Conversation Skills For Social and Business Success

by Percival J. Meris on September 20, 2009

Conversation Skills For Social and Business Success

DO YOU SOMETIMES FEEL SOME ANXIETIES IN CERTAIN SOCIAL SITUATIONS? Everyone, even the most outgoing person, does. Some even avoid social interactions altogether. Others merely hide their shyness. If you fall under any of these two extremes – or somewhere in between – making simple conversation can become quite a difficulty.

Conversation is a basic foundation for social interaction and communication. Regardless of your degree of social anxiety, you need to improve on your conversation skills. Deficiency means paying the price socially, academically, and financially. It means isolation and missed opportunities in love, business, and other areas of your life. Conversation skills can change your life indeed, but without it, nothing will happen.

Why Develop Your Conversation Skills

Conversation skills could literally transform your life. People could become successful not necessarily because they are smart or good-looking but because they are skillful in communicating with other people.

Master the art of conversation if you want to succeed in your social and business life. The rewards could well be worth your efforts.

With facility in this respect, you will find it easier to get other people see your point of view and acquire what you want from them. You will make new friends, and elevate existing relationships to more intimate levels. You will earn other people’s respect and admiration, and gain supreme confidence in yourself.

You will become an invaluable asset to your company. You will gain the general goodwill of coworkers, as well as clients. You will be way ahead of your colleagues, even if you have less experience and technical skills than they. Communication skills will contribute to your career growth, and give you a better chance of getting a promotion.

How to Enhance Your Conversation Skills

The art of conversation is not difficult, but it takes some practice to master it. Regardless of how poor your conversation skills are now, you can make substantial progress if you apply these basic principles:

Show Genuine Interest in the Other Person

The person whom you will speak with is more interested in himself than in you. Therefore, shift your focus of conversation to him. Talk more about his interests.

Listen twice as much as you talk. Listen not only with your ears but more with your heart.

Pay attention to the details of what he is saying. This will make him feel you are genuinely interested in his ideas. When he sees you are trying to understand him, he will be more willing to get to know you more.

Be Aware of Each Other’s Body Language

The body communicates 80% of conversation messages. To understand how the other person thinks and feels, learn to read his body language. Pay attention to his facial expressions, voice tones and intonations, and bodily gestures. It is not difficult to interpret what these signs mean.

Be aware of your own body language, too. Match this with his. Your own body language will reveal the real you, and eventually make or break your statements.

Understanding body language will give you emotional awareness. Conduct your exchange accordingly. The success of your conversation is highly dependent on this.

Learn to Use Words Properly

Words are critical to the success and failure of any conversation. They define how the person you are speaking with will react to you. They can soothe or hurt. They can build or destroy. They are a powerful tool. Use them with a view to achieve positive outcomes.

If the person you are conversing with does not know you, he can misconstrue your play of words. Words used in humor or sarcasm with close friends may not be well received by mere acquaintances or strangers. Choose words according to the nature and level of your relationship and familiarity.

Adjust your language to the level of the person in conversation. Speak to be understood. Use simple, understandable everyday words that fit the true meanings of your ideas. Pronounce them correctly, and articulate them clearly.

Know What to Talk About

There are so many things to talk about really, but conversations are not as easy to initiate as to sustain.

So, always have conversation starters ready. After a brief self-introduction (if talking to a stranger), ask a question or make a comment that invites response. When conversation comes to a standstill, propel the exchange forward by fueling it with questions that request for clarification or invite additional information.

Always talk about topics that interest the other person. For this purpose, strive to broaden your knowledge so as to be able to converse with people of diverse interests.

Avoid arguments, especially if they could lead to weakening of relationship. Otherwise, keep argumentations on the cerebral level and do not be personally emotional about it.

There are times when you will meet people who refuse to open up. Never allow such unresponsiveness to dishearten you into silence! In cases like this, just walk away nicely, and meet another person.

Recommendation for Further Learning

The art of conversation is really a matter of knowing how to approach other people, ask the right questions, and keep a conversation going. It is also knowing how much you should reveal about yourself. Master this art by enrolling in courses or reading books to help enhance or refresh this skill in you. Public speaking classes can help you gain social confidence. A good book on this subject can be your constant guide.

The one I recommend is How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationshipsconversation. Here, you will learn how to meet people with ease, and feel comfortable with any group you have little in common with. You will learn how to use body language to captivate your audience, and always come across confident, credible, and charismatic during the dialogue.


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