you -- and
ask them to do the same.

6. Be prepared for bad reactions. Finger-pointing, denial,
arguments and tears are all possible outcomes of tough
conversations. You cannot control the other person's
reactions, but you can anticipate them, and be emotionally

7. Pretend it's 3 months or 10 years from now. Put the difficult
conversation in perspective by thinking about the future. The
conversations that are hardest right now will seem less daunting.

What kind of difficult conversations are you grappling with -
and how are you dealing with them successfully.

7 Tips for Difficult Conversations




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