Knowing how to start a conversation and how to make conversation gives you the winning edge in almost any situation with people.
And learning how to make conversation can be simple, satisfying and very rewarding.
Here’s why. Studies show understanding how to start a conversation and becoming a good conversationalist by developing your communication skills is far more important than getting good grades in school.
That’s right, you’d be smarter to learn how to make good conversation.
Research at Stanford Business School showed the most successful graduates weren’t those with the best grade point averages. The most successful were the ones best at making good conversation.
Learning How to Start a Conversation
You weren’t born knowing how to talk. You had to learn. And you weren’t born knowing how to make conversation. You have to learn that too.
But getting good at starting and making conversation just takes practice.
When you start a conversation with someone you don’t know, realize they’re probably feeling just as awkward and tongue-tied as you are.
And if they’re not, they’ll more than likely have the good manners to be gracious. So be willing to have some fun, jump right in and be the first one to speak up. You have a great deal to gain and little to lose.
To break the ice with someone, you could make a positive remark about the room, the food, the guest of honor or you can point out something positive about what the other person is doing, saying or wearing.
Then you could give them a friendly, upbeat, sincere compliment.
Be willing to chat about the weather, sports, movies, pets or children. Use enthusiasm to communicate that you’re pleased to meet them.
Once you’ve broken the ice, ask a closed-end question. Are you…? Do you…? Who…? Where…? Which…? And then continue with open-ended questions. What do you think…? How…? What…? or Why…?
Learning How to Make Good Conversation
You’ll know what to say next if you’re listening carefully to what the other person is saying and expressing to you – facts, feelings and opinions.
Your job is to get to know them and respond with sincere interest.
But be sure to avoid risky topics like politics or religion. And don’t ever argue with anyone about anything – even if you vehemently disagree. Feel free to change the subject whenever you feel it’s necessary.
It’s also important to occasionally share some positive, upbeat personal information. But be sure not to talk too much about yourself.
Focus on finding out about the other person and getting to know them.
Here’s the bottom line. If you want other people to be interested in you, just express genuine interest in them. If you succeed in doing this, they’ll more than likely end up thinking that you’re absolutely fascinating.
Pay special attention to noticing when the other person is ready to move on. And always end each conversation gracefully on a positive note.
Smile, pay a sincere compliment and use their name, “It was fun talking with you, John. I hope to seeing you again sometime.”
Good Conversation Takes Good Practice
To learn how to start a conversation, just follow these simple guidelines and practice, practice, practice. Role playing with a friend gives you a chance to master your how to make conversation skills.
After all, developing good communication skills could possibly get you further than an MBA or Ph.D. from Stanford.
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