How to be a Great Conversationalist
The most important item to start with when starting a conversation is a smile. You want people to feel comfortable with you. Remember that all manners are, is the ability to make people feel comfortable.
There are two things to remember in order to be a good conversationalist:
Be thoughtful don’t go on talking about something the other person has no interest in. Ask yourself would the other person be interested in what you have to
When starting a conversation, asking is always better then telling. A good way
to break the ice is to ask a question.
At school: Whose class are you in? How did you do on the test?
At a party: Where do you go to school? What did you do over the summer?
If someone asks you a question it is your job to respond with a reasonable answer.
A simple yes or no turns off the conversation. Answer the question then ask them one in return.
Clues to making Conversation F O R M
F Family – Ask people about parents, children, brothers, sisters or pets.
O Occupation – Ask what they do or what they like best. What they are studying?
R Recreation – What do they like to do for fun?
M Motivation – What motivates them in life? What is their favorite thing to do?
Other successful conversation topics are:
Current events, Congratulations, Good news, Cultural events, sports.
Topics to avoid:
Gossip, politics, religion, medical conditions, anything gross or uncomfortable.
People try desperately to think of what to say next that they barely hear a word the other person is saying. This is especially true during introductions when the other person’s name is given but
doesn’t stick. It is important when meeting someone for the first time to use their name three times during the initial conversation so
that it sticks in your brain. Remember to use it again when you are saying goodbye.
Listening is more than not talking. Listening well is an act of generosity. To truly listen to someone is an unselfish act that you perform for the other persons benefit.
How do you learn to listen?
Ask a question, and let that person answer. Really concentrate on what that person is saying. Don’t interrupt or interject comments that shift the attention to you.
Juggling both can be a bit tricky but if you can walk and chew gum at the same time you can manage this!
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"Manners are a sensitive awareness of others. if you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use."
American author on etiquette