How to End a Conversation Like a Pro

There is a subtle art to ending a conversation smoothly, just as there is to starting it and keeping it going. Sometimes you instinctively know how to end a conversation and trust you will do it well. Other times though you may find yourself stuck in a discussion you wanna get out of, but you don’t know how to do it.

Drawing from my social experience and my communication coaching practice, I wanna cut to the core of this issue and give you some key ideas for ending conversations effortlessly in a variety of situations.

Realize That Most People Will Understand

When I talk with coaching clients about ending conversations, they often express serious concerns about what the other person will think if they end the conversation. They fear the other person will think they don’t enjoy talking to them, they will feel abandoned, or they will find their action rude.

I will tell you what I typically tell them as well: in my experience, most people are really very understanding when you end a conversation. They don’t take it personally, they don’t get offended. Even when you end a discussion because it’s utterly tedious, rarely will the other person think that is the reason (unless you actually say so, which, as we’ll see, is not advised).

Keep this in mind whenever you wanna finish a conversation. It will make it much easier to do it without second-guessing yourself.

Give a Real or a Relatable Motive

convoIt’s good to give a brief explanation when you end a conversation, as a polite way to excuse yourself out of it. Usually I recommend that you get clear on the true reason you wanna end the conversation, and you state that reason candidly. Honesty works wonders most of the time.

However, there are situations where the real reason is likely to offend the other person. In such situations, an exception applies. “Excuse me, this conversation is boring me to death” is rarely a smart way to exit a discussion, even if that is the true reason.

In such situations, I suggest that you close the conversation giving a motive the other person can relate to but has nothing to do with them. A reason they’ve likely had in the past as well, and they can understand. For example:

  • “Well, I have to go. I have a meeting to get too.” – works great when you run into somebody on the street.
  • “Excuse me, I wanna make sure I say hello to somebody.” – useful for most social events where you know at least one other person.
  • “Excuse me, I promised myself to mingle a bit at this party.” – who can’t relate to trying to be social, right?
  • “Excuse me; I wanna go grab another drink.” – and then you don’t have to return to the same person.
  • “I have to go to the restroom.” – a classic.

Use Conversation Pauses to Make Your Exit

Most conversations have moments when they run out of steam, and thus brief silences occur. If you wanna finish a conversation, such a moment is an excellent opportunity to do so.

A pause in a conversation is like the end of a book chapter. And just like if you’re gonna put a book down for a while it’s best to do it at the end of a chapter, it’s good to end a discussion when a break in it appears. You don’t even have to say much in such a scenario. I usually end it with something like: “Well, I’ll see you around”, and then walk away.

Of course, some people are so talkative you hardly get a good break in the conversation. In such cases you’ll have to be more sudden in ending it, when the smallest break occurs, and then you many wanna give a reason.

Introduce the Person to Someone Else

One common concern people have about ending conversations at social events has to do with leaving the other person hanging. You move to something or somebody else, while the other person just sits there, sucking on their finger or whatever.

That’s why a good way to get out of a conversation is to introduce the person you’re talking to, to somebody else in the room. Just say something like “Hey, let me introduce you to somebody you’ll really love to meet”. Then take them to the other person, make the introduction and try to get a conversation going between the two of them.

As that conversation picks up, you can gently extract yourself from it. Provided they really get into the conversation, often they won’t even notice your exit. Thus you connect two people, and you get out of a conversation without leaving anybody hanging.

But, Why Do You Wanna End a Conversation Anyway?

It’s worth addressing one more thorny issue, which involves the usual reason why you wanna end conversations in the first place.

Coaching others in improving their conversation style, I often find that they wanna learn how to end a conversation, not because they wanna be able to switch conversation partners, or exit a discussion when pressed for time, but rather because many conversations make them anxious, so ending them is their way of coping with that anxiety.

However, when a social interaction makes you anxious or self-conscious, it’s actually a very bad idea to end it. It may give you some momentary relief, but it also perpetuates and reinforces your social insecurities. So it keeps you struggling with having long, meaningful interactions with people, and it makes it very hard to build lasting relationships.

Instead of seeking to end conversations when they make you anxious, what you wanna do is learn how to soothe your anxiety, and how to keep conversations going. The best strategy is to remove your nervousness, not to remove yourself from conversations.

