Note: This is a guest post from Eduard Ezeanu of People Skills Decoded
I believe that one of the best ways to connect with people and build quality relationships is through making conversation. Although most people can hold a conversation, only a few are smooth and charismatic when they talk.
Working as a communication coach, I have explored and tested many techniques for improving conversation skills. I have discovered 7 simple and effective ways to be a smooth talker. Here they are:
1. Talk slowly
Typically, good talkers don’t rush into a conversation. They take their time when they reflect on something and when they say it out loud. They act as if they have all the time in the world. This makes them come off as centered and collected. Model this way of talking and you will create the same effect.
2. Hold more eye contact
Most people keep eye contact about 2/3 of the time or less when they talk. In my experience, it’s a very good idea to hold eye contact just a bit more than that. This will convey confidence and interest in interacting with them.
3. Notice the details
People with good conversation skills tend to notice the kind of things that the average person doesn’t notice, and to bring such details into the conversation. They may notice and point out an interesting ring on the other person’s hand, a certain foreign accent, or a certain voice tone they use when saying a name. Thus, such individuals impress people in a very elegant manner.
4. Give unique compliments
Anybody can pay a generic compliment to try and get another person’s appreciation. Charismatic people on the other hand are able to really pay attention to others, to look beyond the facade and thus, pay unique compliments. Do the same and besides wooing others, you may even help them find out things about themselves they didn’t know.
5. Express your emotions
It’s very rare to meet a person who is comfortable talking about their emotions and how certain things make them feel, especially with strangers. Yet this way of talking is a real virtue. Don’t just present the facts, you’re not a newspaper. Express your feelings about those facts. Keep in mind that it is at the emotional level that people connect best.
6. Offer interesting insights
Anybody can talk about the news or express basic opinions. But good talkers can frequently tell you things you didn’t know and that you’ll find fascinating. This is why it’s good to have knowledge into fields such as psychology or sociology, and bring such knowledge out at the right moments in a conversation.
7. Use the best words
The ability to talk smoothly has a lot to do with choosing the precise words to convey your precise feelings or thoughts. Constantly develop your vocabulary and practice communicating as accurately as possible. It will help you develop a way with words and allow you to express yourself more easily.
Conversational skills don’t improve just like that. It takes time, practice and the ability to learn at a rapid rate from your own experiences. On top of this, they have virtually no limit to how far they can be developed.
Considering your relationships and social life constitute one of the fundamental components of your life, I believe it is worth embarking on a long-term journey of mastering your interpersonal abilities. It’s a journey you won’t regret.
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Eduard Ezeanu is a communication coach with an attitude-based approach. If you enjoyed this article, also discover how to overcome shyness and learn how to make small talk from two top articles on his People Skills Decoded blog.
Photo by ^riza^
Some links in this post are affiliate links.
I’m guilty of rushing during conversations, I just want to get them over and done with so I can get back to work! I will try to take my time and slow them down in future and see what effect that has.
Same thing here. I also rush during conversations. I always tell myself that I need to slow down. But its not easy once you are used to rushing.
Yes! Communicating with people is something which was really hard for me in the past, especially with strangers.
Starting up a conversation with a stranger used to be a huge fear of mine, it still is depending on the person or situation.
This truly is an important skill to develop as many new opportunities arise when you’re able to communicate effectively.
It’s all about confidence and practice like you said, great tips thanks Eduard! 🙂
Starting up a conversation with a stranger isn’t easy for most people. The good news is that this fear is one we can overcome. Gradual exposure works wonders 😉
Also be able to talk very fluidly with another. It’s hard to have a conversation with someone who is all over the place with their words.
I know the feeling. My mom is talks that way 🙂
Nice taught man.
Communicating at an emotional level is something I personally like to do. We have to be careful with that at times. I believe there is a time and a place for it. Many times, people don’t want to hear the emotion. This is likely because it reminds them of their own emotions (if the are challenging).
Good points here. Thank you.
Yes, share our emotion and about ourself does open the door of talking with other people, and it works well with stranger too.
