How to master the fine art of conversation

Filed on April 1, 2021

This is going to take you far in life. An articulate persona is a magnet in a social and business environment. It’s almost paralysing in a good way when you are in the presence of a charismatic person whose eloquence works like a charm around you and everyone else. Articulate and well-spoken people would always be heart of social gatherings. They bring people together and never let anyone feel left out. It takes a little time and you must first get rid of your social anxiety and all other inhibitions and master your social skills. Once that confidence builds, you can work on the art of smart conversation.

1. Make people feel included: It’s the first sign of great confidence. When you know how to bring people together, you make each of them feel included in a conversation. That says a lot about how confident you are as a person. The way to do it is to always pay a little more attention to the person who has most inhibitions. Make him stand next to you and boost his confidence so he feels included and then works your way to everyone around you. Ask questions, say something good about someone’s achievements within a group of people. Introduce people confidently.

2. Avoid monologues: Having a conversation is a two-way process. You may have a very interesting story to share, but keep it crisp and short without making it a monologue. Nothing kills a conversation with a long story spoken by only one person. It is about human connection, encourage even the most silent person around you to participate. Ask interesting questions with encouraging facial expressions.

3. The cell phone is a rude accessory. Keep your cell phone out of sight and out of mind when you have company. Nothing screams rudeness more than you checking your phone during a conversation. Human connection will always be more important than technology. Keep your phone in your bag and in silent mode, and always ask for permission for checking your phone only if you are expecting an avoidable call. Remember to always take permission if you would like to take a picture for social media.

4. Be mindful of your body language: There is a saying, “It takes greatness to walk into a room and not to lift your hand above the shoulder.” Which means, your hand should never touch your face or your hair in a social setting, especially during a conversation. Being mindful of the art of sitting, standing and walking and also your facial expressions communicate a good command over decorum. Just being mindful of your facial expression, your smile, and not fidgeting, will speak volumes about how well-composed you are. Body language gives out a lot about a person’s vulnerability and strengths. Fidgeting shows you are either bored or insecure.

5. Sophistication starts with humility: Avoid boastfulness at all cost. Career achievements, expensive purchases or good business deals shouldn’t be a relevant topic of conversation if you are meeting people socially. Empathy and humility are very elegant. The whole idea of sophistication is humility. And to be able to offer empathy and encouragement through conversation is remarkable.

wknd@khaleejtimes.com