Of course, this is easier said than done. Anxiety in social situations is not something you can get rid of just like that. You need an effective strategy to soothe social anxiety. So going further, I wanna give you such a strategy, in the form of a free instructional video.

Go here and make sure you watch this video, where I will show you how to overcome your nervousness in social settings and make effortless conversation, using a proven formula that my coaching clients have been using successfully for years. You might wanna join my free social advice newsletter as well.

When you can be at ease conversing with anyone for as long as you want, and you can also excuse yourself elegantly from a conversation whenever you want, you are in the possession of two very important abilities.

With them you can navigate conversations effortlessly, be more social, meet new people and connect with them in a meaningful way.

4 Myths about Conversation and One Crucial Truth

I think many people have some off-track ideas about conversation and how it’s supposed to be done, which sabotage their social interactions and social life.

Based on my social and coaching experience, I’d like to debunk 4 such common conversation myths, then underline an important truth, and hopefully help you gain a better understanding of both yourself and the subtle art of conversation. Let’s start with the 4 myths.

Myth 1: Conversation Means Just Small Talk

Small talk – like chatting about the weather or how good the coffee you’re having is – is a frequently present part of conversation. But that’s not what conversation is all about. Ideally, small talk should only be one component of a conversation.

Small talk is a great way to break the ice with somebody, to ease your way into a conversation. It’s also something that’s good to have sprinkled all throughout a conversation. But a good conversation is not just small talk. On the contrary, it involves discussing meaningful and highly engaging topics at least as much.

It is true that some people tend to just stick to small talk, but they are not the example to follow. These people are generally uncomfortable with deeper conversation because they fear it will expose their shortcomings or turn into some sort of argument. However, the best conversationalists combine small talk with deeper conversation. They’re the right model.

Myth 2: Small Talk Is a Waste of Time

Group of multiracial friends with barbecue and beer bottle enjoying their vacationSo small talk is a part of conversation though. However, simply because it’s about banal topics does not make it worthless.

I find that people who don’t get the point of small talk are typically not seeing one important aspect of conversation. For them a discussion is strictly about learning something or being intellectually stimulated; and small talk does little in that sense.

However, conversation is also a form of social play. When conversation is play, the topic is not very important. It’s the vibe going on between the two or more people discussing that matters. I can talk with someone about cheese nips and have a satisfying conversation. Because the emotional exchange is the important part, not the informational exchange.

If you’re not used to seeing and making conversation as a form of social play, it’s time you begin trying to do so. You’re missing out on an amazing experience if you don’t.

Myth 3: Conversation Means Being Fake

Ammm, no! Sure, some people are mostly fake during conversation, pretending to like things they don’t, to be someone they’re not, in order to please whomever they’re talking to. But not everybody is like that, and again, such folks are not the example to follow.

Because conversation is not about trying to please others. It’s about seeking a mutually rewarding interaction with somebody. And if you can’t have that kind of an interaction with a person, that’s fine too. It’s okay to just drop it.

If you have to be fake for somebody to enjoy your company, it’s usually not worth it for you, so you shouldn’t try to make conversation that way.

I often help my coaching clients develop a more genuine and articulate style of conversation. Throughout this process, they constantly discover how enjoyable it is when you’re being real with others, and how it truly pays off.

Myth 4: People Are Too Stupid To Talk To

I hear a lot of men and women complain about how others are idiots, they have nothing interesting to say, and all they talk about is movies, TV, or celebrity gossip.

I’d definitely love it for more people to have more exciting lives and be more interesting to talk to. But at the same time, I do find lots of smart and fascinating people. In fact my social circle is full of them.

But you have to talk to a lot of people and interact with some of the less interesting people as well to discover who the more interesting ones are. And many times an apparently dim and dull person ends up being quite intelligent and intriguing once you get a chance to truly know them.

So not all people are stupid or boring; and some people being less than what you’d like them to be is not an excuse for avoiding social interaction.

This leads me to my final point, relating to one question:

Why Do Many People Buy Into These 4 Myths?

Why is it that many folks believe this baloney about making conversation?

Part of it has to do with a lack of social experience, which creates a lack of true understanding of conversation, which leaves plenty of room for false ideas to come in. And there are many sources for such ideas out there.

Many people’s ideas about talking to others come from a combination of movies, cheesy self-help articles and guidance from socially awkward friends. And they’re just very off.

