Improve Your Conversation Skills with These Tips
Updated: Apr 17
Your intent is much more important than your technique. In fact, not being too polished is usually interpreted as being genuine, original. So use your natural personality and incorporate some of these easy skills into your next conversation.
Address people by their name. It has been said that hearing one’s own name is the sweetest sound on earth.
Genuinely smile at the person you are addressing. This is the most powerful thing you can do to make someone feel good about the discussion they are having with you. It is hard to smile when you are feeling stressed, so relax and have confidence that you know what to say and do and just be yourself.
Seek first to understand the person and their perspective. When people feel understood they extend trust to the one that does the understanding. If you can leave someone feeling understood, you have created a strong relationship based on trust.
The greatest conversational tool is the question. Make some mental notes about possible topics to ask someone about (for example: the primary purpose you are both together, explore their hobbies away from work, and family).
Get comfortable with silence. Don’t rush the conversation because there is dead-air. Letting someone talk at their own pace and cadence instills comfort.
Flattery will get you everywhere. A sincere compliment makes people feel good about themselves and by natural law associates you with that positive emotion. Look for areas that you think are important to them, register with you (eye of the beholder) as worthy of praise, and perhaps not so noticeable to the masses. Compliments about their children or their friendliness towards others will make an imprint . . . if genuine.
Do use gestures. People like to see the real person, so be aware and use body language to fully communicate.
Next step? Try some or all of these in your very next conversation. The more you practice them, the more of a habit they will become for you.
Andy Robinson, Executive Coach
"Helping CEO's and executives maximize their influence and impact."