The Art of Conversation
Does the thought of meeting new people get you tongue-tied? The best way to become good at conversation is simply to practise. Take every opportunity to learn how to talk to people. Start by saying hello to the people you pass on the street. Ask the postman, or a shop assistant, how they are enjoying their day. Learn to respond with more than just one word when someone asks you a question.
It is important to care about people and the things that they care about. It will be easier to have a decent conversation with someone if you are engaged about the things they are talking about. There is nothing more off-putting than talking with someone that is disinterested in what you are saying.
1. It Is Not All About You
Do not dominate the conversation by telling people how amazing you are. Besides irritating vanity, a constant flow of wit is excessively fatiguing to the listeners.
2. Keep Eye Contact
When addressing anyone, always look at him or her; and if there are several people present, you will please more by directing some portion of your conversation, such as
3. Avoid Lost In Translation
At a dinner party or other intimate social gathering, if there is a foreign person who does not understand the language that is being spoken by everyone present, good breeding requires that the conversation should be repeated in his or her language.
Even amongst your most intimate friends, never address anyone in a language that is not understood by the other people in the group. It is as bad as whispering. At the very least, explain what has been said to the rest of the group.
You should not speak about a private matter that is not known to everyone present. To do so, suggests that they are superfluous. If you wish to address such matters, always explain to others what you are talking about.
5. Start Again If Necessary
If someone joins the group after you have begun a conversation, you should always explain the subject to the newcomer before continuing.
7. Shut The Hell Up
You would be wrong to assume that a good conversation consists of you taking centre-stage and doing all, or most, of the talking. It is actually more important to listen to your companion than hijacking the situation. Flattery is the surefire way to success; and the most sophisticated and gratifying compliment you can pay is to listen.
6. Keep Up To Date
It is indispensable for a conversationalist to be well acquainted with current news and the historical events of the last few years.
8. Hold Back Your Dark Side
If there is anyone in the company who you do not know, avoid dark and wry humour, least you cause offence.