Do you have good conversation skills?
Every day there is a new opportunity to make a good impression. The way a person talks in a conversation and how they present themselves can make or break a first impression.
Conversation is a skill that requires a continual effort to improve. Having good conversation skills can help you to reach your goals; whether the goal is to advance in a career, or to improve your love life.
Discover what works best for you, what needs improvement, and what can get you results!
Important Tools to a Great Conversation
It all begins with a positive attitude
Projecting a positive attitude will bring the horse to water. Nothing else is more important than a positive outlook in life. An unhappy person only has conversations with other unhappy people. Misery loves company.
Don't be fake. Know what you are talking about and believe in what you are saying. Be honest in your feelings on the subject. People can tell when you are being fake. They lose interest in what you have to say and will move on to other conversations quicker than you can say gobbledygook!
Show enthusiasm. When you get excited about the conversation, others will too.
Talk about other's interests. If you are always talking about yourself, people get bored in a conversation and you come off arrogant. Ask good questions! (scroll down to find a few)
Most important: Listen!
What are your hands saying?
Your hands can do most of the talking
Most of us emphasize what we say in conversations by gesturing with our hands. Often, what our hands are saying is completely different than what our mouth is speaking.
Pacifying gestures Self-touching, signals insecurity
Emblematic gestures Culturally specific signs--such as the thumbs-up or hand rocking for "so-so"--are used like words, but watch out for different meanings abroad
Finger pointing or wagging shows you're pulling rank (but may be losing control)
Open, angled palms Suggests candor and openness--literally having nothing to hide
Palms up With fingers spread, the gesture indicates you're making a request
Clenched hands Suggests anger, frustration or, on the upside, resolve
Hands on hips Communicates defiance, intransigence and independence
Palms down Signals power or certainty, or the intent to control the audience
Hidden hands Hands behind the back makes you less trustworthy
Steepling gesture Hands together show you know this subject inside and out
Over the shoulder Waving, cheering and other arm moves show enthusiasm, but can make you look erratic
Vertical palms Indicates precise measurement or timing, like a visual period or comma
"What your hands say" by Michael McCullough
Do you talk with your hands?
You want to improve your conversation skills to....
Avoid the Filler Words
It's hard to follow
If you want to improve your speaking skills, you should begin with your filler words. Filler words are words that don't add anything to the conversation, but fill in the space. Like, Um, Ah, Okay, Uh, are examples of a few filler words.
First, it takes time and practice. It's been said that in order to break a bad habit it takes 21 days. So be patient with it and practice in all your conversations.
Don't get nervous. Nerves tend to bring out the filler words the most. Calm down, breath in and out. It's just a conversation.
Know what you are talking about. If you know what you are saying and have a confidence about the topic, then you are a lot less likely to use the words that make you seem nervous and unintelligent.
Take your time. Pause when you would normally use a filler word.
Be aware of your habits.
Do you say "like" or "um" to fill your sentences?