How to Improve Our Conversational Skills

Written by Do I Editorial

We humans have the invariable need to communicate with others through different means – verbal, written or by using signals. Communication is the very basis through which we connect with people and build lasting relationships. Everyone can hold a basic conversation and convey his/her needs or views but very few individuals have the flair to be a charismatic and smooth talking. There are only a handful of people who can actually hold an interesting conversation and the rest of us are always drawn to them like bees to honey, mesmerized by their charm,  hanging on to each word they say and secretly desiring to be able to weave the magic of words just like them!  The art of carrying out interesting conversations is something which comes naturally to a few; thankfully it is not something which cannot be improved and attained with a little hard work and some effort.

Typically, people are always in a hurry to finish off what they have started, be it their food or work or even their words. Don’t be in a mad rush to rattle out what you have to say. Take your time, reflect on what you are about to say, organize your thoughts properly and say it out loud and clear. When you are trying to run a marathon of words no one is able to follow your chain of thoughts; as a result you lose your point and are viewed as a nervous and incoherent individual. But when you take your time and speak at a slower pace, the listeners get time to hear and process your thoughts – this makes you come off as a centered and collected person.  But also remember that there is a hairline difference between a spellbinding and lullaby effect! About 100-120 words a minute is considered a good enough speed.

Conversation is not about just one-sided talking. It’s a proper balance of exchanging ideas, views and opinions. A good conversationalist knows when to talk and when to keep quiet. Although it’s an easy piece of advice, very often it takes many years for a person to master this trait. Conversation is 50% talking and 50% listening.  A good speaker is always an avid and patient listener. Be genuinely interested in what others have to say, pay attention to their views and opinions and respect their ideas. A friendly body language and a disarming smile add to the entire appeal of a good communicator. Everyone loves to talk, they always want someone to hear them out and respect their opinions. Be the one they are looking out for, ask for their views and appreciate and empathize with them; this helps in creating a common bond and invokes interest in the listeners about what you have to say.

It is very important to hold eye contact when you are speaking. Most of the people hold eye contact for two-thirds of the time they are talking or even less. To be able to hold eye contact a little more than that is a good practice. It conveys a strong and confident personality who is interested in interacting and mingling with the listeners.  While speaking, you must constantly read your listener’s body language and assess how you are being received. It may seem like an obvious thing to do. But more often than not, we tend to enter the safe zone of our own thoughts while talking rather than assessing what impact it is having on the audience.

In modern times, you hardly get to meet people who are comfortable revealing their true emotions and expressing how certain things make them feel, especially around strangers. Yet this way of talking is a highly desirable quality. Do not just present impersonal and cold facts – you are not a newspaper. Convey how those things make you feel. Remember, it is the emotional pitch to which people connect best.  Always appreciate interesting things that catch your eyes. Be alert, keep your eyes open and give genuine but unique compliments.  Anyone can give customary compliments to try and get appreciated. But a charismatic person will be able to look beyond the general façade and discover distinctive traits and thus pay exclusive compliments. This not only wins hearts but may also make others realize their own uniqueness.

The ability to talk smoothly has a lot to do with using the correct and precise words to convey the precise feeling or thought. Constantly work on improving your vocabulary and practice communicating as accurately as possible. But remember not to use too many complex or complicated words or you will be written-off as arrogant and snobbish. However, developing a vocabulary helps you get your way with words and allows you to express yourself comfortably.

The usage of words also has a great impact on your conversations. Try using positive and encouraging words while talking. Quite often, when people talk, the conversation turns into dark and menacing gossip sessions leaving you heavy and drained. Try making inspiring and optimistic conversations which touch the heart of the listeners. But be careful not to being an impractical and moralistic lecturer when talking on sensitive and emotional issues. Do not try to be a hero always. Sometimes it is fine not to have all the solutions and answers on the topic of discussion. Know when to talk and how much.

In the world of today, where presentation pays a key role in a person’s success, developing effective communication skills is very vital. An efficient conversation skill is a highly important characteristic for anyone who wants to achieve success working with others or meeting new people. Communication skills are not something you can’t improve on. A little time, hard work and focus can take you to heights you have never dreamed of. There is virtually no limit to which you can develop these fine interpersonal skills. Conquering your fears, shedding your shyness and stepping out of your shell are important for a healthy and vibrant lifestyle. Life is meant to be rejoiced and shared with others, not for being sad, afraid and alone!

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