Learning to get better at conversation skills is crucial in a quest to avoid awkward conversations and fumbling for words when talking to people. In this article, we are going to do just that. With a bit of practice and a few helpful strategies, you can become a pro at chatting with anyone you want to impress.
Communication has always been the most significant advantage humans have over other species. And to use it to the fullest, we need good conversation skills. However, before looking for ways to improve conversation skills, you should know why it is important and what some good conversation skills are.
Why conversation skills are important
Good conversation skills are essential for building and maintaining personal and professional relationships. Strong conversation skills are also fundamental and a requirement in a workplace. To be able to lead your team is as important as your other skills, and to do so, you guessed it – you need to be a great communicator.
When you have strong conversation skills, you can effectively communicate your thoughts and feelings and listen actively to others.
This helps you build trust and understanding with others and can also come in handy when resolving conflicts with your close friends, romantic partner, or business associate.
But let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to avoid those awkward silences and be the life of the party? Good conversation skills help you make new friends, network with potential clients and generally feel more confident in social situations.
What are good conversation skills?
Now that we’ve established the importance of good conversation skills let’s define what these skills are. Good conversation skills involve:
Active listening means fully paying attention to what the other person is saying, having patience, and showing through your body language and verbal responses that you are engaged and understanding. No one likes talking to a brick wall.
Expressing yourself clearly and persuasively
When you can express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely, you are more likely to be understood and taken seriously by others.
This can be especially important in professional settings, where clear communication is essential for building trust and making your voice and ideas heard. Try to use concrete and specific language instead of vague or general terms.
Use examples and anecdotes to explain your points, and organize your thoughts logically and coherently. It can also be helpful to practice your public speaking skills, as this can help you develop confidence and clarity in your verbal communication. With practice and effort, you can become a more effective and persuasive communicator in conversation.
Asking open-ended questions
These questions cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” answer, and they encourage the other person to share more about their thoughts and feelings. For example, “What do you enjoy about your job?” or “How do you feel about the current political climate?” are simple ways to start a conversation.
It means understanding and relating to the other person’s perspective and emotions. It’s not about agreeing with everything they say but showing that you can step into their shoes and see things from their perspective. It’s also about mindfulness and being in touch with your emotions. This helps to build trust and understanding in the conversation, which usually only deepens the connection further.
Ways to improve conversation skills
It’s time to start getting some conversational skills training. Here are 5 tips you can apply right away to become a better communicator, whether in person or when texting:
Practice active listening
Next time you’re in a conversation, try to entirely focus on what the other person is saying and show that you’re paying attention through your body language and verbal responses. This might mean nodding your head, making eye contact, or asking follow-up questions.
Storytelling is a powerful way to engage others and make a conversation more interesting. Practice telling stories that illustrate a point or convey an emotion, and try to make them as vivid and descriptive as possible. People are bound to remember them more easily.
For instance, “Hey, want to hear a funny story about the time I accidentally set my kitchen on fire while trying to make a grilled cheese sandwich?” This will ensure the person on the other side remembers the safety hazards of making grilled cheese the next time they decide to prepare it. See? Easy.
Engage in role-playing exercises
These can be a fun way to practice your conversation skills in low-stakes and relaxed settings. For example, try role-playing with a friend or family member, and take turns being the listener and the speaker.
You can also role-play different social situations, such as networking events or job interviews, to get more comfortable with these more difficult conversations. The more times we do something, the better we become at it and the less difficult or scary it becomes. Try it out.
Building confidence and comfort in conversation is essential in improving your conversation skills.
As they say, practice makes perfect, so try to get comfortable with small talk and set goals for yourself, such as initiating conversations with new people or participating in group discussions whenever possible. With practice and effort, you’ll be chatting like a pro in no time.
Improve your conversation skills over text
Texting can be a great way to communicate, but it can also be easy to get misunderstood or sound rude if you’re not careful. Try to be clear and concise in your texts, and use emojis to convey tone and emotion.
Saying something like, “Hey, sorry for the late reply! Just got out of a meeting 😅“ would sound much more appropriate and inoffensive to someone you have wronged. The emoji even adds a bit of humbleness. Practice with various people; this way, you’ll get more diverse responses, and they will indeed help you in your overall experience.
How to improve conversation skills with girls?
It’s hard talking to women, especially over texts. According to research, men have been found to feel intimidated by intelligent and highly educated women, so that only makes it more challenging.
Improving your communication skills with girls can be essential in building and maintaining healthy relationships. To improve your communication skills with girls, you should focus on the following:
Confidence is attractive, so try to project confidence when talking to girls. Stand up straight, watch your posture, make eye contact, and speak clearly and confidently.
Girls like to feel like they are being listened to and valued, so make sure to show interest in what they say. Try to engage your body language, ask follow-up questions, and pay attention to their body language and nonverbal cues.
Treat girls with respect and consideration, and avoid being rude, condescending, or judgmental. This will help create a positive environment leading to more enjoyable and deeper conversations.
The skills we talked about involve:
- Active listening
- Being confident and speaking clearly
- Asking open-ended questions
- Expressing empathy and controlling emotions
- Being professional in conversation when required
As we mentioned, these can be improved through conversational skills training activities such as role-playing and storytelling. In addition, by working on your overall communication skills, such as your ability to smooth talk and persuade, you can further enhance your conversation skills and become a more engaging and effective communicator.
With this knowledge of how to get better at conversation skills, you’re ready to improve and become better in all areas of life.