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Sorry, These Phrases in Conversations Do Not Make You Funny, but Boring

Sorry, These Phrases in Conversations Do Not Make You Funny, but Boring

Do you feel like every conversation you have is so boring?

Find yourself drifting off mid-sentence?

Struggle to focus on the person you’re speaking to?

It doesn’t mean that you’re boring, but it could mean that you’re inadvertently using common conversation killers.These are phrases that can bring almost any conversation grinding to a halt.

While you might not realize it, you could be the one making your conversations dull.

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Luckily, that’s easy to fix.

Read on to find out more about what kills a conversation, and how you can put some life back into your communication.

Killer Phrase No. 1: “Oh, really?”

A friend shares some exciting news that they’ve been dying to tell you.

How do you respond?

If it’s with, “Oh, really?” then chances are the conversation won’t go much further.

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Your friend will respond with something like, “Yes, really…” or “I know, I couldn’t believe it either!”

There’s no opportunity for them to give you more detail, and you haven’t given much indication that you’re interested in what they have to say – a big conversation killer.

It’s easy to revert to saying, “Oh, really?” when you’re not sure what to say, but it’s not hard to break the habit with a little extra thought.

What you should say instead

Let’s say your friend has just told you about a scholarship they’ve been awarded. Instead of bringing the conversation to a halt with another, “Oh, really?”, try the following strategies:

  • Ask open-ended questions like, “How did you feel when you found out?”
  • Ask about specific details, like, “What did you have to do to apply?”
  • Talk about a similar experience you’ve had, and compare details, like, “I know when I applied for a scholarship it took a lot of work.”

Killer Phrase No. 2: “Awesome”, “Cool” or “Great”

It’s nice to give the person you’re speaking to positive feedback, but one word replies like ‘awesome” and “cool” don’t add much to the conversation.

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If you really like what they have to say, why not make a bit more effort to express that?

Or if you’re just saying “cool” because you’re not sure what else to say, why not ask some questions instead?

What you should say instead

Being positive is great, but it’s important not to reply to everything with just a single word – that just doesn’t take the conversation anywhere.

Here’s what you should try instead:

  • Specify why you think what they’ve said is cool/awesome/great, saying things like, “I love that you’ve decided to go vegetarian because I’ve always been passionate about animal rights.”
  • Ask for more information, saying something like, “Cool, I’ve never heard of that film – can you tell me more?”

Killer Phrase No. 3: “-yeah, I…”

Are you one of those people who just can’t help but interrupt during conversations?

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You’re sure you know exactly what the other person is about to say, so why not finish their sentence for them, or butt in with your reply?

Interrupting the person you’re speaking to can be extremely off-putting for them, and won’t make them keen to carry on the conversation.

Listening is so important when communicating, so don’t become so preoccupied with what you’re going to say that you ignore the other person.

What you should say instead

If you struggle to stop interrupting others, try practicing active listening. [1]

Listening involves five stages:

  1. Receiving. It’s impossible to properly hear what the other person is saying, so keep quiet and focus carefully on their words.
  2. Understanding. Taking a few moments to understand what’s being said allows you to reply in a more informed way. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re uncertain – it’s a great way to show that you’re interested.
  3. Evaluating. At this stage, you’ll be forming an opinion about what’s just been said. Don’t be afraid to disagree, as this can lead to some interesting debates.
  4. Responding. Be sure the other person has finished speaking before you respond, and focus on positive body language, like nodding and making eye contact.
  5. Remembering. Trying to remember what’s been said to you helps show that you’re interested, and lets conversation flow better. Avoiding interruption and distractions lets you retain as much info as possible.

A conversation should never end in boredom.

Follow these tips to keep your conversations interesting, engaging, and enjoyable for you and the person you’re speaking to.

Reference

More by this author

Eloise Best

Content Writer

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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