The reason why most people hesitate to interact with new people and form valuable bonds is that they are unable to start and continue a conversation for long. After 2 minutes of talking to a new person such as a work colleague or new people at a party, people run out of the conversation and there’s an awkward silence. Such situations are embarrassing and uncomfortable. This inability to not initiating new conversations or making a conversation valuable dissuades people to come out of their comfort zone and meet new people.
Not knowing how to make a conversation valuable and long-lasting not only hampers your social life but also restricts a lot of opportunities for you in life. It is imperative to know the art of keeping a conversation going so that you can explore good possibilities for friendship as well as great career prospects.
Stop Holding Yourself Back: The biggest reason why people are unable to make great conversations is that they don’t express themselves properly and hold themselves back. It is a common habit of people to keep filtering their thoughts and hesitate to put their thoughts across the table because of the fear of judgment. We keep on filtering our thoughts and forcing ourselves to utter only those words that can make us sound impressive and interesting. This is where most people go wrong as this tendency kills the ability to make great conversations.
Our mind has an automatic reflex mechanism that asks us to check with ourselves “Would I sound smart and intelligent if I say this?”. You need to come out of this mechanism and train your mind to express yourself more and stress less.
To train yourself, you can start doing it with people you know. Allow yourself to say whatever is on your mind.
Learn New Skills & Polish Existing Ones: Upskilling yourself is not only a necessity to progress in life but also an effective way to initiate good conversations and make valuable connections. If you are not upgrading yourself with new skills or not keeping up with the latest market trends, you will hesitate to start an interesting conversation.
Simply start learning a few new skills so that the new time you join a conversation, you can add value to it. You can learn to cook a continental dish, in-demand excel skills, or work on your interpersonal skills. Anything you learn helps you at some point in life. So make sure you push yourself to learn new skills.
In addition to this, make sure that you are polishing your real-life skills which include observation skills, analytical skills, strategic thinking, and decision-making skills. The best way to do this is by playing skill-based games like poker to polish all these skills valuable in real life. Playing mentally challenging poker games trains your brain to process information faster, read your rivals’ minds, and make rational decisions even in tilt-induced sessions.
Give yourself the much-needed mental grind along with adrenaline rush by playing poker games online at Adda52 – a leading online platform. Ensure massive winnings by playing high roller cash games or partaking in the biggest poker tournaments in India.
Show Interest: This technique is helpful 99% of the time. People love to tell you more about themselves when you show interest while having a conversation. They would like to hang out with you more and talk to you more. You can use sentences like ‘That’s interesting, tell me more about it’. You can encourage them to tell more by saying that ‘I have never heard about it. Please tell me more”. Such reactions help keep the conversations going and assure other people that you are listening.
Taking an active interest in the conversations will allow other people to appreciate you for taking the initiative. While talking to somebody, a warm genuine smile will help you to give a friendly expression, put people at ease, and encourage them to open up more. It is the best way to show yourself as approachable and interested.
Keep Good Conversation Questions Ready: People always think about how to turn small talk into a deeper conversation. Well, the answer to this question is – by asking open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are those questions that usually have long and elaborated answers. These questions are meant to make a conversation long and interesting. People can’t answer such questions in simple “Yes” or “No”.
Some examples of open-ended questions are:
Tell me more about yourself.
Why do you love doing ….?
What is your reason for joining this ….?
How are you feeling about …. Incident? and much more.
These types of questions help you to reach deeper conversational levels. It makes people feel that you are interested in them and want to know more about them. Once you learn to showcase your interest to the people you are talking to, you can form valuable relationships.
Always Be a Good Listener: No matter how good communication skills you possess, you won’t be able to make a conversation last if you are not a good listener. People love to interact with those who talk freely and are willing to listen as well. Just asking questions (just for the sake of making a conversation longer) and not listening to them can put you in deep trouble. You have to pay attention to what they are saying.
When you listen to them properly, you will process the information effectively and remember every small detail about them. You can use those details in your next round of conversation and make the speaker feel that you are paying attention to them. A good listener always stands out as a wise person, who knows how to connect and empathize with others. Good listening skills not only makes a conversation interesting but also ensures meaningful relations in life. Use your listening skills to direct the conversation and refrain from delivering a monologue.
Maintain eye contact: Your eye contact indicates how much you are interested in a conversation. If you don’t make eye contact and keep looking here and there, then it can either make you come across as an under-confident or uninterested person. It is important to show people that you are interested in them and not anything happening in your surroundings.
Maintaining eye contact is extremely important while having a conversation because it speaks more than our words. Your eye contact is like a body behavior that assures people that you are actively listening and paying attention.
Use Conversation Threading: Conversation threading means when a person says something (that comprises different elements) and you pick up one element of the statement to continue the discussion. For example, your colleague tells you how he planned his road trip last weekend, you can pick the topic of ‘road trip’ and ask how many road trips he had taken so far. To make the conversation interesting, share your experience with road trips.
Here you can ask open-ended questions like – How often you travel, things you do to manage your work and travel together, and much more. If your friend is telling you about his winning poker session, you can ask on which online platform he prefers playing poker games online, discuss the poker clubs in Goa and other states, why he loves playing poker, etc.
Find a common ground to stretch that conversation thread and make it valuable. There are so many interesting ways to keep a conversation long-lasting and interesting.
Use Other Stories To Spice Up Conversations: If you are not comfortable in sharing your stories with people, you can tell other stories to juice-up the on-going conversations. No need to talk about your own experience when speaking with someone. You can integrate the stories of people you know or the stories you get to know from your friends or family, or stories you know via radio, TV, magazines, etc. in your conversations and make them last longer. It can be a short story or long story, interesting, or awkward—just use your stories in your conversations.
You can prepare yourself by practicing storytelling in advance to become an interesting storyteller. After all, the way you tell a story matters more than the ‘story’.
So these are the top techniques that will help you make a conversation interesting and ensure a fun time talking to anyone. Give yourself some time to know more about human behaviors and how conversations work.