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Friday, January 18, 2008

7 Tips to Become A Good Conversationalist

I'm a super social person, so I find it quite easy to strike up a conversation, even with total strangers.

Have you ever noticed how easily children communicate together? They are usually SO happy to talk and play together... and do so without the social strains that us "big kids" do!

(C)2007 Copyright, photo taken by Carolyn J. Clarke. All rights reserved.

How about you? Do you have ease in social contact with others?

Our world has gotten smaller and our proximity to others much closer than it used to be... creating an important need to learn the skill of meaningful sharing with people around us. Here are 7 tips to help develop your conversing ability;

Become a good listener!
Just listen and really hear what the person has to say. Be interested in what that person has to share and listen without pre-planning what you're going to say next. You will become an admired person for being a good listener.
Run a risk and break the ice!
Rather than sit in painful silence with someone, step up and be the first person to speak. Make an observation about something you notice or pay the person a sincere compliment (with the emphasis on sincere!), or ask an open-ended question to break the ice and get some dialogue happening.

Be as interesting as you really are!
Assume that there are things about you that others will find interesting... and share those things... such as the travel you have done, your greatest life achievement so far, a book you're reading and find interesting, etc. Most importantly, share positive things about yourself and your life experience... most people would rather not hear your complaints.

Leave out the personal details of your life!
There are parts of our selves and our lives that are not meant to be shared with just anyone... leave them out of casual social conversations. Discretion is a worthy trait to be aware of in life... it is not wanted or required to expose all of your dirty little secrets to just anyone.

Be curious about the person before you!
Most people enjoy having others curious and asking questions about their lives. Be inquisitive and ask questions that will generate interesting dialogue, but remember that the intent is not to interogate them but rather stir pleasant conversation.

Be aware of your body posture!
Your standing tall and confidently will make a much better impression than if you are slouched or flirty. There are literally only seconds before others make their inner opinion... much of it based on appearance and behaviour.
End the conversation on a high note!
When having these short 2 - 8 minute conversations, be sure to graciously finish the dialogue on an upbeat note before moving on... hopefully a good impression left with each other.

So, go and have fun... step out and be the interesting person that you really are!
I dare you.

Warmly, Carolyn

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