At a social event recently, I observed how some people were finding it difficult to make conversation with others. Some looked awkward, others remained quiet and yet others could not say more than two or three words. Perhaps some were shy and nervous. Then there may have been others who were terrified of being with large groups of people. Making conversation is really not difficult. Anyone can learn how to make good conversations. Everyone can practise and try out different ways and we can learn how to be comfortable with others and be happy. I have written this post to start you in the right direction. Here I have included some suggestions on how to make conversations.

Be Confident and Positive

As you walk into a room full of people, tell yourself that you are going to meet interesting people, that you will hold great conversations and that you will have a good time. Be confident that you will be successful. Always tell yourself that you have something interesting to share with others. If you are afraid of large groups of people, just tell yourself that everyone in the room is warm and friendly. Take a deep breath if you feel nervous

Forget about your own problems or concerns and smile at everybody you meet. Introduce yourself and avoid negative thoughts and expectations of how the other person is going to react to you. Do not go on and on about yourself. All you have to do is to present key information about yourself in a positive manner.

Starting the Conversation

When you meet someone for the first time, it is good to show enthusiasm. You could say, “I’m really happy to meet you.” Or, “I have heard so many wonderful things about you.” Then follow up with some information that you have about the person.

Starting a conversation is easy when you begin with a compliment to the person to whom you are talking. You could follow with a comment about the weather, the event, the food, an interesting fact, a news item or something you have read. In order to be able to make comments about current affairs and facts, it is necessary to read and keep up to date with the latest information. You could also ask the person to whom you are speaking what brought them to the event or how they know the host or hostess.

It is useful to note interesting anecdotes and facts that you come across in magazines, the newspapers, on television and in books. You can share this information with others. Often at a party I have heard people mention something they may have heard on the news on radio as they were driving to the party. This generally starts everyone talking.

To encourage people to talk about themselves and what they are doing, all you have to do is to ask an open-ended question like, “What are you working on right now?” Or “What are you busy with now?” These questions will elicit answers about their work, their interests, their community service, their family, their sporting activities and their hobbies. From their answers you can ask other questions, make comments and give information about your own work and interests.

Maintaining a Conversation

Now that you have started a conversation, you will need to maintain it. I can suggest the following ways:
• Ask questions which show genuine interest
• Keep asking questions to get the other person to elaborate on the subject of the conversation
• Seek the views and opinions of other people about current issues, fashion, lifestyles etc.
• Use who, what, when, where and why questions as they prompt people to speak
• Add new information to the discussion and add some personal comments to the answers.
However,be brief with your comments.

It is best to avoid the following controversial topics:
• Gossip
• Politics
• Religion
• Cost of Things
• Sex
• Bodily Functions
• Emotional Problems


When making conversations it helps if we listen more and speak less. Listening enables you to pick up information which can be further developed. Not many of us are able to listen well. We can, though develop our listening skills. Another good point to note is that we should speak clearly. Avoid mumbling and talking too fast. Pronounce your words clearly so that people listening to you can understand you.

What You Should Not Do

Sometimes we get carried away on a topic and we may dominate the conversation. Moderate yourself and give others a chance to speak. Avoid interrupting other people and let people finish telling their stories or giving their views. Make sure too that you do not bore other people. When you see that people are getting bored with you, change the topic. Observe people and their reactions as you speak. Acquire the ability to interpret Body Language effectively.

Positive Body Language

Positive Body Language includes having eye contact with the person to whom you are talking. Looking away from the person who is speaking is negative body language. Lean forward when you are engaged in conversation to indicate that you are interested in what the other person is saying. Positive Body Language also includes keeping your arms and body open. Maintain a relaxed body posture throughout the conversation as it generates a feeling of ease and comfort. Finally, nod and smile from time to time.

When having a conversation with someone, make an effort to understand the person’s point of view. There is no need to argue and to insist that you are right. Avoid criticizing, making hurtful comments and using bad language. Always make the person feel special and be interested in the person’s opinions and comments. Having a sense of humour also helps when you meet people and have conversations with them.

Concluding a Conversation

Now that you have had an interesting conversation with someone and you wish to end it, what should you do? First look away as this indicates that you wish to end the conversation. Then say to the person any one of the following statements, “Nice meeting you”, “I’ve really enjoyed talking to you” or “I look forward to another conversation with you”. You could also give the person a firm handshake.

Making Conversation is easy. It is good fun and it is stimulating. Keep making conversations often. Let me leave you with this quote from William Shakespeare:

“Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood.”

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