How to Work on Your Conversation Skills

By Lenny Terra

Reviewed, fact-checked & edited by Lenny Terra.
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One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to work on your conversation skills. Whether you want to be more social or feel more confident when speaking, practicing and learning new techniques will help tremendously. It might seem daunting initially, but it can be learned and improved over time. Here are a few tips to help get you started: 

Identify the areas you need to work on.

Many of us have areas that we would like to improve upon. Whether it’s being shy when meeting new people or having a hard time keeping a conversation going, we all have room for growth. One way to identify the areas you need to work on is to take inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. What do you feel confident about? What makes you uncomfortable? Are you afraid of being judged or criticized? Once you have a better idea of your weaknesses, you can focus on improving them.

If you’re feeling nervous or shy, it’s okay to start small. You don’t have to jump into deep conversations right away. Instead, start with brief interactions and work your way up. Comment on the weather, ask the cashier how their day is going, or strike up a conversation with a fellow shopper. Small talk might seem trivial, but it’s a great way to practice your conversation skills.

If you are afraid of being judged or criticized, remember that everyone sometimes feels this way. We all want to be liked and accepted, but we can’t please everyone all the time. Instead of worrying about other people’s thoughts, focus on enjoying your conversation. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and relax!

Understand the basics of conversation.

eye contact conversation

Most people misunderstand the basics of conversation. They think it is about taking turns talking, but that is only part of it. The conversation is also about listening and engaging with the other person. It is important to make eye contact and be respectful when talking to someone.

You should also try to find common ground or things that you have in common. This will make the conversation more enjoyable for both of you. And finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are interested in what the other person says, they will be more likely to be interested in you. So those are the basics of conversation. Remember to talk and listen, and you’ll surely have a good time.

Be an active listener.

It’s not enough to just be a good talker – you also need to be a good listener. Active listening involves paying attention to the person speaking, making eye contact, and acknowledging what they say. It shows that you’re interested in the conversation and want to hear more. Not only will this make the other person feel valued, but it will also give you a better idea of what to say next.

If you’re not sure how to be an active listener, here are a few tips:

 Make eye contact and avoid distractions. It can be tempting to check your phone or look around the room when you’re bored, but try to resist the urge. Instead, focus on the person in front of you and listen to what they’re saying.

Ask questions. Asking questions is a great way to show interest in the conversation. It also allows you to learn more about the other person.

• Repeat back what they said. This is a helpful way to make sure you understand what the other person is saying. It also shows that you were paying attention and helps to keep the conversation going.

Active Listening Skills

Get comfortable with silence.

One of the hardest things about conversations is feeling like you always have to fill the silence. In reality, it’s perfectly fine to have moments of silence. This can help create a more natural flow to the conversation. If you’re uncomfortable with silence, try focusing on your breathing and relax. The other person will likely do the same.

For example, how often have you been in a conversation and felt like you were just waiting for your turn to speak? Or, worse, wished that the other person would just stop talking so you could get a word in edgewise? If this sounds familiar, then it might be time to start working on your conversation skills.

One of the best ways to do this is to get comfortable with silence. Instead of feeling like you always need to fill the space with words, learn to relish the quiet moments. This will not only help you become a better listener but also allow you to think about what you want to say before you say it. As a result, you’ll likely find that your conversations are more meaningful and enjoyable for both parties involved.

Speak Clearly.

Speaking Clearly

One of the most important aspects of conversation is speaking clearly. This means enunciating your words and using a volume that is appropriate for the situation. When you mumble or speak too quietly, it can be difficult for others to understand you, leading to frustration on both sides. Additionally, you can come across as aggressive or even hostile if you’re yelling or speaking too loudly. So it’s essential to find a balance in your volume level. If you’re not sure how loudly you should be speaking, err on the side of caution and start softly. You can always increase your volume if necessary.

Additionally, make an effort to enunciate your words clearly. This means articulating your words and using language that is easy to understand. It can be challenging to do this if you’re nervous or tongue-tied, but it’s important to remember that clarity is key when you’re trying to communicate with others. So if you’re unsure about how to say something, take a deep breath and speak slowly and deliberately. You’ll be sure to get your point across.

