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Art of Conversing, lost?

Updated on August 10, 2011

The silver tongue

What is conversation? What makes someone good at it - the gift of the gab or education? Can it be learned or is it for the gifted, you know that person who just knows how to keep up their end of a conversation.

What is the purpose of conversing? Why is it different from communication? Is it different from communication? Why is it necessary? Is it necessary?

This is one point that makes communication different from conversation, communication is usually done to exchange information, ideas or bring awareness. Conversation has to do with curiosity about life, about people and making a connection.

A person with an out going personality seems to be well equipped to handle conversing well. They enjoy learning and socializing, so it comes easily for them to discuss things at anytime and with anyone.

The difference is they are more comfortable with themselves and more animated, so they are unafraid of being open, honest and transparent.

Is the Art of conversing lost?

Some will say yes. I am not sure, but with the advance of technology, it seems that people are more prone to bad behavior instead of talking things out in a sensible manner. A lot of this is because through the use of computers and texting on the phone instead of talking, it seems as if we no longer really hold conversations. It seems we are more and more afraid of exchanging personal information face to face. We are afraid!

But has it ever been easy for people to master the art of conversation? Have men and women ever been able to allow the conversation to flow with ease. We talk about men being from Venus and women being from Mars, or vicer verser, meaning that we converse on different planes.

Jokes about men being stone age brutes, just grunting when they should be talking is a prevalent thought within society, but is it true? We also make cracks about how women tend to over talk, speaking thousands of words because we are emotional and men lack an extensive vocabulary because they are logical and less emotional.

But that is not true!

I have been in a gathering of men where there is a lot of talking. It could be because no women are present. Or they are discussing something they all enjoy - common interests like sports.

I have been in a gathering with women where there is a lot of talking. It is different from a men's gathering but open discussion is enjoyable as well, because they are talking about things in which they have a common interest.

Communicating, and conversing are two separate things. Conversation is where we make personal explorations of another person through words and listening. You know, where we spend the time learning their likes and dislikes, their thoughts and opinions about things.

Conversation is more intimate, it shows a fascination of things, people, and the wonderful mystery of life. Silence, and taking your turn to speak are important they make the art of conversing a lovely exchange rather than an ordeal, or unappealing to the participants.

Conversation - Natural or learned

Having the gift of gab does not mean you are a natural conversationalist. Just because someone talks a lot does not mean they have anything pertinent to say. Conversation is never one sided, it is a give and take process.

For some people conversation seems to come naturally, they have an innate sense of charm or charisma which makes them flow easily into conversing with others, making them feel at ease, discussing a variety of topics in a laid back manner.

Learning how to converse with someone is not a hard thing, the difficulty usually lies in the person's self confidence or lack of it. This can be overcome with a few simple tips and techniques. But it all starts with how comfortable someone is with themself.

Since conversation can be taught it is recommended for caregivers of small children to speak to them. Not gibberish but actual intelligible words. This is necessary like everything else that we teach our children, it is important they are taught correctly first then allowed to free style, so to speak.

Children learn from example and caregivers are that first example of what is right and wrong in everything. They absorb things quite fast and with no problems, so what you do around them is vital for learning.

Conversation is one of those things that make a whole lot of difference, but it can be taught and the sooner we do it well around our children the better. There have to be rules set up so that it can be done effectively. Like setting aside times when conversing is top priority. There should be places set aside for conversing and a comfortable attitude toward it, so it flows easily for all. This always give children, especially, a sense of security making them open up about themselves and ideas of interest to them and others.

Parents making your children comfortable with conversing is one of the best things you can do for them. An articular adult is well sort after but it all begins with an articular child and parents are responsible for this attribute!

Proper techniques of conversation

  • Be a good listener, listening is the key to first class conversation. Ask interesting, thoughtful and thought provoking questions. Listen more than you talk, two ears, one mouth is a great reminder of this tip.
  1. Focus on the speaker.
  2. Nod your head to show the speaker that you are interested.
  3. Use sounds of encouragement, like "hmm's" and "uh huh's" at all the appropriate moments, so you have to be attentive.
  • Be natural, strive to be yourself, conversing is a two way street, you want those you are speaking with to feel at ease, comfortable. Be as laid back or relaxed as possible, your body language is important as well.
  1. Be yourself.
  2. Be open and engaging.
  3. Be generous.
  • Tailor your conversation, this means you listen for the speaker's interests. This helps you to steer the conversation to areas they are comfortable discussing and are enthused to be talking about. Think before you speak.
  1. Ask questions, open questions like what, when and why or how.
  2. Tap into the speaker's interests.
  3. Gain some personal information.
  • Have fodder, this just means you have some knowledge of a variety of subjects on which you can converse. It typically is a safety precaution, especially if you want to be politically correct and stay away from topics dealing with politics, religion and sensitive subjects. This is key if you are meeting people for the first time.
  1. Conscientiously stock your mind with facts and information on a variety of things.
  2. Talk about general or common interests.
  3. Be prepared to discuss a variety of topics, like movies, books, art, food etc.

General conversation tips :

  • Common topics
  • Share and share alike
  • Be good natured
  • Cause no offense
  • Makes people feel at ease
  • Give others intellectual freedom

Things not to do when conversing with others:

  • Don't talk too long
  • Don't flatly disagree - it is an implied insult
  • Don't be forceful or emphatic in stating opinions
  • Don't interrupt or talk over the speaker
  • Don't talk to one person only, include everybody
  • Don't over share about your personal life, especially if it is your first time meeting people
  • Don't be the English teacher, correcting people's grammar or speech
  • Don't allow fear or nervousness to keep you silent

Group of people talking
Group of people talking | Source

Cultivating conversation

Make it a priority to converse with your children or anyone for that matter. Take every opportunity to engage them in conversation. Practice makes perfect.

The best places to talk is where they can be a captive audience.

1. While driving, have a rule where all the gadgets are turned off when entering the vehicle, including the car radio and let everyone come up with a topic to say at least one line about. Your goal is to learn at least one thing you didn't know before.

2. In an elevator, if you have to ride an elevator with a person for any reason. Don't just stare at the walls, take a chance and engage them in a conversation. Learn at least one thing about them.

3. While eating a meal. Meals are a great opportunity to converse with people. It is an awesome opportunity to have people at ease and comfortable, they willing to share things about themselves. At any meal people are prone to let down their guards and answer questions that they would normally not in any other setting. That is why eating is a great way to promote and have lively conversation.

4. Setting up a room for conversation, this is pretty easy but lots of homes don't use some of the simplest tricks where you can induce others to comfortably talk about anything. Think of a circle and set you furniture up facing each other and close enough so that your voice carries well enough to be heard. Throw in some low lights or lamps with dark shades, so it is cozy.

What makes a good conversation?

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    • Celiegirl profile image

      Celiegirl 6 years ago

      Thanks KrystalD - i always like to pass on information that i have proven and instituted in my own life. I find that i can be more articulate and honest. Keep up the work with the children they really are the FUTURE!

    • KrystalD profile image

      KrystalD 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      I totally agree! The amount of detail was fantastic and your hub definately encourages me to continue the work I am doing with children in this area. Thanks!