There is a deeper aspect to this issue though. Working regularly with people with less than fulfilling social relationships, I often find that they use ideas such as the 4 myths above as excuses to avoid social interaction and justify their paltry social lives.

But the real reason they avoid social interaction is because they find interacting with others nerve-racking. They are shy or socially anxious, and conversing with others is not easy for them. So they avoid it. The 4 myths come afterwards as rationalizations, or backfiring attempts to comfort themselves by making themselves seem superior to others for not being as sociable.

If this is you, it’s crucial for you to understand that, with some proper guidance, you can overcome your social insecurities and you don’t have to let them paralyze you. But you’ve got to take responsibility for your life and stop making excuses for avoiding social situations.

Instead of making excuses, you gotta admit that you wanna have a better social life, and then focus on working to develop the social confidence & skills that will allow you to do it.

And I can help you with that. The first thing I suggest you do is check out this practical presentation, in which I’ll show you my highly-optimized method for developing social confidence, used over the past 5+ years by hundreds of people I’ve coached. You’ll learn a lot from it.

Also, join my free social confidence newsletter for more practical advice from me for improving your confidence and conversation skills.

Truth be told, no loner is genuinely pleased with being a loner. Life isn’t only about socializing, but social relationships are a very important component of life, and a huge predictor of life satisfaction. It’s worth taking care of this aspect of your life.

You can do it! The ball is in your court.

Develop Your Conversation Style around Your Natural Strengths

Giving others advice for improving their conversation skills is very tricky.

People often expect formulaic instructions on how to talk to other people. And this probably happens to a large extent because many authors out there offer this kind of instructions. They will boldly tell you to do this, then do that, then say this, then say that, and you’ll have amazing conversations and everybody will love you.

Years ago, when I first started training others in improving their conversation skills, I was eager to give this kind of advice as well. But in time, especially by coaching others one-on-one, I came to realize this is a bad approach to helping people develop good conversation skills.

The Dynamics of Conversation

You see, conversation has one interesting attribute. It’s something that doesn’t need to be done in one single way in order to go well. In fact, there are many styles of conversation that work, just as there are many conversation styles that don’t work.

Most of the people I call my friends are very charismatic and socially skilled individuals. But if you would bring them to the same party and observe them, you’d notice that they have very different styles of talking to people. They are clear similarities, but there are also clear differences between them.

One is high energy and jokes around all the time, one rarely makes jokes but captivates people with his ideas, one has a more brazen, bad-boy attitude in conversation, and one is really good at making people feel appreciated. And all of them manage to connect well with lots of people and to sweep them off their feet.

Conversation styleWhen you wanna help others develop their conversation skills and you have this perspective on conversation, it’s a whole different game you’re playing. You can’t just give them rigid instructions and expect good results, as if you were teaching them how to tie their shoe laces and there is only one way to do it right.

What I do instead as a communication coach is to start by helping people realize that as clumsy or awkward as they may be right now in social situations, there is a good conversationalist somewhere inside them. And there are ways to bring it out. I help them believe in themselves. I talk more about how this psychological process works in this special presentation.

Next, I usually help them discover their natural strengths and get a good understanding of their personality type. And as they get to know themselves better, it becomes clearer to them what kind of a conversation style would match well the way they are.

So then they can work with me on developing a conversation style that creates amazing results with people, and at the same time is designed around their personality and their natural strengths. Every one of my clients develops their own unique social persona, which is ideal for them.

On the other hand, when you take the approach of giving someone formulaic conversation advice, what happens most often is that the advice is gonna be so far from the person’s strengths they will never fully internalize it, and it won’t work well for them. So their conversation style will perpetually seem clumsy and inconsistent. It’s kind of like having an eagle running a horse race, or a horse trying to fly.

Unfortunately, it’s common for coaches, trainers and bloggers to teach others a conversation style that works well for their own person, since it matches the way they are, but will fail someone else who different from them.

They’ll sort of try to create replicas of themselves, who go out there in the social world and act the same way they do; sometimes to the point of dressing the same way, making the same jokes and using the same lines. Ridiculous, if you ask me.

The Path to Sizzling Conversations  

Are there conversation principles and techniques that work well for people all around? Yes, there sure are. And I teach such principles as well, in my courses as well as in my free newsletter. But these exist mostly to help you master the basics of good conversation. They just set a sturdy foundation.

