The Art of Conversation


I can talk.   A lot.  I have never found it difficult.  There will be no awkward silences when I’m around, oh no.  I can guarantee to fill the empty ‘space’ with words.

Possibly, I talk too much.  Well, ok, yes I know I talk to much.  I can’t help it.  My mother talks too much and so does my sister.  It’s genetic. 

Funnily enough my occupation involves me listening so you might think I am not very good at my job but I do know when to be quiet if I have to.

I have friends (and indeed a partner) who do not like to talk much.   Some are just not people of many words, for others, it is a confidence thing and for some, they just do not understand the art of conversation.

So, as is my way, here is yet another one of my ‘How to do it’ posts:

1. Be interested in other people.  If you are genuinely interested, you should be curious.

2. Ask questions.  Any questions will do but don’t get too personal.  General stuff about where they have lived, what they do, how long for, is usually safe.  Be aware of the context of your questions.

3. Don’t ask ‘closed questions’ – that is, questions that will only elicit a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.  That kills a conversation dead!

4. Take your turn.  When the question is answered, follow it up with your own answer to that question.

5. Plan ahead.  If you know you are going somewhere that you might be required to be sociable, have a few topics up your sleeve to whisk out if the conversation dries up.

6. Most people have a tale to tell, so prepare a story in case you are asked.

7. Don’t worry about what other people think of you.  You’re really not that boring!

8. If you are that boring, well, make it up.

9. Don’t drink copious amounts of alcohol – it doesn’t enhance your social skills, it just makes you say silly things.  Or slur. Or fall over. Hic.

10. If you really don’t like talking, nod a lot, smile, and offer to get the drinks in (and watch other people slur or fall over).

So, there you have it.  How to talk in ten easy steps.

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