We’ve all been there – stuck in a room with your partner’s boss, a mutual friend, or a distant relative, and the ‘awkwardness’ in the room is unbearable. How can you start a conversation or keep the other person interested? Whether it’s in an interview, coffee chat, performance review, or just every-day life, the following are 2 quick tips you can use to ensure a memorable (and less boring) conversation.
1. Ask Questions (and listen to the answers)
It is no surprise… people LOVE talking about themselves and their interests. Therefore, if you ask them about their career, their path, their family… there is a good chance they will be delighted to carry on a passionate conversation with you.
The trick to this is that you have to actually listen (I know-woah)! Ask questions you actually care about and actively listen to what the speaker is telling you. That way, you can ask follow-up questions and probe them further on their passions and interests.
Trust me – the other person will leave remembering how good the conversation was (because it was about them) and they won’t forget you!
2. Use Body Language
Asking questions and listening is all fine and dandy until the other person can tell you’re only asking because you feel obligated. Show with your body language that you are interested, and actually care about the words coming out of their mouth.
You can do this by ensuring your arms are not folded, your face is relaxed, you are standing up straight and making comfortable eye contact.
Remember, some people aren’t talkative, and may not be in the mood to explain their whole life story to you. It’s important to value moments without conversation and grow comfortable in silence once in a while – so don’t stress if you aren’t immediate bffs! If you are trying to impress someone, be remembered by someone, or just trying to get through another work event without another boring conversation, whip out your new conversational skills and have the whole room chatting!