There is possibly no other skill more important than the ability to talk nicely to people. You have to have a nice, smooth, engaging voice and people must feel like you are speaking with them directly, and this is because it is your custom cover letter for getting an interview for any job you might want or to build relationships with others.
Whether you want to be accepted by a group or want to make a good first impression, learning how to talk nicely to people will help you achieve that. You can come into contact with strangers and not ruin your day, but it all comes down to the way that you approach someone.
However, being a great conversationalist doesn’t come naturally. But, it’s a skill anyone can learn with a little practice and patience. Below are tips you can master to be more comfortable talking to just about anybody.
The first thing people notice about you is your smile. It makes you appear more attractive, likable, and friendly. Besides, people are drawn to others who are smiling because it’s a representation of trust and happiness, which make them want to be around you. Nobody wants to talk to someone with a frowned face, right? So, when you meet other people, smile and greet them with a big smile on your face and in your voice.
When you speak with other people, make sure to maintain eye contact and speak clearly without being nervous, or at least be aware of your body language. Practice good posture and speak clearly without a lot of filler words or choppy speech. Being nervous or talking with a weak voice only shows a lack of knowledge of what you’re saying, causing people to doubt and won’t believe you.
The best way that you’re confident is by looking into people’s eyes when talking, speaking at a normal volume, and avoiding speaking too fast. By doing so, people will think you’re genuine about your words and at the same time, you’re interested to talk with them. Additionally, it’s equally vital to be aware of how you communicate with your words. The tone, volume, and pacing of our speech reflect our interest level, confidence, intelligence, and personality.
Listening is something that we do automatically, however, it is also one of the most important skills you can develop when dealing with people. Whatever the topic of your conversation, listening is key to getting your point across and making other people feel respected and heard. It creates intimacy, builds rapport, and helps you make better friends. Also, it allows you to pay attention to what the other person is saying, so you can respond appropriately.
Take note that listening is not just waiting until the other person has finished speaking before you begin; it also includes knowing how to ask questions when the need arises. Besides, while the other person is talking, show them that you’re listening attentively by nodding your head or any acknowledgment gesture.
Whenever you engage in a conversation with others (whether in person or online) it’s always best to be empathetic and avoid being judgemental when giving your opinions. If possible:
- Maintain an open mind and don’t quickly jump to judgment.
- Listen carefully and ensure you fully understand their point of view before you respond.
- Widen your understanding of people’s sentiments.
- Ask clarifying questions if you’re unsure of anything being said.
Not being able to jump to a conclusion quickly will encourage people to trust you and feel comfortable discussing personal opinions and ideas. Also, when they open up, let them know that you care by asking questions and showing genuine interest.
Instead of judging, show empathy. The best thing to do this is to put yourself in their shoes. It will help you understand the person’s situation, making the conversation flow naturally. If you show empathy, people will feel comfortable with you, which results in a safe environment where they can express their thoughts and feelings without the fear of being judged.
People also communicate nonverbally through personal space and gestures, posture, eye contact, and hand movements. To be a good conversationalist, you must be aware of both verbal and nonverbal cues. Watch your companion closely for changes in posture, facial expressions, and gestures to determine what the other person is feeling. On the other hand, it’s also critical to be careful of your body language. Sometimes, gestures and body movements can send the wrong message.
Not everyone you meet speaks at the same level. You’ve probably been in a situation where you’ve met someone new, but don’t know what to say at the start of the conversation. Instead of you talking the whole time, use open-ended questions to encourage them to talk and connect with you.
These are questions that require more than a yes/no answer and while they take a bit more effort, they allow you to start conversations in ways that tend to lead to more meaningful conversations and relationships. You can also ask using who, what, when, where, or “tell me more”. Doing this will keep the conversation alive while avoiding awkward silence in between.
Speeches are often harder than they appear, and a lot of time is spent practicing and refining the speech. It’s not going to be as hard as you think, practice the tips above, and it will come easily.