Ho to Improve Conversational Skills
20 Tips to Improve Conversational Skills
Learn English Communication Skills
Improving Conversational Skills is an ongoing process. Interacting with others is an art itself, and a complex one at that.
Here are 20 tips from Link School of English to help you in the process…
- Ask quality questions: Avoid ‘yes’ or ‘no’ evoking responses by asking questions that require detail; these will typically start with one of the five ‘Ws’.
- Actively listen: Don’t be thinking of a response while the other is still speaking. Wait 5 to 10 seconds before responding.
- Take turns: Balance talking and listening. Monitor yourself to make sure you’re not dominating the conversation.
- Show interest and curiosity about what is being said. Doing so validates the other’s importance to you.
- Be genuine and generous with compliments and praise. Be specific when giving praise. Rather than saying, “That was a nice story,” say, “I like how at the end of the story everything worked out for the best.”
- Assume best intentions. Conversation is a balance of assumptions and believing that the person you are conversing with intends no ill-will. Most conflicts arise from a misunderstanding of the other’s intentions.
- Take deep breaths. Taking deep breaths forces you to relax.
- To be interesting be interested. Ask questions that lead the other person to talk about the things they enjoy. Resist the natural instinct to talk about yourself.
- Make the other person feel comfortable. It’s always a good idea to smile and maintain eye contact to convey warmth and interest in the other person.
- Give the other person time to think and speak. It may take a while for the other person to process what you’ve said. Give them time to prepare and give an insightful response.
- Make conversation by telling a story – You can be confident carrying on a conversation when you can tell a story. Have one prepared and tell it if it’s appropriate to the conversation and situation.
- Converse with your eyes – Eye contact is an essential part of talking to others in order to be perceived as self-confident and engaged in the conversation.
- Personalize the conversation – Taking the extra step to remember a person’s name indicates that you are interested in that person. Using their name several times during the conversation will help you recall it later.
- Body language – Non-verbal communication counts for 50% of a conversation. It is important to maintain a calm and poised posture; avoid fidgeting as this expresses nervousness and insecurity or worse, boredom.
- Say something positive. If you begin with something positive people will think of you and remember you as a positive person.
- Don’t settle for small talk -You know more than you realise. Sharpen your knowledge by keeping current with what’s happening in the world; read newspapers, watch the news, etc.
- Avoiding unnecessary detail. Don’t assume the person you are speaking with wants to know every detail of your day or circumstance.
- Pick up on what people say. If the person mentions they just returned from holiday, ask them if they enjoyed it or where they went, etc.
- Start with a general topic which anyone can relate to. Like the weather – we all experience it. You can also talk about the latest movie, sports or news.
- When it’s over – end it. Say something like, “It’s been a pleasure talking to you,” or signal the end of the conversation by offering your hand and saying, “I enjoyed meeting you.” Then smile and walk away – no excuse needed!
Do you have other ideas on improving English communication skills? Have your say and post your comment below.