When you move beyond that, to developing advanced conversation skills, it’s time to put general techniques aside and find your own unique voice. To find and implement ideas that work well for you in particular, to customize them and optimize them for your circumstances, and to mix them so they form your own distinctive conversation style.

When you do that you find that your social skills not only improve a lot faster, but your conversation style feels much more authentic to boot.

Because you’re not trying to change entirely who you are in social settings. You’re only smoothing out the rough edges, gaining some new social habits, removing your social insecurities, and building on top of the qualities you already posses as a person.

It can seem easier to just take some do-this-do-that conversation advice and apply it, but that will never be very effective in creating top-notch conversation skills. When it comes to truly mastering conversation, finding your own way is the only way as far as I’m concerned.

If you want more help in improving your conversation skills and developing the conversation style that works best for you, I recommend you join my free social confidence newsletter, where I share most of my insights concerning this area.

Go to this page and enter your email to join my newsletter right now, and I’ll talk to you there.

4 Advanced Conversation Skills and How to Cultivate Them

In my view, you have intermediate conversation skills when you are able to start a conversation with a wide range of people, keep it going, talk about various topics and build some sort of connection with a portion of the people you talk with.

A lot of folks don’t have this level of conversation skills, and they generally struggle with making conversation. Then again, a lot of folks do have this level of conversation skills. And when you’re an intermediate-level conversationalist or close to it, it’s worth considering attaining an advanced level of conversation skills.

Advanced conversation skills will influence the way you come across, the impact you have on others and the quality of your relationships so much that you won’t believe. Few experiences compare to going to a party, meeting or social event, engaging with people and being one of the best, smoothest conversationalists in the room (if not the best).

So I firmly believe that gaining advanced conversation skills is a worthy pursuit, no matter who you are. But what does it mean to have advanced conversation skills anyway?

Well, I’d like to talk to you about 4 conversation skills that I consider will practically turn you into an advanced conversationalist. They’re not the only advanced conversation skills, but they are some of the most important ones. And I’m gonna show you how to cultivate them to boot.

1. Reframing

In conversation, reframing is the ability to look at the topic being discussed and the ideas being expressed from a new, original perspective, and talking from that perspective. It’s, in a way, switching the angle of the conversation. And it’s a great method to spice up the conversation.

Warm smiles on a wintery dayHere’s an example of reframing during a discussion with a girl.

Her: “Boy! My purse is really heavy. I don’t know why I’ve put so much stuff in it.”

You: “Yeah, well at least if someone harasses you on the street, you can easily use it as a clobbering device. They’ll be sorry they ever messed with you!”

That’s a reframe. And by doing this reframe with your remark, you’ve achieved two things. You’ve turned a negative (the purse being heavy) into a positive, and you’ve also given the purse an unconventional, creative utility (as a clobbering device). So your comment is interesting and funny, and it helps you make an impression. Not bad for one comment!

How to develop your ability to reframe: by deliberately trying to look at topics and statements made in conversation from new, different angles. Move away from conventional thinking and seek to think out of the box. With practice, you’ll get better at it.

2. Empathizing

Empathizing is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of the other person, understand their thoughts and feelings, and make statements from this perspective. The more empathy you have, the easier it is to empathize with someone in a conversation.

Here’s what empathizing look like.

Her: “My boss criticized me for 20 minutes for being 5 minutes late! I couldn’t believe it!”

You: ”Wow, I imagine you felt really frustrated and shocked. I mean, how big of a deal is it to be 5 minute late anyway?”

Her: “Yes, exactly! You get me so well!”

See what you’re doing? You’re putting yourself in the other person’s situation and you’re talking about how you imagine she felt and how she saw the situation. That’s empathizing. And when you empathize with someone effectively, it shows that you’re really listening and that you understand them. Which is very rare and it’s bound to earn you a lot of points.

How to develop your ability to empathize: by deliberately putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. The more you practice, the more your empathy improves, and understanding the other person gets easier, so making empathic statements gets easier.

3. Relating

Relating is the ability to connect to what the other person says, with something from your own life or knowledge. A master conversationalist is able to relate to a very wide range of statements, on a very wide range of topics. It goes something like this:

Him: “I went water surfing this weekend. Lots of fun!”

You: “So you do water surfing ha? I tried water skiing once. My back hurt for two days after that, but it was an amazing experience. Have to try it again sometimes.”

