For Introverts: How to be a Great Conversationalist?
Hi introverts, are you a great conversationalist?
Talking to people especially strangers is difficult. To hold the conversation longer is even difficult. Usually, the conversation will last less than 5 minutes. Being a good conversationalist is very important whether for business, networking, social or dating.
As an introvert, I find it hard to talk with people especially if you have different interest and comes from different field or industry. I usually shy away from people on social events. This is detrimental to my career as an entrepreneur. Over the years, I have studied and practice a few skills that helps me become a better conversationalist.
So, what is the secret recipe to become a great conversationalist? The secret recipe is: Be a good listener. It’s simple as that. Here are some tips that can help you to become a better listener.
Most people like to talk, they don’t like to listen. Asking questions is a great way to start the conversation. Let the other people talk, and you listen attentively.
Different people, have different personality. Hence, you need to ask different questions. I met people who loved open-ended questions, where I asked 1 question and they’d go on for 3 hours talking about themselves. This people are the best because I don’t need to talk much and just listen. They will do all the talking. Some people loved pointed questions, for which they could answer quickly (think like machine gun questions.). For this type of people, I need to prepare a list of questions to ask. Honestly, I played it by ear and threw one or two of each at them to find out where they stood.
Start by asking straightforward questions such as where they grew up, where they went to school, what kind of work they do before going into deep questions.
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Encourage Others to Talk about Themselves
Most people like to talk, they don’t like to listen.
One thing I realized is that we love to talk about ourselves more than listening to other people. We like to brag about our achievement, our career, the car we just bought, the holiday trip we just went to and so on. Some of you may disagree with me on this but try recording you conversation with your friends, family and colleagues. You will notice the main topic that usually come up in the conversation.
How to encourage others to talk about themselves?
Ask questions. Ask questions about their work, their last holiday trip, the car that they just bought. In this world of social media buzz, most people are desperate to be listened to. All we need is give them a genuine opportunity to talk and be heard.
Be careful when asking questions. Some people have difficulty in talking about their feelings because they are insecure about them. However, if you gently speaking about your own feelings, you show that it’s okay to talk about it. Eventually, you are creating a safe environment for other people to talk by showing you own vulnerability first.
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Many discussions are hindered by interruptions and often the other person will feel uncomfortable. He or she will ‘shut down’ from the conversation if there is too much interruption. And this does not limited to interruption by talking, it also involved verbal interruption such as playing with your phone, constantly looking at your watch, yawning and looking at other place.
Even though you are listening to what the other person are talking, your action shows that you are not interested to listen to conversation. So, avoid interruption — especially from your smartphone.
Be Genuinely Interested to the Person
You can show that you are genuinely interested by your body language. Here are a few tips:
- Maintain eye contact with the person you talking to.
- Make sure both of your shoulder is facing to him/her. This shows that you are giving him/her your full attention.
- Lean your body towards him/her. This shows that you are really interested about what they are talking about.
- Maintain a straight posture
If you are not interested in the other person, then why speak to him/her to begin with?
So Introverts, are you ready to become a great conversationalist?
Practice this tips and let me know if you need any help.
If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy my article 21 Things I Will Tell To My 21 Years Old Self
This year I’m 26 years old. I just passed through a quarter of my life.medium.com
I’m Azlan, founder of Flix. I write at KingAzlan.com.
I write. I workout. I hustle. I believe there’s always room to improve no matter how incredible you think you are. If you think so too, follow me to see more inspirational stories!
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