Do you ever run out of things to say? It’s a common fear and an icky feeling we’ve all experienced. You start a conversation with someone, it’s all going well and then before you know it, the dialogue has gone stale and any banter you once had has ground to a halt.
The solution: Keep the conversation moving forwards in a natural flowing state whereby conversation topics crop up organically. Here are certain tips which might be helpful :
- You are not the only one responsible to keep talking. Stop thinking the onus is all on you to do the talking. Try to switch your thinking on this. In fact the key to keeping a conversation going is not talking but listening. Think about it, if you listen and take on board what your partner is saying, you’ve got topics to keep the conversation going landing in your lap the whole time. So shut up and listen.
- Starters. Having some conversation topics prepared beforehand is essential. They give you a fall back plan if there’s a silencer. Try asking thoughtful open questions rather than questions that require “Yes” or “No” answers. Most people are happy talking about themselves and their interests. So look and listen to clues about the person and comment on them. This should help the conversation to come naturally and should also make the other person feel at ease.
- Stop being anxious. It’s natural to think about what you’re going to say before you say it. Don’t “over-check” though. You’ve probably heard of the saying “analysis, paralysis” If you think too hard about what you’re going to say before you make a comment, you’ll end of literally talking yourself out of it. You’ll also get distracted and struggle to listen because you’re concentrating on yourself too much.
- Communicate Positivity. Good eye contact is the key to conveying interest, concern, warmth and credibility when the other person is speaking. Bad eye contact does exactly the opposite and can be hard to retrieve. It’s natural to look away on occasions while you’re talking. People expect this while you’re thinking. Smiling also helps. A simple smile is a powerful cue that transmits friendliness, warmth and approachability.