How to Improve Conversation Skills

2565606353 d2c7001e2c How to Improve Conversation Skills

I see conversation as the glue that sticks people together. If you pay attention to how people bond, socialize and build partnerships, you’ll notice that it’s done mostly through the art of conversation.

It’s a very big surprise to me that throughout most of our formal education, we don’t learn how to improve conversation skills, because I believe they are some of the top skills one can have in our society.

Going beyond formal education, I find most books and courses on how to improve conversation skills to be crammed with platitudes and simplistic advice.

Since in my work as a social confidence coach I help my clients apply effective ways to improve conversation skills, I’m going to share with you the key action steps that, in time, I’ve noticed to contribute the most to mastering conversation.

Start with Conversation Confidence

The majority of persons who contact me and tell me they lack conversation skills, I usually find out upon a thorough inspection that first and foremost, they lack conversation confidence.

It’s not that they don’t have something to say or they don’t know how to converse; it’s that they lack the confidence to do so. They’re afraid they’ll say the wrong thing, come off as awkward or make fools of themselves. Thus, they end up being coy in social interactions.

Many times, 80% of their problem would be solved if they would get conversation confidence. But since they misdiagnose their situation, they seek to learn how to improve conversation skills instead, and they alienate themselves in this quest.

Banner 728x90 How to Improve Conversation Skills

If you lack conversation confidence, start by getting this handled. Your lack of confidence is based on perfectionism and limiting beliefs, and it is in fact the primary cause of conversational deficiency. Change your thinking; your conversation skills will follow.

Because there are a lot of things to be said on this, I have a free conversation confidence guide for you in which I’ll teach you a 3-step process to become confident in conversations. Go here to get it.

Get More Social

I frequently hear people who struggle in their social interactions saying that they want to learn how to improve their conversation skills so they can then go out and socialize more. They believe if they just get the right techniques, the social animal within them will come out.

In reality, it works exactly the other way around. You go out more, despite your shortage (real or imagined) of conversation skills, you participate in social activities, you interact with lots of people, you make conversation, and as you do so, your skills sharpen.

This may be an uncomfortable reality because in entails that you face your shyness and socialize more, but it’s the only viable option. The primary way to sharpen your social skills is exposure to social situations.

This exposure, along with a constructive mindset, will gradually make your conversation style self-regulate and it will become more engaging, charismatic and powerful. It’s mostly a matter of practice and desire.

Balance the Energy

Think of a conversation as an exchange of energy. Well, whenever such an exchange takes place, balance is always important. You want the energy going one way to match the energy going the other.

This balance is often the missing ingredient in discussions between two people. In many conversations:

  • One person does most of the talking, while the other does most of the listening;
  • One person is whining, while the other is providing support;
  • One person is the entertainer, while the other is the entertained.

Whenever I see or I am in a conversation like that, I feel like there’s something missing and the social dynamic there is not sustainable.

Like most things in life, good conversation implies balance. It is through balancing the energy in discussions that you become able to make them fruitful for both/all the persons involved.

Master Self-Expression

From my perspective, the better you become at communicating opinions, feelings and experiences using language, the more interesting conversation you can make.

Again, confidence plays a big role. So, make sure to check out my free conversation confidence guide to get this area handled.

I find that many people have a very generic and vague way of expressing themselves. They talk in clichés, and they don’t put the richness of their inner world into the outer world. They may be really interesting people, but because they lack in verbal skills, few others ever find out.

Practice expressing yourself with words. Paint vivid and rich pictures in the minds of your audience, using words. This is something I’ve focused on mastering in many of my public speaking experiences and I can tell you that it’s just a matter of practice, repetition and persistence.

With the four conversation pillars above in place, making artful conversation is not hard at all. It’s easy, fun and something you look forward to every day.

In the process of learning how to improve your conversation skills, keep these pillars in mind and give them priority. They will take you and your social life very far.

Image courtesy of moriza

Banner 4 How to Improve Conversation Skills

Comments

  1. Imho the problem again lays on lack of self-confidence.
    Lack of self-confidence is the root of 98% problems.

    In perfect world, everyone should have self-confidence so
    the one should feel boosted seeing sth to do, sth what challenge and check my “self”.

    • Hey Mark,

      First off, the title of this article is “How to Improve Conversational Skills”, not “The Root of Social Problems.” It’s specifically written to help those who can’t seem to get the conversational juices going within an interaction.

      Simply stating “lack of confidence” doesn’t help many guys for two reasons:

      1. The phrase is not practical. One cannot just “be confident” because confidence is earned and everyone has their own definition of what confidence is.

      2. There is a dangerous cycle within “confidence.” Is the person who needs this article low confident because he can’t have thrilling conversations or can he not have thrilling conversations because he’s low confident?

      My whole point being is conventional wisdom is overused dogma that rarely solves a problem.

    • True. And the rest of problems are caused by too much (or blind) self-confidence ;)

  2. confidence is an attitude,not an inference…you can have all the proofs in the world that you need to trust yourself and still not do this

  3. PassingThru says:

    Not sure if this is right place for this but what about conversational styles? As I grow in my career I find, just like personalities, some people have a preference when communicating verbally or written (i.e. email). Its easy to create a problem if you are not aware of this. For instance, some prefer every email they receive to include acts of politeness. Extra “please”, “thank you”, “kindly”, “how the family…” etc before or after the meat of the real message. What if this makes the people writing uncomfortable? How do you build you skills when you have to deal with personality conflicts?

Speak Your Mind

*