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6 Simple Tips To Keep A Conversation Going

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Posted (edited)

Having good conversation skills is a really good asset today. Being a good conversationalist can help you in different settings such as business, relationships, and  all your overall interpersonal interactions. Having a good set of discussion
skills will help you to demonstrate confidence, make new friends, and avoid those awkward moments when you meet someone out of the blue, and you find yourself stuck because you can't think of anything to say.

If you're not very good at keeping conversations, this is for you.

 

6. Ask questions

This is the most simple advice you can get, yet it's effective when you don't have anything to say. To use it effectively, you have to ask the right questions, at the right time. So timing and context are crucial for this to work. Here are the main rules you should be aware of when asking your questions :
 - Don't ask anything too personal or private. Stay on more general topics like work and daily activities.
- Avoid asking yes/no questions. Instead, ask open ended questions.
- Don't ask generic questions like 'how are you' or 'what are you up to?' those are real conversation killers. Ask more original questions, such as 'what do you think of that new movie?' or 'what's your ideas on that new project?'.
You have to be somewhat specific when asking your questions, but at the same time stay on a broad topic so that you can find something to talk about.

How To Apply it :

Ask open-ended questions on a specific aspect of the other person's life without being too intrusive.

5. Make a comment on the setting you're in

If you're in an environment that contains some special object, building, or anything special that's worth mentioning, don't hesitate to bring it up.. For example, maybe there's a really cool sea side nearby, or a really unusual building that you see when you're talking with someone else....etc. The idea is to find something that's special and unusual in your environment, and keep steering the conversation from there.

How To Apply it :

find something that's unusual or new in your surroundings, and make a comment about it

4. Use your general knowledge

If you're cultivated to a certain degree, then this won't be hard for you. When you find the conversation going dry, subtly use your common knowledge to your advantage. The trick is to identify the right topic, it shouldn't be too technical or complicated like physics or mechanics or anything, because that's boring. Instead, use a topic that's both common and simple to understand. For example, let's say you're on your way to work and you find your colleague on the same bus, and you find yourself going quiet, but you know that he's interested in anything related to cars, that's where your general insight kicks-in, you can for example look at a certain car in the street, and start telling him about it's price, what you know about it, and almost anything related to the subject. That alone can lead to a whole new conversation.

How To Apply it :

Use simple knowledge that you have about a specific topic, depending on the context you're in.

3. Talk about an important upcoming or recent event

That's an easy one. When you find yourself short on ideas, mention some upcoming event, or something big that happened in recent days. That's the most common way to break the ice in conversations. This is a flexible method because as there are many events in general, it allows you to easily relate to others because you can use it as common ground without much work, and that sets the ground to a longer conversation, and allows you to avoid awkward silences easily.

How To Apply it :

Talk about something important that will happen or has has already happened recently.

2. Find common interests

When talking to someone you know, you probably know a bit about them. Use your common sense to determine what the other person is about, is he more inclined towards music? sports? science? Find a broad area that he's interested in, and use your general info to talk about that specific subject. And if you don't know anything about it, even better, you can ask them questions about it, that way you'll be engaged in the convo, and you'll learn something new along the way.

How To Apply it :

Find a common interest, and use that to start a conversation.

1. Teach what you know

I know what you're thinking, but please bare with me. What this means is that everyone knows something. You can use what you know to keep a conversation going, you just have to know what to talk about, and how to talk about it.
Choose a topic that's interesting, and talk in a simple tone, after all you don't want the other person to fall asleep do you? So how exactly do you do this? First, pick something that you know about, that's interesting at the same time. Good examples include art, music, entertainment....etc. But you can talk about anything as long as it's not too serious. After you picked a good topic, try to subtly bring it up in the convo, then ask questions to the other person about it, and answer them in a simple manner, to position yourself as the one who's explaining that subject. With that being said, you must give others space so they can participate in the convo, and avoid being too technical about it. Remember : keep it simple.

How To Apply it :

Bring up a topic in which you're well informed, then try to explain it in a very simple tone.
I hope this helps guys. What do you think?
 
Edited by rafik gk
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Posted

Bring up a topic in which you're well informed, then try to explain it in a very simple tone.

Really...  B| 

Are you talking about when you're trying to date someone?  Or just making friends?  

I think a good way to start a conversation with some is to give them a compliment.  Just one.  A sincere compliment.  

Ex: "Oh, I like your shirt!"

Then let them start talking.  Most people will and if they don't...  Maybe they're just busy. :)

 

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Posted (edited)

 

Bring up a topic in which you're well informed, then try to explain it in a very simple tone.