By making such a comment you enter in the other person’s world and you show them you can connect with it to some extent. You emphasize commonalities between the two of you, which encourages the other person to open up more, and makes them like you more. That’s the power of relating.

How to develop your ability to relate: first of all by developing a rich lifestyle, where you try a lot of things and have a large array of experiences. That way just about anything the other person talks about, you have some related experience to share. And second of all, again, by practicing sharing related experiences from your own life during conversation.

4. Storytelling

Advanced conversationalists tend to tell a lot of stories when chatting. And they know how to tell them well, so even a banal event seems like a crazy adventure when they narrate it. Rookies tend to only make short, generic statements in conversation, which does little to convey their personality and make it hard to keep the conversation going.

So captivating storytelling is definitely an advanced conversation skill worth cultivating. There is nothing more captivating than a good storyteller, grabbing and holding the attention of an entire group of people with their story about that time when they accidentally ate dish soap.

How to develop your storytelling skills: for one, by telling more stories. Start with short, simple stories if you’re not used to telling stories, and advance to longer, more intricate ones. And also by learning about the rules and principles of good storytelling and practicing them when you share stories.

If you wanna learn more about these rules and principles of good storytelling, as well as reframing, empathizing, relating and other advanced conversation skills, I recommend that you get onboard my free social confidence newsletter, which is where I share most of my advanced conversation advice these days.

Once or twice a week, you’ll receive practical information from me for improving your social skills, social confidence and social life, directly in your Inbox. So go here right now and enter your email to join the newsletter.

Advanced conversation skills do take some practice to develop. But with the right guidance, it can be a surprisingly fast and rewarding experience. Through this article I’ve helped you set a solid foundation for developing advanced conversation skills. The rest is up to you.

Go get them!

How to Keep a Conversation Going With a Girl

As a social confidence coach, I work regularly with guys who struggle with keeping conversations going. In particular, they have trouble prolonging discussions with members of the opposite sex, which is why how to keep a conversation going with a girl is a topic that I often address.

There is a lot of advice out there on how to talk to girls, and there are numerous approaches, from using memorized lines, to playing the nice guy, to bombarding her with questions.

I like to think that my approach differentiates itself from the majority because I don’t teach guys superficial gimmicks or routines, and I don’t encourage them to be fake. I help them understand female psychology and social dynamics, gain social confidence and build real social skills with women.

There are a few tried and tested ideas regarding how to keep a conversation going with a girl that truly work very well, and I constantly encourage my coaching clients to apply them. I’d like to share them with you, one by one.

Step 1: Stop Romanticizing Women

Almost every guy I know who has trouble keeping conversation going with girls has this strong inclination to romanticize women. They see women as flawless, especially beautiful ones, they think women in general are above them and hard to impress, and they believe they must always say something brilliant in conversation in order to keep a women’s interest.

This mindset is very far from reality, and it makes it hard for them to hold a conversation with girl. They don’t see anything they have to say as good enough, they pressure themselves to be witty with every comment they make, and thus they end up having little to say in a discussion.

This is why it’s imperative to stop romanticizing women. It will allow you to relax around women, be confident, and speak your mind without second guessing yourself all the time. And this is a very attractive behavior, which coincidentally also makes conversation feel effortless.

Of course, to stop romanticizing women is easier said than done. We’re talking about changing a thinking and behavioral habit, which requires particular psychological techniques. To dig into them, watch this instructional presentation in which I discuss this subject separately and more thoroughly.

Step 2: Find out Her Interests

Guys often have a hard time knowing what to talk about with a girl because they don’t know her interests. They may think: “I can talk about computers, because I’m interested in this subject; but will she be interested?”

girlOne way to solve this predicament is by trial and error. You begin talking about a certain topic that you think she might be interested in, and if she does indeed seem interested, you keep talking about it. If not, you move to another topic, and another, and another, seeking to find those that she can relate to. And this is a natural part of a regular conversation.

However, there is an even better way to deal with this predicament. Early in the conversation, you ask the girl a simple, straightforward question that elicits her interests. I usually like to ask something like: “So, what do you like to do?” or “Tell me: what are your interests?”

She will mention a few of them, and then I know what I can talk about that she’ll enjoy. I then identify among those topics the ones I enjoy as well, and I know these are directions I can confidently take the conversation in. This is how to keep a conversation going with a girl by finding common ground.