Be truthful and hide nothing when communicate, it will help build up relationship in between as well. 😀
[…] enjoyable. For the rest of us, learning good communication skills is a must. This article entitled 7 Ways To Improve Your Communication Skills, gives great tips. Here is the list. 1. Talk slowly 2. Hold more eye contact 3. Notice the details […]
These are some good tips. I have always been bad about connecting emotionally. For me, conversation has always been a way to convey information quickly and efficiently; small talk has never been my strong point. I also am too logical for my own good sometimes. People say I lack emotion or enthusiasm, and some people say I even sound like Spock. Although, Spock was pretty darn cool, so I usually take that as a compliment 🙂
Hahaha yeah I feel the same way. My friends always compare me to a robot. Recently, they make fun of me a little bit by saying that when I go home from school I sit in a perfectly white room and stare at the walls contemplating things and doing my homework.
Just stumbled across your site and I’m really impressed by the content on it.
I have to admit that I’m not the most confident person when it comes to conversing with others – I’ve always been a person who has low confidence and this definitely makes initial conversation with people all the more difficult.
I’m impressed with your points, there are definitely some techniques that I can explore to see if they’ll help me improve.
I’m also going to check out your other post regarding efficiency, that’s another poor area of mine – too easily distracted!
Great article! I am guilty of talking too fast a lot of the time. I’ve recently slowed down my rate of speech, and increased my eye contact, and I’m amazed at how differently people react to me.
Having a sense of “I have all the time in the world” is a very important approach!
Well said Fred. While I have worked on it, “Having All the Time in the World” is an approach/attitude that I have never mastered. Now I have moved into a role that requires me to converse and establish deeper relationships. So i need to consciously work on this.
Thanks Eduardo — these are simple yet impactful points – just how a conversation should be.
Offering interesting insights is my favorites. You can quickly become a favorite if you share awesome content with those you want to have conversations with. They will LOVE you for finding and insighting them with something they would have lacked without you.
I really think that most people have an extreme lack of social skills, me included! I also think lack of communication is a super common problem within work and management structures.
When I say that, I mean aside from any confidence or self esteem problems as well. Just a lack of understanding of how communication works. Nice advice.
Thanks for the useful tips. I guess it also depends on what level of rapport the relationship is in.
Beyond eye contact, it’ll be great to see their eye accessing cues to determine what kind of communicator they are. This will make your communication more focus and effective for that particular person. This is a useful NLP technique.
Thanks allot for these brilliant tips, you’ve really given answer to some questions of mine. Am not good at starting-up conversations and sometimes, changing to a new topic when at the verge of a convers becomes difficult .Please i need an advice.
I am really happy to hear you the techniques of communication,but there is still fear in my heart.And I need to do practice and to communicate with someone .If you could have time kindly this is my Skype name contact with me. “syedqasim9”
any of you have suggestions for improving “Use the best words”. That’s where I suck right now. I understand there are 100’s of books on vocabulary but i am looking for best material and how to practice. Appreciate any ideas, experiences.
Thanx, wil try it all. I realy wanted ths
I know communication that is very important for my career and in communication, conversation skills are very necessary.I make many conversations every day, but most of them are normal, I need to make them more interesting, more attracted, so these tips are very useful for me. I like the second tips: hold more eye contact.I practice, so it is amazing, making eye contact help me communicate more confident, understand people.
Thanks for sharing!
[…] came across the site lifeoptimizer.org and it has an article 7 Ways to Improve Conversation Skills. I haven’t had the time to look at what the rest of the site has to offer, but there were […]
These are some great tips. I am particularly bad in expressing emotions unless I am very close with the person. Especially in office, I used to consider it inappropriate to bring the emotions factor and always tried to be just matter of the fact.
I can relate to all the 7 points where I have seen people being successful talkers practicing them.
Sure these will help me improve my skills.
Thanks for sharing.
Nice post, Donald. I read posts of Eduard Ezeanu also. I just want to mention some quick tips such as :
Match-up a tone with person opposite you.
Be in your natural voice tone
and preparation for the conversation. These are also important aspects of any effective conversation.
Thanks & Regards,
Really I liked all steps mentioned above. These are really important for one to be a good communicator.
Thanks a lot Eduard.
Please help me to become a new person.. Why am i so struggling when it comes to speaking.. i cnt express all the thing that i want to say.. and i’m struggling to find a word that suites to my sentence bcoz of nervous.. i’m so uncomfortable. 🙁 pls help me…
Bro, learn to speak proper English and then continue learning from there… You’ll do great 🙂
You have to relate to your conversation partner. The nerves will go away while you practice.
