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How to be a Brilliant Conversationalist

October 18, 2008 | 68,103 views

conversationYou probably shy away from some people on social occasions. Their conversations are tedious. You may also be fortunate enough to know some brilliant conversationalists, who can enliven any discussion. In which category would other people place you?

Speaking well is one of the 10 skills you need to succeed at almost anything, so here are some pointers that might help you improve your conversational skills and become a welcome sight at every party and social event you attend:

Ask Questions

Most people prefer to talk about themselves rather than hear about you, so asking questions is a great way to start and to refresh conversations. By asking questions you draw other people in and engage them.

Listen

Great conversationalists are great listeners. Whether you are with one person or a group, listen attentively. People like good listeners -- wouldn’t you rather speak with someone who was interested in what you had to say, rather than someone who looked bored and indifferent?

Give Compliments

Pay compliments whenever you sincerely can. If someone looks smart or has lost weight, then show that you have noticed by giving a genuine compliment.

Keep Up to Date on Topical Issues

It is important to keep abreast of key current issues and topics in the news, entertainment, sports and politics. You should be ready to comment with questions, ideas, facts and opinions on the issues that other people are interested in.

Be Humorous

There is a place for serious discussion and there is a place for the light-hearted, so be ready to contribute in either environment. Witty comments tend to be spontaneous, clever and unexpected, so being witty is not an easy skill to develop, but there are some things you can do. Observe witty people in action and see how they contribute. Be bold enough to add your comments and witticisms and carefully watch reactions to see whether you are hitting the right note.

Speak Clearly

Say what you have to say with clarity and enthusiasm. Many people mumble their words, or rush through them or whisper so quietly that you have to strain to hear them. Good conversationalists are clear, articulate and easy to understand.

Enjoy it

Be yourself, be natural and don’t try to be anything that you are not. Approach the situation with a positive attitude and tell yourself that you are going to have a good time and meet some interesting people.
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