Step 3: Talk Some about Yourself

There is this popular idea that to keep a conversation going with a girl you just met, you have to ask her lots of questions, because everybody loves to talk about themselves, and not talk too much about yourself, because you’ll appear self-absorbed.

I don’t know who first came up with this idea, but in all seriousness I doubt they had many experiences talking to women. Because in practice, this idea rarely holds water.

You need to realize that when you’re talking with a girl you just met, to her, you are mostly a stranger. She knows almost nothing about you. And a girl isn’t gonna feel comfortable answering a long line of personal questions from a guy she knows almost nothing about. I can’t tell you how many girls have confessed this to me.

For this reason it’s important when you’re talking to a girl to combine asking her questions with talking about yourself. It is this mix of her talking, you talking, her talking some more, you talking some more, that makes the conversation move forward and helps both of you become comfortable with each other. And that’s exactly what you want.

Typically, you may hesitate to talk about yourself, and because you lack practice, you may not be very good at it either. But this is something that you can only overcome with practice. So try to be more talkative and talk more about yourself. With experience you’ll get better at it and it will get a lot easier as well.

Step 4: Manage Your Anxiety

Guys who want to learn how to keep a conversation going with a girl typically feel a lot of anxiety when talking to girls, or even just thinking about it. Their heart races, their mind often goes blank, and this naturally makes dialogue difficult.

Nearly every time, this anxiety is the real root of the problem. Not a lack of conversation skills; or at least, not as much. And if you wanna be able to make effortless conversation with a girl, you need to weed out the problem from its root.

In other words, you need to learn how to manage your anxiety around girls, so you can feel at ease talking to any girl. Then you’ll naturally be able to have conversations as long as you want.

Since this is an intricate topic, I address it separately and in more detail in this special video. I recommend you watch it right now, because in it you’ll learn some of the most powerful information in existence about eliminating conversation anxiety and building conversation confidence. So make sure you watch it.

I know talking to a girl may be difficult for you right now. But trust me, this can completely change. Yes, it will take some work. You have to learn to deal with your nervousness, and you need to create better conversation habits for yourself.

The good news is that there are quality resources and specialists ready to assist you on this journey. If you haven’t already, I invite you to join my free social confidence newsletter, and you’ll receive regular advice from me for improving your social confidence and social skills.

Your social life is in your hands. Make the best of it.

Image courtesy of Rares Dutu

How to Talk to People

Make no mistake about it: in today’s world, knowing how to talk to people is one of the most important virtues you can possess.

If you don’t know how to talk to people it’s hard to make friends, build a social life, grab the interest of the opposite sex or get ahead in your career. But if you do, a whole lot of prospects open up in your life.

The best news I can offer you, based on 5+ years of experience as a social confidence coach, is that you can learn how to talk to people. Good conversation has principles. Know them, apply them repeatedly in social situations, and you’ll drastically boost your conversation skills.

In this article I’d like to share with you these principles and reveal the workings of good conversation. The rest is up to you.

Part1: The Conversation Formula

Basically, there are 3 major components of conversation: 1) asking questions, 2) disclosing information, and 3) changing topics. Do these 3 things right, and you’ll be able to talk to people in all sorts of social settings.

Let’s take a better look at each one of these 3 components and see how you can apply them effectively in conversation.

Step 1: Asking Questions

Questions are the best conversational tool you have to get the other person to share information and engage in the conversation. Thus, you get to know them and their subjective world.

Many books and articles on making small talk will give you lists of questions to use in conversation and encourage you to memorize them. I disagree with this approach entirely.

I believe questions work best when they are genuine, when they reflect an authentic curiosity you have. If you just ask about something because you think you should, but you don’t really care about it, that will usually show.

When you’re having a chat with someone, my advice is to always think about what you honestly want to know about the other person. Then ask questions based on this.

I, for instance, am very interested in people’s careers. So I often ask people I just met “What do you do?” But if you don’t really care about this stuff, by all means, don’t ask about it. Employ your own questions.

Step 2: Sharing Information

A common mistake  that individuals who don’t comprehend how to talk to people make is they ask lots of questions to get the other person to share information, but they don’t share information themselves.

Thus, they end up bombarding their conversation partner with question after question, and the entire discussion feels more like an interrogatory.

A quality conversation combines receiving information with giving information. Even if the other person doesn’t ask you a lot of questions, don’t be afraid to disclose yourself and to share information.

