Conversation starters are not much good unless you understand the techniques for becoming a good conversationalist. But, with the right frame of mind and a commitment to practice, learning how to make good conversation can be both fun and easy.
Research shows that developing good communication skills is far more important than getting good grades in school. According to a study at the Stanford University School of Business, the most successful graduates were not the ones with the highest grade point averages. They were the ones most comfortable having friendly conversations with others, particularly strangers.
When you start a conversation with someone you don’t know, it helps to realize that they’re probably feeling just as awkward and tongue-tied as you are. And, if they’re not, then they’ll more than likely have the good manners to be gracious. So, have some fun, jump right in and be the first to speak. You have much to gain and little to lose.
To break the ice, you could make a positive remark about the room, the food, the guest of honor or notice something positive about what the other person is doing, wearing or saying. Then you might offer a sincere compliment. Be friendly, upbeat and enthusiastic. Be willing to chat about the weather, sports, movies, pets or children. The point is to make the other person feel like you’ve been waiting all week to meet them.
Once you’ve broken the ice, follow up with closed-end questions. Are you…? Do you…? Who? Where? Which? Then continue with more open-ended questions. What do you think…? How…? What…? or Why…?
You’ll know what to say next by listening carefully for information the other person is sharing with you – facts, feelings and opinions. Your job is to respond with sincere interest. But be sure to always avoid topics of politics or religion. (You can change the subject, if necessary. ) And, naturally, you would never want to argue about anything, even if you disagree.
When it feels right, be willing to share positive, upbeat personal information, but don’t talk too much about yourself. Stay focused on finding out about and getting to know the other person. The bottom line is, if you want people to find you interesting, all you have to do is genuinely express an interest in them. If you do, they might even leave the conversation thinking you’re one of the most fascinating people they ever met. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Pay special attention to noticing when the other person is ready to move on and always end every exchange gracefully on a positive note. Use their name, pay a sincere compliment when possible and always offer a smile or your hand in friendship – “It was so nice talking with you, John. I look forward to seeing you again sometime. ” Then say a peasant goodbye.
To be a good conversationalist, just follow these simple guidelines and practice. After all, developing good communication skills could possibly get you further than an M. B. A. from Stanford. With practice, you can turn each conversation into a pleasant experience and maybe even an opportunity – the possibilities are unlimited!
Katie Byrd will take you by the hand and teach you the skills she's used to journey from a financially strapped, bad credit nightmare to debt free abundant living. To find out more visit: http://abundanceandwealth.bellaonline.com