Really...  B| 

Are you talking about when you're trying to date someone?  Or just making friends?  

I think a good way to start a conversation with some is to give them a compliment.  Just one.  A sincere compliment.  

Ex: "Oh, I like your shirt!"

Then let them start talking.  Most people will and if they don't...  Maybe they're just busy. :)

 

I'm talking about making friends, and making compliments is really a generic piece of advice and it doesn't always work as it dries up quickly

Edited by rafik gk
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Posted

I'm talking about making friends, and making compliments is really a generic piece of advice and it doesn't always work as it dries up quickly

I think it is a good opener.

This topic reminds me of a very good TEDx talk by Malavika Varadan.

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Posted

One of the best ways to keep a conversation going is:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To listen.

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Posted

One of the best ways to keep a conversation going is:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To listen.

You're right

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Posted

It might sound trivial or stupid. But there is no better way to keep a conversation going. When you listen, you get to know a person. When you know a person, you can actually care about them. When you care about them, conversations with them will be very natural, honest and satisfying and you do not need to keep them going. If you are with a friend, moments of complete silence do not feel awkward or strange. I know what your tutorial is meant to be. I know that you are trying to help people and I know that I am a dick quite often.

The thing is: When you actually need artificial ways to keep a conversation going that would otherwise dry up, you are basically trying to patch a sinking ship in my opinion. It is possible to keep a conversation going for like ... forever. There are so many generic topics to talk about. But like you said, you want to make friends. If somebody can be a friend or not often shows in the conversations. If you have to keep the conversation going, there is not much interest in actually talking to each other. A conversation that does not carry itself is often a conversation that you do not have to ... have. At least when it is meant to make friends. Business or small talk is a complete different thing.

I had great conversations, honest conversations that kept going ... with complete strangers. Because:

- Don't ask generic questions like 'how are you' or 'what are you up to?' those are real conversation killers.

I asked them how they are. This question "how are you?" is often an opener for one hour long conversations. IF you ask honestly. If you just ask because that's what people do, well then nobody will really answer. But if you look somebody in the eye and you ask them in a soft voice, with full honesty and interest, how they are ... you will most likely make a connection. So many people do actually want to speak about how they feel but nobody in their lives actually asks this question with authenticity. Try it one day. Get into a taxi and ask the driver how he feels. And then, when you are truly interested in what they have to say, all questions, replies and statements will come out fully natural.

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Posted

 

The thing is: When you actually need artificial ways to keep a conversation going that would otherwise dry up, you are basically trying to patch a sinking ship in my opinion.

 

You didn't really understand the point behind my post. You make a good point here, when someone is really your friend you don't need to know how to continue the convo, itjust does. But you forgot something, no one starts havinggood friends. My tutorial is ment for people who find it hard to make friends because they have nothing to talk about, while you're talking about someone who's already friends with you. When you're just starting to get to know someone, it's really not that easy to kee the convo going. I also wanted to say that you're sharing your own experience which is great, but remember that not everyone has the same level of social skills, so what seems natural to you is something to be learned to someone else. Bottom line is, This is for people who are finding it difficult to keep a convo when meting new people or dealing with a difficult situation. btw thanks for sharing your opinion ;)

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Posted

How To Apply it :

Bring up a topic in which you're well informed, then try to explain it in a very simple tone.

When I was a young girl and started dating at fifteen, my mother and Grandmother sat me down and explained some things to me.

How to wait for a man to open the door.  Always have a little mad money with you in case something goes wrong on the date.  That the man should pay for the date. etc.

One of their pieces of advice was to listen to what the young man said, find out his interest and ask questions that get him talking about it.  Then to listen to him.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If some person sat down and started to explain something to me in the simplest terms as though I was stupid, on a topic I had no interest in, it wouldn't last long.  I would find such behavior condescending.

Combine my advice about a compliment with Robert's on listening and you have a good start to a conversation.

Sorry if this seems condescending.

 

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Posted

'Choose a topic that's interesting' - this was mentioned at the beginning, plus when you're not good at conversations, compliments simply don't work. Not everyone is at ease in social situations, you have to see it from others' perspective, not just your own.

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Posted (edited)

Okay @rafik gk you're right. I am  wrong. (whatever) 

 

Edited by dandielionous
Guess who never gets a second date from me...

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Okay @rafik gk you're right. I am  wrong. (whatever) 

 

I don't see why you're overreacting, we're just expressing different opinions

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Posted

 

The thing is: When you actually need artificial ways to keep a conversation going that would otherwise dry up, you are basically trying to patch a sinking ship in my opinion.

