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10 Tips to Become a Great Conversationalist

10 Tips to Become a Great Conversationalist

Imagine you’re at a dinner party. Someone comes up to you and says “hello.” You make a little bit of small talk. And then there’s that awkward pause.

You don’t know what to say next. It’s like someone hit the pause button your mind. Admit it, it’s happened to you, hasn’t it? Well, it’s time we make sure that never happens again. Ever.

Here are 10 life hacks that will help you become a better conversationalist and make you the life of the party:

1. The recall method

This is a really effective technique used by comedians all the time. It’s called “The recall method.” If you can pull this off, chances are that it’ll make the conversation really memorable. The next time you’re chatting with someone (or a group of people) and a funny moment happens (which almost always happens, trust me), remember exactly what was talked about.

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Then, later on in the conversation, if it fits the context of what’s being talked about, bring up that exact same moment that everyone had laughed about earlier. You’ll be immediately be perceived as being clever and witty for doing this. It also shows that you were listening carefully to what was being talked about earlier.

2. Bring up memories immediately 

How many times have you had a conversation start off with, “Hey, how are you doing?” This happens almost every single time I run into someone. It’s as boring as it gets because the answer you usually get is “I’m good.” Instead of doing that, talk about a great memory that you had experienced with that person.

For example, “Hey, remember that time when we all went out in Barcelona and ended up singing “Shake It Off” at that dueling piano bar?  That was so funny!” I can almost guarantee you’ll get a better reaction. Try to bring up a funny or heartfelt memory. It can make a huge difference and will get the person to open up to you.

3. Buddy up

Sometimes you can’t do it alone and that’s okay. Maybe you’re tired. Maybe you’re feeling introverted today. For a lot of us, it’s really hard being charismatic, funny, witty and sharp all the time when you talk to people.

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One great way around this is to pair up with a good friend who’s really outgoing. Buddy up with someone and approach people in pairs. This way you have someone there that you can always lean on in case the new conversation doesn’t flow that well. It also gives you different dynamics in the conversation to play off of.

4. Be intensely curious

Have a genuine passion and curiosity to learn from others. One of the best ways to get them to open up about themselves is to ask them questions.

Make sure you listen carefully to them during the conversation and ask relevant questions. Do not ask questions for the sake of asking questions, though. Make sure it’s thoughtful and genuine.

5. Live an interesting life

Start by living the awesome life you’ve always dream of. Once you do that, you’ll have countless stories to tell other people.

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Take modern dancing classes. Try that new Soul Cycle class you’ve always wanted to check out. Travel to Barcelona like you always planned to. Write the book you’ve been dreaming of. Start the business you’ve been thinking about.

6. Be authentic 

Life’s too short to be someone you’re not.

Be comfortable in being the unique, wacky person that you are. I mean that in the best possible way. Those that truly belong in your life are the ones that will love you for exactly who you are.

7. Remember people’s names

One of the easiest ways to show that you care about someone is to remember their name. People respond much better if you show them that you remember who they are.

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One easy way to do this is to repeat their name right after they tell you. Or you can do word association. For example, for me personally, I’ll try to think of a celebrity with the same first name to help me remember it.

8. Mirroring

One way to make other people feel more comfortable in conversation is to mimic their style and energy. This is known as mirroring.

For example, if someone is a very high energy person, you have to elevate your energy levels to match theirs. I’ve tested this quite a bit and it does work really well.

9. Storytelling

People hardly remember data points, but they do remember great stories. One of the best ways to have a great conversation is to make sure you have a couple of amazing stories that you can tell perfectly.

One of the best ways to have a great conversation is to make sure you have a couple of amazing stories that you can tell perfectly. The way you tell it is important. You have to make it sound amazing.

10. Awesome introductions

When you introduce someone, don’t just introduce them by name. Tell a story about them and praise them for their accomplishments and achievements. People will really appreciate this and it creates a natural flow to a longer conversation.

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Last Updated on December 17, 2018

Why You Think You’re Not Good Enough and How To Believe in Yourself

Why You Think You’re Not Good Enough and How To Believe in Yourself

Have you ever wanted to say something at work, but a little voice of doubt crept in and said, “what if you are wrong”?

Maybe you wanted to apply for that promotion or ask that special someone on a date, but something kept you from taking action. When you think you’re not good enough, you tend to fear the outcome and lack faith in your abilities. That is why it is vital you discover how to believe in yourself so you can accomplish your goals and create your dream life.

Whatever your situation, the fears and self-doubt your false beliefs create will always stop you in your tracks. Identifying the beliefs that cause you to sabotage your life is the first step to removing them.

Self-doubt causes inaction, and inaction leads to regret. When you are not following your passion and living your dream life, you are left with a lot of questions:

  • What if I took a chance on myself?
  • Could I have had a better life if I took more risks?
  • Am I be satisfied with the legacy I am leaving behind?
  • What could I have accomplished if I did not settle for less?

So why would you think you’re not good enough?

1. Parenting

The perception you have of yourself is based on your past experiences. There are studies that show children mimic everything from their parents ability to regulate emotions, to their parents belief about money.[1]

I have had clients who did not believe they were good enough because they did not receive any positive reinforcement as a child. When they were young, their parents were extremely overprotective.

Think of your childhood challenges like dragons you had to slay. Each obstacle you overcame was another dragon you successfully removed from your life. As you slay more dragons, your self-esteem and confidence increase. When someone has overprotective parents, their parents end up slaying the dragons.

