Yes, making an interesting conversation is an art, and only a handful of people have it. Have you noticed how some people instantly become the focus of every conversation? These are the people who have the gift of the gab. They know what to say and when to say it. They speak well and so people like to listen to them.
I personally feel that the first prerequisite to being a great conversationalist is the ability to be sensitive to the feelings of others. This will ensure that one is always politically correct and thus able to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings. A person who has the ability to put oneself in the other person’s shoes and to empathise with others will rarely put his foot in his mouth. But we often come across people who keep blabbering insensitively, oblivious to the fact that they are making someone uncomfortable.
A good conversationalist should be well-read and aware of all the current happenings in and around the world. This ensures that he can give intelligent inputs to the conversation. If one has no idea about the topic being discussed, he will be left out in the cold. So, it is important to follow the news everyday and know about all the local as well as world events. Read the latest books and magazines. So the next time someone is talking about Anish Tripathi, you will know that he is the guy who wrote the Shiva trilogy!
Another point to keep in mind is that one should not stick to one topic for too long. To keep a conversation interesting one should talk on varied topics of interests. Do not dig out buried topics.
Also one should avoid getting too personal when having a social conversation. Respect the privacy of others. It is best to discuss neutral and general topics.
Keep religion out of your conversation as you may end up hurting someone’s sentiments. While discussing politics the best option is to keep the conversation under control or it may turn into a heated argument.
A good conversationalist has to be a good listener. So listen more and talk less.
Tailor the conversation to the listener. Talk only about those topics that will be understood and will interest the people around you.
- Be natural
- Think before you speak
- Talk more about others than about yourself
- Do not interrupt others
- Do not correct grammatical mistakes of others
- Do not raise your voice, be soft spoken