Making Conversation

The image we give to others of ourselves depends little on who we are or what we know, but rather, it depends mostly, if not entirely, on how we present ourselves. This image you give off is the one others will perceive and accept, regardless of what else you might have to offer. An important skill to develop in order to present ourselves properly is the skill of conversation, which is the one that will help us deliver our ideas to others. As the French novelist Guy de Maupassant said: “Conversation … is the art of never appearing a bore, of knowing how to say everything interestingly, to entertain no matter what, to be charming with nothing at all.”

Making conversation is a skill that can be worked on, it can be made better. Even though it might seem some people are just naturally gifted with being able to make conversation, this is not to say that those who are not as good cannot better themselves. Practice is indeed the best way to get better at making conversation, but there are some tricks and little tips that one can follow in order to get better at making conversation. The first thing one must do in any conversation in order to be able to effectively make conversation is feeling comfortable. If you do not feel comfortable, then make yourself comfortable. It is near to impossible to have a good conversation with someone who is nervous, shy, or anxious, including ourselves. A good trick to avoid this is to follow a rule I personally learned from Jonathan Sprinkles, a motivational speaker: “Be interested rather than interesting”. By following this rule, we relieve ourselves from dealing with the stress of leaving a good impression or making you sure we impress them, and rather give room for the other person to show us who they are.

Speaking less and listening more is a good rule to follow, but there are many other factors that take place in a conversation that might make it better or worse. Some other things to work on in order to make our conversations better are: developing our sense of humor, staying up to date on current events, and keeping our comments short and to the point. Developing a good sense of humor is crucial in order to keep a conversation on its good side, and it should be never overlooked.  Someone with a good sense of humor is more pleasant to listen to than someone who just seems bored to the point that it bores us. Staying up to date on current events is a nice little tip as it helps us have some backup topic of conversation, while it also helps us learn more about others’ views and perspectives on current events. At last, intertwined with being interested rather than interesting, is keeping our comments short and to the point. Humility is an aspect of human nature that most people look up to, and keeping our achievements and opinions short and concise, rather than boasting about ourselves, will help us stay humble, while also letting others do the judging on what we have done.

There are many other ways to make our conversations better, but in order to learn which ones work best for us and our myriad of different personalities, it is important to just practice, and take from our own experiences.

Shanna Wu Pecoraro

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