If your palms sweat at the thought of starting, holding, or even exiting a conversation, we may just be kindred spirits.
Anxious, uncomfortable, and exceptionally good at awkward conversation.
But instead of discussing my verbal blunders, I wanted to share some tips and tricks that have helped me improve my conversation skills (slowly but surely). They’re pretty straightforward, but not always easy to implement.
1. Ask HOW or WHAT rather than WHY.
2. Strive to make people feel good about themselves.
3. Practice conversation threading.
4. Ask open-ended questions.
5. Find something to laugh about (genuinely) with the other person.
6. Think “Yes, and…”
7. Listen to understand, not to respond.
8. Don’t feel obliged to agree with everything the other person says.
9. Tap into emotion. Connect with people on an emotional level.
10. Speak in statements!
11. Share a related anecdote.
12. Try to initiate the conversation instead of waiting to be approached.
13. Remember to breathe!
(Sources: books, articles, reddit forums, and youtube videos…basically the Internet)
In the end, it all comes down to practice, right? No matter how many videos you’ve watched, courses you’ve taken, or books you’ve read, nothing will teach you more than actually going out there and putting yourself in situations that call for…sigh..human interaction. Take the time to test it all out and hopefully something sticks!