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5 Important Things You Need To Remember If You Want To Make A Remarkable Conversation

5 Important Things You Need To Remember If You Want To Make A Remarkable Conversation

We spend so much of our time trying to make an impression on people. And what they say is clichéd but true, first impressions are usually lasting. So the next time you are striking up a conversation with a stranger you want to befriend or impress, remember these five tips to make sure you leave them with a remarkable conversation and a lastingly positive impression…

1. Be a 100% there when they talk

Most of us may be great talkers, but many of us are bad listeners.[1] We are so involved in what we are going to say next that we basically stop paying attention to what the other person is saying and our body language consequently turns to one of impatience or disinterest. We might start tapping our hands or feet, turn slightly away from the person. When the other person is talking, remember to listen and make eye contact. This tells the person that you are interested in what he or she has to say, and it will make for a remarkable conversation.[2]

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2. Remember the details they mention

A good listener actually listens and stores interesting tidbits for the next conversation. Maybe the person you were talking to mentioned how he was taking up a new hobby, or how her daughter is due for her SATs. Remember the name of the person, where they are from and where does their family live. Remember their children’s names or pet’s name the next time you meet them; they’ll be happy to see how much of an impression they made on you.

3. Fill in awkward pauses with interesting and personal questions

Sometimes, after a particularly anecdotal story, there is a lull in the conversation. Don’t let this pause get awkwardly long. Instead of talking about generalities or even the weather, ask them a personal question – like where they are from, or how are they adjusting to their current location, or maybe even when and where was their last vacation? A directed and personal question brings about fresh conversation as well as new directions of where to take a remarkable conversation next.

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4. If you sense a little boredom, ask them for their opinion

Even the best of conversationalists might ramble and bore the other person a bit. If you sense or see a slight disinterest radiating from the other person, ask them for their opinion on a generality. Giving them an opportunity to speak will make for a remarkable conversation. You don’t have to ask them to state their opinion on say the political scenario of Africa; rather ask them a simple opinion on the latest blockbuster they watched, or which of Paulo Coelho’s books have they found the most interesting and why. And once they start talking, remember point one – listen and remember the tiny details that emerge.

5. Finally, pay them a true and unique compliment

The person you are talking to might have met plenty of new faces that day, and he or she won’t necessarily remember what you talked about or said to him/her. But people really tend to remember how you made them feel. Leave the other person on a high with a smile on their face; you can do this by paying them a heartfelt and unique compliment. If you call a model beautiful or an entrepreneur successful – you are paying them a generic compliment they might have become immune to. Instead tell them about how their eyes smile before they do, or how they have the ability to make people feel at home by just smiling at them. If you leave them feeling good about themselves, then you truly have had a remarkable conversation. [3]

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These are five easy guidelines to follow that will help you become a good conversationalist who people want to talk to…

Featured photo credit: HuffPost via i.huffpost.com

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Reference

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Rima Pundir

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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