Note: This is a guest post from Eduard Ezeanu of People Skills Decoded
I believe that one of the best ways to connect with people and build quality relationships is through making conversation. Although most people can hold a conversation, only a few are smooth and charismatic when they talk.
Working as a communication coach, I have explored and tested many techniques for improving conversation skills. I have discovered 7 simple and effective ways to be a smooth talker. Here they are:
1. Talk slowly
Typically, good talkers don’t rush into a conversation. They take their time when they reflect on something and when they say it out loud. They act as if they have all the time in the world. This makes them come off as centered and collected. Model this way of talking and you will create the same effect.
2. Hold more eye contact
Most people keep eye contact about 2/3 of the time or less when they talk. In my experience, it’s a very good idea to hold eye contact just a bit more than that. This will convey confidence and interest in interacting with them.
3. Notice the details
People with good conversation skills tend to notice the kind of things that the average person doesn’t notice, and to bring such details into the conversation. They may notice and point out an interesting ring on the other person’s hand, a certain foreign accent, or a certain voice tone they use when saying a name. Thus, such individuals impress people in a very elegant manner.
4. Give unique compliments
Anybody can pay a generic compliment to try and get another person’s appreciation. Charismatic people on the other hand are able to really pay attention to others, to look beyond the facade and thus, pay unique compliments. Do the same and besides wooing others, you may even help them find out things about themselves they didn’t know.
5. Express your emotions
It’s very rare to meet a person who is comfortable talking about their emotions and how certain things make them feel, especially with strangers. Yet this way of talking is a real virtue. Don’t just present the facts, you’re not a newspaper. Express your feelings about those facts. Keep in mind that it is at the emotional level that people connect best.
6. Offer interesting insights
Anybody can talk about the news or express basic opinions. But good talkers can frequently tell you things you didn’t know and that you’ll find fascinating. This is why it’s good to have knowledge into fields such as psychology or sociology, and bring such knowledge out at the right moments in a conversation.
7. Use the best words
The ability to talk smoothly has a lot to do with choosing the precise words to convey your precise feelings or thoughts. Constantly develop your vocabulary and practice communicating as accurately as possible. It will help you develop a way with words and allow you to express yourself more easily.
Conversational skills don’t improve just like that. It takes time, practice and the ability to learn at a rapid rate from your own experiences. On top of this, they have virtually no limit to how far they can be developed.
Considering your relationships and social life constitute one of the fundamental components of your life, I believe it is worth embarking on a long-term journey of mastering your interpersonal abilities. It’s a journey you won’t regret.
Eduard Ezeanu is a communication coach with an attitude-based approach. If you enjoyed this article, also discover how to overcome shyness and learn how to make small talk from two top articles on his People Skills Decoded blog.
Photo by ^riza^
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Published on April 1, 2011