How to be a Great Conversationalist
You might think that the most important skill required in order to be a great
conversationalist is linguistic ability or being knowledgeable. You would be wrong.
The most important ability needed to hold a good conversation is listening skill.
Listed below are a few tips to help you become a great conversationalist.
• Maintain eye contact with the person you're listening to.
• Focus on what the other person is trying to communicate, not verbal
or physical speech problems such as an accent or a lisp.
• Don't let yourself be distracted by external occurrences.
• Don't interrupt. Think about how you feel when you are interrupted
before finishing a sentence.
there's a reason why God gave us two ears but only one mouth
• Wait for the speaker to pause before asking clarifying questions.
• When the speaker pauses, don't jump in too soon. That suggests that
you haven't been listening, but instead formulating what you want to say.
• Listen for the main points that the speaker wants to get across.
• Pay attention to discrepancies between what's being said and body language.
Conversation is an exercise of the mind. Gossip is an exercise of the tongue.
• When you speak, don't monopolize the conversation. Make your point
and then pause to give the other person and opportunity to participate in the conversation.
• Don't state a fact or opinion as if it's beyond question. All facts
and opinions are be debatable. Say "I thought ..." or I just read that ...".
• Before changing the topic, listen for a bit longer than normal pause
in the conversation. This indicates that the current topic has run its course and the
other person is ready for a new topic.
• Unless you know the other person very well, keep the topic within
bounds. For example, don't go into the subject of sex with someone you've just met.
• End a conversation politely by implying that it's your fault for
making the conversation too long by saying, for example, "well, I better let you get back
to your work", or "well, I better let you go".
Sometimes you can get involved in a conversation with a person who is dull and
long-winded. Then you are forced to interrupt. To interrupt say "pardon me but I'd like to
respond to something you said" or "pardon me but I'd like to relate a story of my own".
You might be surprised to learn that most people who monopolize a conversation know they
are being discourteous, they just can't help themselves.
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