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Don't Be Shy, Try Our Killer Conversational Tactics

Generally, when meeting new people, the quality of your interaction is tied to two factors, 1. The compatibility of values, and 2. Conversational skills.

Let’s face it. Even if you are Oprah Winfrey, it is often difficult to keep up a good quality conversation. Whether with your date, friend, or work colleague, it might be hard to always find the right thing to say at the right time.

Whether you love standing around and chatting or cringe at the thought of yet another “forced” conversation, being a good conversationalist is important for both networking and forming relationships. So, let’s talk—specifically, about how you can improve your conversational skills with the following killer tactics that we are sure will help you build up some amazing conversation skills.

Be Curious & Compliment

Show the person you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. Who is this person? What’s on his/her mind? What does he/she enjoy doing? What motivates him/her in life? These are the types of natural questions which will propel you into an in depth conversation.

When you can, show empathy for what they are saying by remarking about a common experience. This strengthens the communication bond.

Put the person in his/her best light. Always look for ways to make the person look good. Give credit where credit is due. Recognize talent where you see it. Drop compliments where appropriate. Allow the person to shine in his/her own light.

Tell Stories & Be Funny

Share comical experiences and stories to lighten the mood, and if you can’t be funny, at least be high energy. People open up to those who are fun to talk to.

Listen To Body Language

Try to pick up a sense when you may have lost someone’s attention. That way, you avoid boring someone to death.

Likewise, if someone is ceaselessly chattering, and you need to exit the conversation, try honesty by saying like, “That is true, and I’ve love to talk more about that another time", and then end the conversation.

Or, for an awkward question you aren't sure how to answer, try something along the lines of "That is a great question, let me come back to you," then either pivot to another topic, or make an excuse to leave.

Call Them By Name

Always use their name! This way you will acknowledge their identity and succeed in putting them at ease, which is essential for the conversation to fly.

Converse – Don’t Debate

A conversation should be a platform where opinions are aired, not a battle ground to pit one’s stance against another. Be ready to chat, discuss, and thrash out ideas, but do so amiably. There’s no need to have a conclusion or agreement point in every discussion. Allow for things to be left open-ended if a common point can’t be achieved.

If it gets awkward, use this as a platform to spin off and change the subject of discussion, which will ultimately reveal more about both of you, and new commonalities will hopefully unveil, allowing you to build on them further.

Set A Positive Tone

When opening up a conversation try to sound positive and friendly. By taking responsibility for the emotional vibe you will set the tone of the conversation. People usually react accordingly to how you react (or talk) to them.

Go for the positive topics. Which means rather than talk about past grievances, opt for a discussion of future goals. Rather than talk about the coffee that spilled on your table this morning, talk about that movie you are looking forward to watch later in the evening.

It’s okay to talk about “negative” topics once in a while, but only when you feel it is okay with the other party and when it has a specific purpose (e.g., to get to know the other person better or to bond with the person).


Respect; don’t impose, criticize, or judge. Respect other people’s point of view. Respect other people’s space—don’t encroach on the person’s privacy unless a common bond has been established. Respect other people’s personal choices—don’t criticize or judge. Everyone has his/her right to be him/herself, just as you have the right to be yourself.

If you don't know much about the individual you are speaking with, you may not be aware of certain past or present experiences. Tread carefully when questioning, for example, a common question could be "do you have children"? That individual may not be able to have children, so asking that question could be upsetting. Basically, we are just advising to think before you ask what could be a simple, yet problematic question.

Politics and religion are well-known taboo topics, they are equally dangerous territories to discuss, especially when you don't know someone well, try and pick less obviously sensitive subjects.

Make A Mental List Of Topics

To avoid running out of topics and not know how to keep the conversation interesting, try to make a mental list of things you could talk about. Knowing that you could go on for some time will also help you calm down if you are stressed.

The more decisions you make in one day, the worse the decisions become. So if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail - Plus too much thinking could turn you into an energy vampire!

Use The Environment

And when you are at the end of your mental list and running out of topics, just have a look around and get inspired by the environment surrounding you. You’ll be amazed by how long you could talk about that painting hanging on the wall, those pretty flowers - and you may even stumble across a new passion of your new acquaintance…

Share The Lime Light

Try not to overpower the conversation. A great conversation should be made up of equal sharing by both parties opportunities to contribute to the conversation. What this means is that you should be sensitive enough to pose questions to the other party if you have been talking for a while.

It also means that you should take the initiative to share more about yourself if the other party has been sharing for the most part. Just because the person doesn’t ask doesn’t mean you can’t share; sometimes people don’t pose questions because it is not in their natural self to do so.