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7 tips to make your conversation engaging

7 tips to make your conversation engaging

Learning & Development

Sanjukta Chakraborty

Sanjukta Chakraborty

17 Jun 2019, 11:59 — 5 min read

We all know of someone who can captivate an entire crowd with their conversation. What makes their conversation so engaging that people listen to them with rapt attention? What makes talking to them such a thrilling experience? Do you often wonder how you too could become a great conversationalist?

Whether you’re interviewing for a job, trying to land a new client, motivating your employees or trying to charge your business communication skills, how you speak and engage in conversations can determine your success.

Being able to communicate well can have a positive impact on anyone. Here are 7 tips to make your conversation engaging.

1. Don’t use filler words

We all know that our written english differs from our spoken one. Spoken english needs to be crisp and to the point but common filler words such as ‘like’, ‘you know’, ‘okay’, ‘right’ have sneaked into our colloquial speech pattern unknowingly and has become more of a habit. We hardly ever notice ourselves starting our sentences with the word ‘so’ and tend to fill every pause with an ‘um’ or an ‘uh’. We do so without consciously realising it. But what we fail to understand is that usage of such words shows the kind of speaker we are.

You can avoid filler words by making yourself conscious of their use and correcting yourself every time one slips out of your mouth until your natural speech pattern is totally free of them.

2.Talk slowly

Many of us have the tendency to talk quickly when we get too excited or nervous. In a battle to let it out, all at once, it is easy to commit mistakes and chew up most of what you want to say. If you think and then speak, chances are you will commit fewer mistakes and will have more time to think about the choice of your words. Add a pause after every sentence you speak. This will make you a better speaker.

3. Rambling is gambling

Rambling indicates that you are confused and nervous. It makes your sentences unnecessarily long and more often than not; the listener loses interest in what you are saying.

In situations when you are faced with a one-on-one conversation, rambling is equivalent to gambling. You might lose it all! For example, you are sitting for an interview and the interviewer asks you a simple question but out of nervousness you respond with an extended speech. This will reflect poorly of you as a person and won’t leave a good impression on your interviewer either.

The best way to hone your conversation skills is to pay attention to your daily speech and constantly correct yourself. In time you will find that your speech is effortless.


4. Speak in a calm and audible voice 

Is your voice soothing to the ears? If not, you may need to work upon your pitch. Speaking in a calm audible voice shows affirmation. Speaking too loudly, too slowly or too softly will not get your point across to the listener. A strong reassuring voice makes you a good speaker and a person who people can trust.

Also read: Etiquettes in the workplace

5. Listen first

The biggest communication problem is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. Try listening to what the other person has to say and wait for your turn to speak. When you start listening attentively, you can pick up on topics to lead the conversation.

6. Don’t ask too many questions
Asking too many questions can feel like an interview or an interrogation. Try a mix and match of questions and sentences. This will help you glide through even a difficult conversation.

7. Reciprocate
Reciprocation is the key to having a good conversation. One sided communication or answering in just yes/no or short sentences can make any conversation mindless and boring. Share what you feel and think. If someone shares an experience, contribute to the conversation by sharing some of yours. Participate and invest in a conversation to make it engaging. 

The best way to hone your conversation skills is to pay attention to your daily speech and constantly correct yourself. In time you will find that your speech is effortless, and you won’t have to worry about your next conversation compromising your otherwise great chances at professional success.

Are you still thinking of the right way to kick start a conversation at your workplace? Stay tuned for the next article where I will share some easy breezy ways to initiate a great workplace conversation!

Interested in reading more articles on learning and development? Check out our other articles here:

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Sanjukta Chakraborty

I love creating interesting and valuable content for our members. A firm believer of the fact that content is the reason search began in the first place, let's connect and...

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