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Difficulty in holding conversations


aks

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I am not a shy person. But, when I meet strangers or good friends, I do not start a conversation or lead the conversation. I am to-the-point when replying to a friendly question. I answer what is being said and go quiet. Sometimes I try to make a remark on the topic that is being talked about, but I feel that others are not interested to listen to it, i.e. they quickly move away from what I am saying, but they discuss what others say. This is because the things that I say are factual and not topics of interest. I also do not stop from saying something that others do not believe in if I feel I am right. This further alienates them.

 

I go to a public speaking club. But, I am not a great speaker there, not with much creativity. Please offer me some advice on how to improve my conversational skills.

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Hi aks, How have you found the public speaking club?

 

Interesting people there?

 

What sort of age groups are they that attend?

 

Have you found that it helps to listen to others.

 

I've always been afraid of public speaking, would you recommend it as a worthwhile club?

 

Keeping a good conversation aks, is about taking someones lead as I just did with you.

 

You mentioned that you went to a public speaking club, so I am asking YOU questions about what you think of it. People LOVE talking about something they are doing if they think the other person may be interested.

 

 

It really helps to keep the conversation going with someone and generally will lead into other topics as it progresses.

 

Also, if you don't know the people really well, it can be better to NOT make remarks that could be perceived as judgemental, disapproving or cynical. It's not about hiding your morals/values or beliefs it is more that most conversations are generally lite on and not going to that sort of depth.

 

Hope this helps a little.

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One of my favorite definitions of education is "deliberately doing what is uncomfortable so that it may eventually become comfortable." The thing that stinks about not being the best conversationalist in the world is that the only way to get better at it is to keep putting yourself out there and doing it. I was just talking to my wife today about a recent conference we attended and how we got to catch up with friends we haven't seen in a couple of years--I was *horrible* at catching up with them. Conversations were just awkward, but you've got to keep trying.

 

Something that I do to keep conversation going is to try to turn the conversation around after every thought. So if someone asks you how your job has been going, tell them, but then turn it around and ask them the same question. If it's something more factual like you say, I'd ask yourself why the other person asked the question they asked or brought up the conversation they brought up. What is it that is interesting to them? When you have an idea of what they're interested in, it's easier to come up with questions or lines of conversation to keep them engaged.

 

You can also keep a reserve of emergency questions in the back of your head--this is what I usually resort to.....I have a couple of lines of conversation that I can bring up if conversation dies--usually along the lines of asking the person about how different aspects of their life is going.

 

In terms of creativity, I think that's a tough question to answer. When I'm trying to be creative in my job or in my relationships, I think about how I've been doing things. Sometimes we get sucked into routine. Doing the opposite once and awhile will mix things up and show you a different perspective. For example, as a teacher, I may have my students sit the same way every day in class. All I need to do to liven things up if needed is to let them switch seats (or do it for them). Anything different from routine gives you a different perspective.

 

This is a very scatterbrained answer....I hope something in all of those random thoughts is helpful to you!

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