For instance, if I’m on a train and the person next to me is reading a book, and I want to start a conversation with them, I might ask them “What are you reading?” After they tell me the name of the book, I might ask them “What’s it about?”

But after they answer, I usually won’t ask yet another question. Instead, I’ll make a comment apropos what they said about the book, something simple and genuine, and then I’ll tell them a bit about a book I’ve read recently and I enjoyed.

So I’ll combine asking questions with sharing information. This is what makes a conversation work.

Step 3: Changing Topics

A 5-minute conversation can be on a single topic. But long conversations typically need to go through several topics. If you want to have long conversations, which tend to build the deepest connections with people, it’s important to move it from one topic to another.

When you feel the topic you’re discussing is drying out, don’t let the conversation die. Move it to another topic.

My rule of thumb is to try and keep the topics related. For example, after I talked with a person about books for a few minutes, it makes sense to move the conversation to movies, because it’s a related topic. And from one connect topic to another, I can take the conversation anywhere.

However, it is absolutely fine if you sometimes make big shifts in the conversation subject. For example, you move from books to “So, what do you do for a living?” That’s also a normal part of conversation. Just don’t do it every 30 seconds.

By asking questions, sharing information and changing topics, you effectively make a conversation happen. You get to know the other person, they get to know you, you cover a range of topics, and you connect with each other.

The truth is basic conversation isn’t exactly rocket science.

However, I can tell you there are plenty of people who, even after they understand these principles thoroughly, still have a hard time talking to others. Add it’s not a problem related to lack of knowledge, it’s a problem related to conversation confidence.

Part 2: Building Conversation Confidence

You can have questions to ask, yet not ask them because you fret you’ll come across as rude or impertinent. You can have things to say but not say them because you fear they’re not interesting. And you can have topics you want to talk about but not do so because you worry you’ll make a fool of yourself somehow.

You see, knowing how to talk to people and being able to talk to people are two very different things.

You can understand the rules and principles, but if you have fears like the ones I mentioned (which are usually unfounded), you’ll hesitate, you won’t say very much, you’ll stumble over your words when you do, and your conversations will still be sloppy.

The only solution to this problem is to overcome your limiting beliefs and build conversation confidence. This transformation is what you should focus on above all.

Since this is a huge subject, I have created a special presentation in which I’m gonna teach you how to do this. Check it out here and learn the secrets of conversation confidence.

Then take the know-how gained from it and make use of it in your own life.

When you have positive beliefs about yourself and you’re confident, you don’t second-guess yourself, you instinctively know what to say, you are natural and you are willing to take risks in social interactions.

At the end of the day, this is what gives you the ability to talk to people effortlessly and build the relationships you want with others.

Image courtesy of Brandon Christopher Warren

How to Be More Talkative

Many shy and socially anxious people are interested in learning how to be more talkative. Some people seem to naturally be talkative and connect easy with others. They on the other hand struggle with this.

The good news is that you don’t have to struggle. Equipped with some savvy advice on how to be more talkative, you can get out of your shell and participate more in conversations with other people.

As a social confidence coach, one of my biggest delights is to see my clients speedily become more talkative under my guidance. I want to reveal to you the top four pieces of advice regarding how to be more talkative that they apply to achieve this.

Step 1: Manage Your Expectations

People who are quiet go into social settings with flawed expectations that make it almost impossible for them to be social and talkative.

For example, the may expect that everybody should like them, or they should never say something off beam, or they should never upset others.

With these kinds of expectations, you’re bound to be shy in social situations. Because almost anything you could say risks not meeting one or more of them. This is why an important step in learning how to be more talkative is to manage your expectations.

Managing your expectations means to identify what you, consciously or subconsciously, demand of yourself and others in social interactions. And then, to correct these demands: to make them less perfectionist and more down to earth.

This will allow you to feel more at ease in social settings, open up more and enjoy conversation more.

For a step by step explanation of how to manage your expectations and take the pressure off yourself, watch this exclusive presentation I created.

Step 2: Practice Being More Spontaneous

Another pattern in the behavior of quiet people is that they think too much before they say something.

They wanna be sure they always say the smart, funny or right thing and they never say the silly, weird or wrong thing, which is also related to the unreasonable expectations they have.

Consequently, they tend to over-think every sentence they could utter. And when you think too much about something, you always find fault in it and you often end up not saying it.

