When we are good conversationalists we find anywhere we go the ease of expressing ourselves, to start a conversation with anyone, even with an unknown. We feel the need to interact and dialogue with people to obtain or give information, entertain, motivate, convince, or persuade.
However, there are few who conduct their conversations in a conscious, rational manner, rightly directing them towards the desired objective. Successful handling of a conversation is a true art and, almost if not everything we get in life, depends on our ability to relate and communicate.
The need to talk is present with all those with whom we interact; couples talk to understand each other, children with their parents to express their needs and desires, teachers and their students in the process of educational training, politicians with power groups to support them and potential voters, etc.
The mode of conversation has changed with the evolving society. It has relaxed somewhat with time. Nowadays, it does not seem necessary to master any specific strategy to talk in a particular group situation. Everything is more casual, more natural.
When it comes to conversation, the number-one recipe is naturalness, and respect of other’s interests (even if you are getting bored). An intelligent person also knows when to apologize, is carefully choosing the words to use and of course, has opinions and shares them at the right moment. Never boast, this is not a sign of looking smart.
When meeting someone new, the first thing you should do is smile and show yourself as friendly, authentic and interested as possible. Remember that interest does not mean interesting, and that authentic does not mean excessive familiarity. Make questions. Keep asking questions after the answers. Listen and smile.
Whatever happens, this simple scheme is the key that opens the doors. It helps to break the ice, to make others feel well treated, and it gives you the opportunity to show yourself without opening your mouth excessively. And secondly, use your “inner voice”, keep a modulated tone of voice, neither acute nor serious, neither too loud nor too low.
Confidentiality is the number-one enemy of conversation, apart from danger to your image and that of your acquaintances. Its immediate effect: people run away. Nobody wants to talk about deaths, emotional breakdowns, sexual preferences, or childhood traumas. The details of your diet do not interest either, like any other incident or disorder related to the functioning of your body.
Of course, nothing about personal finances, transgressive or vehemently defended political judgments, although you must be able to express an opinion and argue it firmly if necessary. There is nothing more insubstantial than a person unable to sustain what he thinks naturally. And, lastly, very important, do not think of criticizing, it will give you the image of a bitter, envious, and indiscreet person.
Pros and cons
Skills that a good conversationalist possesses:
- He listens carefully
- He gives good feedback (words and gestures that tell the interlocutor that they are being served and understood)
- He remains on the subject (this shows respect and self-control)
- He asks questions
- He respects others opinions
- He negotiates and reconciles at times of disagreement
- He is tolerant and comprehensive
- He reflects a friendly attitude
The bad conversationalist manifests himself because he:
- Is distracted
- Gives no feed back
- Abruptly changes the subject
- Is too blant
- Is blindly overconfident
- Exhibits dominance or nervousness
- Does not accept other’s opinions
- Accuses other’s
- Talks more than hears
- Body attitude is shy or aggressive
Never forget that a good conversationalist is polite and entertaining, always looks into the eyes, knows perfectly the difference between being direct or too frank, and between assertiveness and aggressiveness, he always says nice things about people who are not present, although he allows himself to be very sincere (but polite) about unpleasant people in private and knows how to end a conversation gracefully.
Highlighting the importance of knowing how to talk is a wise and convenient decision when we are clear about the advantages it generates for human understanding.