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This page is dedicated to Dorothy Dandridge - An American Beauty

Mastering the Art of Conversation

 Art of Conversation
Would your friends say you are the life of a party? 
Would your family say you are an excellent hostess?
When others plan a gathering -
 is your name one of the first on the guest list? 

 Whether you answered yes or no to these questions, this posting is for the social butterfly in us all.


Saturday afternoon I was invited to a luncheon at the home of a friend. Our friendship started by attending the same industry events but recently took the first steps to hanging out socially. The five ladies in attendance were professional, intelligent and great conservationists. I met two at a previous party and two were new acquaintances. We began with a causal chat about life, family and memories of friends. Four hours later we were making plans for the next gathering.

This experience reminded me of a recent statement I read: "The art of conversation is a skill, and can be learned, practiced and perfected. So don't be nervous, just be prepared." I think this statement is true but don't think most people perfect the skill. After all, this is a process. I admit having a few conversation issues: starting with interrupting people with my ideas because I feel I will lose my thought when it’s my turn to reply and embarrassing myself by giving my opinion when I should only listen. I’ve learned one lesson; comments are not always required or welcomed. I am committed to working on my communication skills. Will you join me?

Ask yourself these questions about your conversation skill level and decide if you master the art of conversation.

1. Do you believe the statement about conversation is true or false?
2. Do you believe you perfect the art of conversation?
3. Are you always prepared to have a conversation with people from diverse backgrounds about any topic - without becoming emotional or challenging?
4. Do you listen closely when you are in a conversation?
5. When in a conversation, do you interrupt the other person when they are speaking?
6. Do you have continuous eye contact with the person during the conversation?
7. Do you ask questions related to the conversation topic?
8. Do you always provide examples from your life experience during most conversations?
9. Do you leave most conversations learning something new about yourself or the other person?
10. Are you confident when meeting new people (i.e. introducing yourself to a stranger)?

 

Here are some tips to assist you with mastering the art of conversation in any situation.
  • Make direct eye contact when speaking or being spoken to in a conversation. This tip will allow you to focus on the topic.
  • Listen as if each word is the last word you will every hear. This tip will allow you to develop questions related conversation subject and make changing the subject easier.
  • Ask a minimum of three questions during the conversation. This tip will show the other person you are interested in the topic.
  • Show sincere interest in the other person/persons experience or topic. Keep in mind, sincere communication is a great learning opportunity.
  • Only offer information about yourself if comfortable. There isn’t a law stating during casual conversation you must discuss details that make you uncomfortable. This is the perfect opportunity to ask the person a question to avoid answering a private question. This tip will allow you to remain polite and level headed.
  • Have an exist strategy from the beginning of the conversation. It’s important to exist conversations gracefully. The best way is to introduce the person to someone else and start the conversation with items the two people have in common. Works every time.
  • Most importantly, remember the name of the person you are speaking with during each conversation. When introduced repeat the name in your mind several times while making eye contact. This will assist with recalling the name later.
 Bonus Tips:
  1. Instead of talking about yourself make the conversation about the other person. There are two reasons this is important: people love to share their good news and you will have an opportunity to learn something new about the person.
  2. Most people make the mistake of having selective hearing and/or making emotional responses during casual conversations. Keep in mind everyone is allowed their own opinions about every subject.
Challenge:
Make a new friend. Introduce yourself and have a full conversation about them and their life. Remember, this isn't a job interview. Keep the tone light and engaging.

3 comments:

  1. Another topic that is right on point. Keep doing what you do Stephanie.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another great topic. Keep doing what you do Stephanie.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey, Stephanie

    That's pretty good writing...Can't stand when I'm talking to someone with no personality and there is that silent space and then your struggling for conversation. But, they just don't even seem to mind, and for me it is so uncomfortable when I get into that situation with no personality types. (:

    I tend to keep fighting through and until I say OK, and end the conversation all together.

    Be great if more people could get your tips on conversation...I got it, others can use it..LOL

    ReplyDelete

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Star Sighting: Dororthy Dandridge

Star Sighting: Dororthy Dandridge
Beautiful Dorothy Dandridge with a group of Beauty Queens in the 1940s. Photo: Clyde Woods