So how do I become a better conversationalist? It is fun being a great speaker standing in front of 300 people but how do you talk to anyone, one on one. These are some simple but effective ideas.
First, you need to be interested in what people have to say. Start by asking questions and then listen to the answers. One great way to learn how to listen is by learning how to evaluate a speech. Evaluating speeches teaches you how to listen. Listening allows you to get to know people and what is happening in their lives. Most people want to be understood and tell their stories.
People like to receive compliments. If you tell someone how great of a job they did in a particular event, people respond favorably.
You need to avoid debates. You can have a discussion back and forth but don’t try to change someone’s opinion. It doesn’t work!
Work on your humor skills. People like to talk to people who are funny. Again a learned skill.
Use these ideas and the next time you are sitting on a plane, you can have a great conversation with the person next to you!