An excellent exercise for overcoming this is to practice being more impulsive during conversations. What you do is you say what pops into your head before getting a change to evaluate it thoroughly. You think less and you talk more.

As a result, not only that you’re more involved in conversations, but in the long run, you also build confidence in yourself and become comfortable with being more talkative. This is what makes the exercise cool.

Step 3: Remove Your Limiting Beliefs

Having unreasonable expectations, thinking too much and being quiet in social settings are ultimately mere symptoms of certain beliefs you posses.

Most shy or socially anxious people I’ve met or coached don’t hold themselves in high regard, they think they must be perfect or they think others are better than they are. This is the root of their problem.

If you want to permanently eliminate your nervousness in social settings and become more talkative, you need to get to the root of the problem and fix it from there. You need to change a precise cluster of beliefs you hold.

This is not only a helpful insight regarding how to become more talkative, but also a helpful insight to transform your relationships with others completely. And from there, your whole life.

I have a special free guide for you in which I’ll show you how to remove your limiting beliefs and blast away your anxiety in social settings. Go here to check it out.

Step 4: Treat This as a Process

Today you can become a bit more talkative than yesterday. And tomorrow you can become a bit more talkative than today. And in a few weeks, you’ll have accomplished one mind-blowing transformation.

However, you won’t turn from shy to talkative overnight. Don’t expect this, because you’re just adding to those unrealistic expectations that work against you.

The truth is that human psychology doesn’t work that way. It takes some time and practice to change. Not a lot if you do it the right way, but it does take some.

Treat this as a process, not as a quick fix. Work on becoming more talkative day by day, optimize the process, persist, and focus on making steady progress. This is the attitude that individuals who win at this game have.

I can vouch from experience that learning how to be more talkative and effectively applying this knowledge will open a lot of doors for you. You’ll be able to meet more people, make more friends, get more dates and get ahead in your career.

When you’re comfortable with expressing yourself and letting the world know you as you are, you can do great things with your life.

Image courtesy of bicycleimages

The Secrets to Conversation Confidence

It’s here!

Today is the public release of my free video guide, The Secrets to Conversation Confidence. Check it out here.

The FREE Video Guide

I’ve put in this 30 min. slide video some of the most powerful lessons that I have to share on how to become a confident conversationalist and live life to the fullest.

And this is not self-help babble. It’s very practical advice that I’ve seen work consistently in my 5 years of experience a social confidence coach, plus it’s well documented by the scientific research. In other words, you can count on it to really help you.

In this free video presentation you will learn:

  • The 3 fatal mistakes you’re making that sabotage your conversation confidence.
  • The no. 1 secret to gaining enduring conversation confidence.
  • The truth about positive affirmations and other such gimmicks for boosting confidence.
  • And the proven formula for becoming a confident conversationalist.

The Extended Audio Guide

This also marks the launch of my audio guide, Conversation Confidence. It’s a no-nonsense guide to making authentic, confident and effortless conversation, and consists of 4.5 hours of high-quality audio content, jam packed with actionable information.

You can find out more about it on the same page with the free video. Just scroll down.

Usually, when a person seeks my coaching services, they’ve already read a lot of stuff and tried a lot of tricks or techniques to improve their confidence in interactions with other people, either people in general or particular types.

And they’ve seen minimal progress, if any.

After just a few sessions with me, the typically testify that they’ve seen for the first time in their life incredible enhancements in their confidence and they’re getting visibly closer to the social life or their dreams.

Well, the Conversation Confidence audio program describes the entire method I use as a coach to help my clients develop their confidence in conversations. I’ve spend the entire summer developing it, and the method in presents has been no less than 5 years in the making.

The Top Advice for Confidence Enhancement

Moreover, the free video guide reveals some of my best ideas on becoming a confident conversationalist. I’ve made an early launch of the video to part of my new list, and I’m already getting emails of praise in my Inbox.

So, go here and watch this video. Watch it completely, and I promise you that you’ll learn powerful ideas from it.

This being said, this is the last email you’ll receive from me via Feedburner. If you want to keep hearing for me, join my new list here, if you haven’t already done so (yes, it’s the same page).

From now on, a lot of the stuff I write will no longer appear on this blog. It will only be available via email to the people who are subscribed to my list.

Stay cool!

Image courtesy of ahmosher

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.

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