How To Never Run Out Of Conversation

Errrrrrrrr

Ummmmm

I better write something here.

Just kidding… my silly sense of humour there. I’ve been there though when I’ve struggled in conversation.

Have you struggled in conversation with someone? Whether that was meeting someone at a social event, a conversation in business or even a date?  

When I was in my younger years as a teenager, I used to hide away in places like the toilet when there was a big social situation at times. I felt self-conscious and didn’t want people looking at me on my own. I felt too scared and loaded with fear to talk to someone, but now I love social situations and talk to most people with high confidence. Today I wanted to share some top tips on interacting with people I picked up as I made action to grow my comfort zone.

 

  1. You won’t click with everyone

I know we are starting on a negative here, but this is a reality to accept. Sometimes, I found the voice in my head generalising saying ‘nobody likes you’ when I didn’t connect with one person in my earlier years. The brain does this to keep us safe. Not everybody gets on. If you find you don’t get on with someone, don’t worry, but don’t generalise.

 

  1.   Prepare in advance your conversation topics

This might sound a bit over the top, but it helped me loads. Don’t over-prepare, you block the flow of conversation but equip yourself a bit with questions you could ask and stories you could tell. Questions should be fun, not ‘how are you today?’ make them fun like ‘ what do you enjoy doing?’ or ‘what got you into that?’. People love to talk about themselves and respond well to people who show interest in them. 

  On the stories side, people love a good story. People can relate well to stories. So think of a few good stories from your life. If this is new to you, you might need to take a bit longer to prepare these.

 

  1. Prepare questions you might be asked

I do this now and won’t stop. It can be challenging on the spot when someone asks a difficult question, and you don’t know the answer. It’s fine to say ‘I don’t know’ when it can be difficult if we don’t know the answer. Preparing answers for meetings I have in advance has increased my confidence in social and speaking environments. When preparing for social situations, you are likely to get questions like ‘So what do you do?’. If you can make with a fun-filled answer, it can help so much in feeling a bit more equipped going into those social situations. 

 

  1. Learn from others around you

This one I found helpful, learning from other people. Although this sounds a bit nosey, some people make their conversations public. So listen to what people are saying and start noting the kinds of conversations they are having. Make a mental note and then a physical note. You can then lead that to prepare conversations.

 

  1. Start small

This is like confidence in other areas. Just start small and say basic ‘Hello’ or ‘Good morning’ to people. I used to be nervous when I started working in the public sector, but then I would build up conversations by starting with this. Perfection is an awful thing at times, and we can think because we can’t talk for ages like some people we are no good at socialising. No! Just keep building up bit by bit. 

 

Conclusion

Social confidence and worrying about what to say in conversation is perfectly normal. I’ve been there and know plenty of others who have been, so don’t feel alone. Preparation can help but accept that you might not get on with anybody. Just keep taking small actions going forward into social situations and build up as much as possible.

 

The video can be found HERE

The podcast can be found HERE

 

Jonny Pardoe © July 2020

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