Why is it so hard to talk to people?
In a world that is now always connected, oddly enough, we’re communicating all the time. But living in the era of direct messages, live video, tweets, emails, and texts, it’s becoming harder and harder to just talk to each other.
The sad thing is, a conversation is an art that’s needed more now than ever, especially living in the new norm of COVID19.
“Deep conversations with the right people are priceless.”
To truly get ahead in business or your personal life, at some point, you need to know how to talk to other people using something more than text on a screen.
If making conversation is intimidating to you, then use these tips to master the art of being able to talk to anyone, anywhere.
Ask More Provocative Questions
Rather than asking questions that can be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ try asking questions that require the respondent to put some thought into their answers.
For example, if you’re in a networking situation, learn something about the people you’re going to meet. Prepare ahead of time by doing some research prior and jot down some thought-provoking questions that will spark engagement.
“Nothing compares to a beautiful conversation with a beautiful mind.”
Being able to ask specifically about a new project they’re developing leads to better and more interesting answers than a question along the lines of, “What’s new in your company” which is too broad to answer well.
What are they hoping to take away from the event? Perhaps, there is an opportunity for you to connect them to someone they wish to meet at the event. The point is to ask questions that keep the conversation going.
Forget the Weather
The tendency of falling back on the weather as a topic of conversation is both tedious and a death knell to the interaction."Conversation is food for the soul." – Proverb Click To Tweet
Turn weather talks back around by asking a related question but also redirect the conversation at the same time, such as, “You’re right, it’s been pretty hot out. It makes me think of heading somewhere cooler. Tell me, where did you go on the best vacation you’ve ever had?”
See how the weather question leads them now to think about the best place they've ever visited? Chances are, their response will lead the conversation even deeper.
Learn the Power of Adding On
This is a pretty simple technique where you take what someone else has said and add something to it, adding a question at the end.
This helps to keep things rolling even if someone else has stopped the conversation cold with a yes/no question or something about the weather.
For example, if you’re asked if you saw the game last night, you might say, “Yes, that play at the end was really something. It reminded me of a time when I went to see them play in person. Tell me, what’s the best game you ever saw?”
Pay Attention to the Details
Stay alert and become the person who notices when the conversation is going south. Be ready to jump in with a question or a new topic when you see people are getting uncomfortable with the situation."Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters." Click To Tweet
For a quick fix, pay a compliment. It puts the focus on someone else entirely and provides a handy distraction.
Becoming a great conversationalist will become more natural with practice.
Remember, the important thing is to relax, and be your friendly, personable self. By paying attention to the discussion and taking some care in choosing your words, you’ll find yourself having a great conversation in no time.
What hurdles do you encounter in your conversations that you'd like help with overcoming? Let me know in the comments below.
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