Start by practicing with friends and family members.

When it comes to public speaking, practice makes perfect. If you’re nervous about giving a speech or presentation, the best way to calm your nerves is to get some practice in front of an audience.

Friends and family members can be a great audience for this purpose. They can give you honest feedback about your performance and help you identify areas that need improvement. Additionally, they’ll likely be more forgiving than strangers if you make a mistake. So if you’re looking to hone your public speaking skills, start by practicing with your loved ones.

Be mindful of your body language.

Your body language speaks volumes, even when you’re not saying a word. Have you ever noticed how you tend to stand a little taller and roll your shoulders back when feeling confident? On the other hand, when you feel defensive or self-conscious, you might cross your arms in front of your chest. It’s incredible how quickly our body language can betray our emotions. That’s why it’s essential to be mindful of your body language, whether you’re giving a presentation or simply chatting with a friend.

Standing tall and keeping your arms open conveys confidence and approachability, while crossing your arms or hunching over can make you look closed off or even hostile. When you’re conversing, avoid a few nervous body language signals like fidgeting, tapping your foot, or touching your face. Not only will these habits make you look more nervous, but they can also be distracting for the person you’re talking to. Instead, try to relax and keep your hands at your sides.

Remember that the next time you’re in a social situation – by being aware of your body language, you can control the impression you make on others.

Why Body Language Matters | How to Have Better Conversations

Be prepared.

One of the best ways to improve your conversation skills is to be prepared. This means having a few topics in mind that you can bring up if the conversation starts to lull. It can be anything from the latest news story to a shared interest. Having a few topics in hand will help you feel more confident and keep the conversation flowing.

In addition to having some topics ready, it’s also a good idea to brush up on your general knowledge. This way, you’ll be able to contribute to any conversation and keep up with the other person. A little preparation goes a long way in ensuring that your conversations are enjoyable for both parties.

Use apps to improve your conversation skills.

Several apps can help you improve your conversation skills. For example, some apps can help you learn new vocabulary words, while others can provide practice in other areas, such as listening comprehension or public speaking. There are many apps out there that can assist you with everything from learning a new language to improving your memory. So if you’re looking for a way to boost your conversation skills, consider downloading a few apps to help you out.

Some apps that can help you improve your conversation skills include:

While there are many ways to improve your conversation skills, these are just a few suggestions to get you started. Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and start talking to people. With a little effort, you’ll surely see a difference in the quality of your conversations.

End with a strong conclusion.

When you’re finishing up a conversation, it’s important to end on a solid note. This doesn’t mean that you have to have some grand finale or make a joke, but you should aim to leave the other person with a positive impression. Thank them for their time, express your interest in talking again, and say goodbye in a friendly way. This will leave the door open for future conversations and help ensure that the conversation is enjoyable for both parties.

Sometimes, the best way to end a conversation is to simply say thank you. This shows that you appreciate the other person’s time and effort, and it can be a great way to end on a positive note. So next time you’re finishing up a conversation, try saying thank you to leave things on a high note. So, whatever you do, make sure that your conclusion is positive and leaves the other person wanting more.

Conclusion.

Following these conversation tips, you’ll be sure to see an improvement in the quality of your conversations. With a bit of practice, you’ll be a pro in no time. So next time you’re in a social or professional situation, remember to be prepared, be aware of your body language, and end on a strong note. With these conversation skills, you’ll be sure to make a positive impression. Don’t be afraid to put these tips into action and start talking. You might surprise yourself with how much you enjoy it. Thanks for reading!

Author

  • Lenny Terra

    Lenny Terra is the founder & editor-in-chief. He’s a life coach, software engineer, freelance writer, and has a diploma in Modern Applied Psychology. Lenny has a passion for great living & beautiful design. He is married and is the father of two beautiful girls. His life’s mission is to help people improve their lives, become happier and more productive. This blog is his contribution to that goal and to the empowerment of his readers. Lenny and his family live in Texas with their two dogs.

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