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How to Create More Meaningful Conversations

How to Create More Meaningful Conversations

As an expert at building rapport with people, I help others create meaningful connection to those that are important to them. Meaningful conversation is a strategy to establish that connection.  So let’s dive into this topic and I will share with you some of the most effective techniques and tips that have proven success.

Big insight:  It’s not really what you say as much as what you feel (and how you make someone feel) in your conversation with them that creates the meaning.

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Here are 8 practical tips to create more meaningful conversation:

1.  Be real:

I always say this to people and am often shocked why they don’t know what I mean.  Just because you are in a certain environment doesn’t always mean you have to communicate in the way the “rules” of that environment dictate.  Every conversation is a connection no matter where you are.  Being real means talking to people with your sleeves up, letting them in and sometimes being a bit more vulnerable (or open to their vulnerability) than you are used to.  This creates an instant connection.

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2.  Always validate:

This is so important when you are communicating with someone and you want to create more meaningful conversation.  Remember, people want to feel heard.  Before you say something, acknowledge everything a person says and receive it.  Not necessarily that you agree with what they said, but that you are taking it in and letting them know it is received, instead of resisted.

3.  Meet people where they are:

You can always steer a conversation later but first appeal to where someone is in the moment.  If you want to create more meaning in your connection, be a bit more flexible in your approach at first.

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4.  Take people on a journey:

Want to know what makes movies, songs and stories meaningful?  It’s the journey.  It’s not always a direct route to where you want to go.  Be open to a process in your conversation.  Take people on a journey with you and be curious about theirs.

5.  Link commonalities:

Every talking point can be an opportunity for you to create meaning by learning that they have similar experiences or sharing with someone a part of you that is like them.  Be careful that you don’t create a tit for tat situation here.   The goal is to establish you are like each other, not to compare your stories with theirs.

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6.  Know your outcome:

That outcome should be to create a connection before any agenda.  Make your life easier by creating strong connections with more meaning so that you don’t have to work so hard to get where you want to go.  Relationships are everything.  Your outcome and your focus are narrowed to this one thing.  It makes everything else easier.

7.  Make people feel special:

You always want to make someone feel like they are different and they are special to you—in some way.  It’s as simple as that.  Share something with them, ask about an experience they are having and praise or comfort them.  This will take you a long way in someone’s heart.

8.  Create transparency in your conversation and be clear:

Always let someone know where you stand.  People respect you more when they know who you are.  When you clarify, people will let their guard down.  When people let their guard down, they are more open to connect to you and then you will both create more meaning in your experience.

Did you relate to this?   Use these techniques in your own life and see what happens.  I would love to hear from you!

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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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