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As a result, the child builds more confidence in their parent’s abilities, while still doubting their own.

If you are never encouraged to slay your own dragons, you start to doubt whether you can. It is only natural for a child to conclude their parents are always helping them because they think they need it. This child ages into an adult who still believes they are not good enough. They seek the help and confirmation of others, and they rarely stand-up to opposition.

Solution: Slay Your Dragons!

If you want to believe in yourself, you are going to have to take steps to rebuild your trust in yourself. Start by keeping your word to others and arriving on-time. By showing yourself that others can (and do) trust you, you are going to feel more comfortable trusting yourself.

As you move onto larger and more challenging tasks, you have built a foundation of trust in your ability to keep your word. Next, you are going to want to reclaim your sword from others. At first, you may want to confide in whoever it is currently slaying your dragons.

Understand if it is your parent or someone who loves you, they want the best for you and mean well. You are simply going to tell them that you want to do the work, and will ask them for their thoughts in the planning phase. Feel free to check in with them and give them updates on your progress, while making sure they understand you are wanting to do the work yourself.

Then when the task is completed, let them know so you can celebrate together. Now that you have slayed your own dragon, you can start to reclaim your confidence. By you utilizing them as your guide, you get the added bonus of someone you respect and admire, telling you how amazing you are.

Think of it like a symbolic passing of the torch. Now, you are both dragon slayers. Which means all the positive attributes you attributed to them slaying your dragons, now belong to you.

2. Over-Exaggerating and Oversimplifying

Your past experiences may involve you or someone close to you failing. When you experience failure, you can lose your desire to continue. This has less to do with whether you are brave or scared, and more to do with the fact that your mind does not like failure.

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No one enjoys participating in events in which they under-perform. Outside of the usual reasons of embarrassment, feelings of inadequacy, and fear of failure – it is simply not fun.

Who wants to play baseball if they strikeout every time it is their turn? Would you enjoy singing in front of an audience if you were booed off the stage every time you performed? I could go on, but I think you get the point.

The thing about those two examples is no one really strikes out “every” at-bat. It is also unlikely someone could be booed off the stage “every time” they performed in-front of an audience.

What ends up happening is you oversimplify and exaggerate your past experiences and then your mind believes you. If you believe you are not good enough to ask someone on a date because they “always” tell you no, then do not be surprised you never muster the courage to do so.

If you want to overcome these feelings of inadequacy, start by changing your beliefs. This exercise does not need to be complicated. If you believe you strikeout every time it is your turn, I want to you to go to a batting cage and keep swinging until you hit the baseball.

When you experience success, I want you to take a mental note, write it down, or have someone video it. This is your proof that you do not always strike out. Then, whenever your belief that you are not good enough resurfaces, you are going to replay that video.

Regardless of the situation, you can find a successful experience that you are overlooking.

Solution: Read About the Failures of Others

It sounds a little crazy, I know, but reading about the failures of other successful people will improve your confidence. In a study conducted by Columbia University, they found that teaching students about the failures of great scientists encouraged them to do better.[2]

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When you are battling fear and self-doubt, you tend to over-exaggerate the abilities of others and diminish your own by comparison. You start to believe the successful are successful because they are courageous risk-takers, who do not take no for an answer. You tell yourself, they are meant to succeed, while you on the other hand are not.

When you are able to relate to the successful, you start to realize they have the same struggles and challenges you do. The only difference is they kept going.

Now it is not a question of whether you can succeed, it is a question of whether you want to succeed.

3. Undervalue Yourself

What is the main difference between someone who believes they are good enough and someone who does not? The person who believes they are good enough understands they are a person of value.

What I mean by this is if you do not believe you are worth being listened to, you will not have anything to say. If you do not believe you are good enough to be respected and treated as such, you will accept and rationalize all kinds of mistreatment.

There is an old saying that we are treated as we allow ourselves to be treated. When someone has the confidence and self-esteem that commands respect, they will not accept being treated any kind of way. However, if someone does not see themselves as worthy, they will remain in toxic situations because they do not believe anything better is on the horizon.

Dr. Jennifer Crocker, who worked on a series of self-esteem studies, found in her latest research that:[3]

“College students who based their self-worth on external sources–including appearance, approval from others and even their academic performance–reported more stress, anger, academic problems, relationship conflicts, and had higher levels of drug and alcohol use and symptoms of eating disorders”

Solution: Internalize Your Self-Worth

Instead of valuing yourself based on the awards, recognition, and accolades of others, you need to search internally. By basing your perception of yourself on your core values, you can regain control over self-image.

Instead of focusing on things that are outside of control, keep your mind on what it is that makes you special. You are not defined by your job, relationships, religion, or education. Rather, you are defined by the manner in which you participate in these things. You may be a creative, hard-working, and compassionate person; and that shows up in every thing you do.

Understand that you do not need to be creative, hard-working, and compassionate all the time to consider yourself these things. You are not trying to be perfect, but you are trying to connect with your true self.

By understanding the similarities in which you tackle objectives, you will build a consistent and powerful self-worth that stands apart from external confirmation.

Final Thoughts

Do not allow your past experiences do dictate your future success. You do not want to look back on your life and have a lot of questions and regrets.

Build trust in yourself by taking action today. This will help you build the confidence you need to believe in yourself and your ability to become the champion of your life.

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Featured photo credit: Riccardo Mion via unsplash.com

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