 

You didn't really understand the point behind my post. You make a good point here, when someone is really your friend you don't need to know how to continue the convo, itjust does. But you forgot something, no one starts havinggood friends. My tutorial is ment for people who find it hard to make friends because they have nothing to talk about, while you're talking about someone who's already friends with you. When you're just starting to get to know someone, it's really not that easy to kee the convo going. I also wanted to say that you're sharing your own experience which is great, but remember that not everyone has the same level of social skills, so what seems natural to you is something to be learned to someone else. Bottom line is, This is for people who are finding it difficult to keep a convo when meting new people or dealing with a difficult situation. btw thanks for sharing your opinion ;)

No, no. I completely understand what this is about and I know that my level of social skills is not the default setting for everybody. I just did not make my point very clear, because I was trying to be soft to not offend anybody. But if I would state my honest opinion, it would look like this:

If you have nothing to talk about, it is probably because:

  • You are not interested in sharing your thoughts, feelings, experiences with your conversation partner.
    • Which shows that you are not really interested in your conversation partner.
      • Which would lead to the result that this person might not be a good friend for you.
  • You have no interests.
    • Which means you are not interesting, but superficial, shallow or lacking any human substance.
      • Which means you should probably try to get some personality and than try to find friends.
        • Personality is formed by experiences.
          • Experiences result from interactions with the entire world outside of your head.
            • DO STUFF! Start to actually care.
  • You are insecure about the things you could talk about and rather hide them.
    • You should build up confidence by having conversations without the fear of them drying up.
      • You should mention things you like and that are important to you, you should look for people that do not run away when you mention such things.
        • You should begin to like yourself.

This is my opinion in a "radical" way. So, I am not trying to offend anybody. And like I said, I understand what you are trying to accomplish with this guide. My point is just, that I see it as a guide into the exact opposite direction. Friendships usually develops when people share a common interest, environment, situation. If I remember people, I remember them for what they were at the time I met them. I never found myself thinking "Damn, that generic, constructed conversation with this guy at the coffee place was great". Instead, I remember who are worth remembering. And to be worth remembering, you have to make an impact on people. Whether it be good, bad, funny, sarcastic, whatever labels one would like to use in this situation. But you can only make an impact, if you show something of you. If I meet somebody and I really like his shirt and I say it, like dandie suggested, chances are dynamite that I make impact. In this case, I already showed something of me. What I like, what taste in clothing I have, that I am able to complement other people and so on. However, if I meet somebody and do not know what to say and I use general topics, events or things that do not really interest me, I will either have to put on a mask to make it look like it would interest me or I show the other person that I am offering him or her generic, cardboard-tasting talk.

In a nutshell, and I am really trying to sum it up now:

The trick is to identify the right topic, it shouldn't be too technical or complicated like physics or mechanics or anything, because that's boring.

The main message of the guide is: Be entertaining and be interesting. But the goal of a conversation should not be to be an interesting person you really are not. What if you really love physics? Is the message then, (exaggeration ahead) "don't bore people with the things you and only you like"? Wouldn't it be good if a possible friend would AT LEAST endure you talking about science even though he or she does not really care a lot about it? Also, if you are trying to make friends, wouldn't it be good if it is a person that has the social skills to just say "Well, I am not really into physics"?

Before I read the guide, I scanned the titles, then I pressed CTRL + F and searched for "listen" and after that for "yourself". "Listen" gave me 0 hits in the article. "Yourself" was used but never in the combination with "be". After that, I read the article. For me, this would fit as a guide to "how to do party talk" or "conversation tips if you are stuck in an elevator with your boss". But when it comes to finding or meeting new friends, top priorities should be that the possible friend can a) talk to you while you are yourself/tolerate you as the person you are and b) you should be interested in this person which means that you will at least listen to him or her to learn more about him or her. And when you are interested, the conversation will naturally begin to flow. And if the person cannot stand you being you, well then it would probably not be a great friend.

But you are right, of course: This is only my subjective opinion. I can easily be mistaken and I can naturally have a different idea of friendship. Also, I can often be a dick, like I said, which might be a radical way to put it, too. What I mean is, sometimes I believe that people should be all natural, but that does not have to be a good thing, just because I believe it is.

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Posted

For me, the best moment during conversation with anyone is

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silence :)

This means you're feeling comfortable enough to keep silent for a while :)

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Posted

For me, the best moment during conversation with anyone is

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silence :)

This means you're feeling comfortable enough to keep silent for a while :)

You still need to befriend someone and be secure enough in yourself to get to that point though. 

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