I’ve only just come across your blog and I’m really diggin’ it! Lovin’ the articles about communication, Charisma etc. I’ve just subscribed to your newsletter too! I look forward to reading similar articles in the future!! Thanks!
I recently heard a great analogy for having a good conversation. It’s like making a sandwich together. First, you listen to the other person express himself, then you add your ingredient to the sandwich: asking questions to clarify, or adding experiences/facts from your own life that relate to what the other person is saying. Be comfortable with letting the sandwich build over the length of the conversation.
I didnt see anything about non verbal communication, which is arguably more important than anything you mentioned
The introduction clearly says this is about talking.
Interesting article, I would like to have more confidence and vocabulary, but I have nobody to have a conversation with. greetings.
woow; ive been looking for this kind of article for a long time! thank you!
I like tip #3 Notice The Details alot because I’ve noticed that the best conversationalist often pick up on the subtle cues whether it is something someone indirectly says with body language, tonality or subtext of their words.
This article is very interesting, and absolutely true. Aside from what it says, I personally have found a great deal of speech, vocabulary, and articulation improvement through writing very frequently, which may or may not work for others. Also, something like debating online (because written communication is easier than spoken for me), has done a good deal of good, and practicing conversation as it’s written through text. For those who tend to be more introverted and communicate better through written word, I would try practicing in the ways I just mentioned, and see if they help you at all. Either way though, good luck in your improvement!
I myself think m odd in a mass ..m not that kind of talking guy…i don’t know to start the conversation or make environment happening..i talk less bt when i start my words sound quite proudy and fake but its not actual ..people might feel bored with with me ….m not as casual as many of my friend…I have very few friends .a type of akwardness is with me from beggening…I never understimate people neither dominate ..
but when someone harasses me I even can argue with them ..m very mush lack in talking either its good or bad….help me…
Seek counseling to see if there are any psychological reasons for your conversation issues and go from there. Good luck my friend! This helped me when my daughter-in-law and I had communication issues. I found out she doesn’t like me and is threatened by my relationship with my son. He conceded to her feelings and they don’t call or come over anymore. I miss my grandchildren more!!!
Seek counseling to see if there are any psychological reasons for your issue/ concern. Start there and go from there. It helped me deal with my daughter-in-law issue. I learned she basically doesn’t like me. My son conceded to her and they don’t come over or call. I invite but no acceptance. I just miss my grandchildren, but have embraced that those kids don’t belong to me. Good luck my friend!
The one thing I and many I know struggle in is topics, learning and adapting to the conversation for new topics is one thing but I can never seem to grasp there attention, if I’m flirting I weirdly have a boost of confidence, I’ve tried to maintain that confidence and conversational smoothness but I find sometimes they seem un-interested in every topic. Sometimes there lack of interest just kills the conversation I find myself hitting dead ends resulting in awkward pauses. Maybe it’s just we don’t have a lot in common or they just don’t want to talk to me. Some people are really easy to talk to I find the conversation flows well and we are both interested. While other times it’s like talking to a brick wall, it’s foundation rumbling for a split second every time I throw something at it, then returning to silence once again. I have friends but none of them I really talk to and have good connections with, I want to be able to click with people and find people that I can click with. I almost feel as if I’m trapped when I’m talking to people I don’t know and I’m not comfortable with. I find a lot more girls are un-responsive in conversations as guys, trust me I’m straight and have had girls I connect with and ended up dating, it just seems a lot of the time girls take friendly conversation as flirting and either act uninterested because they don’t wana date or run one of there stupid ass tests to see how I respond( those are just my assumptions). When I am actually flirting and I can get around these and develop chemistry, On the other hand when they have they’re friends with them it makes it a lot harder as I feel I’m being judged and limited with what I can say, maybe I’m just not good in groups when I’m trying to flirt or I don’t know any of them I don’t really know. Overall I really want to feel more comfortable and keep the person interested. Please tell me some tips or what I’m doing wrong if you know.
Nice one bruh
Am having that same problem, but all i believe is that, you have to be yourself, believe in yourself………. and if you does that you can skip through it.
Please enlight me anytime you got the real sources, thanks..
I think this method is going to build me up, thanks…
Sometimes I used to rush in a conversation but I will try to slow down even though it is not easy for those that are used to it.
Excellent and very useful article!
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