Do your conversations end too early? Do you struggle with talking to people or making friends? Well, this article will cover some techniques you can use to keep the convo alive.
1. Ask Questions to Get More Topics
A long conversation relies on having various topics to talk about. When the topics are limited, your conversation will be limited too. So remember to ask questions to the one you’re talking to. How is their life? What are they doing now? Has their son graduated? Etcetera.
Don’t be too intrusive or seem too curious. It can be creepy/annoying. Of course, wait for a response after asking each question. Don’t dominate the conversation entirely. People love listeners just as much if not more than talkers.
If you don’t know the person, establish some basic facts about their life. Whether they work/study (as it seems to you), where they live, how they find the place (if they’re new to a place/state/country), what their hobbies are, etc.
2. Follow-Up Questions
Don’t just stop at receiving an answer for your questions, ask a follow up question. For example, if someone tells you they work as a teacher at some college, ask them what they teach, how the work is there, how the salary is (if appropriate), etc. The key is to be friendly. You will then get responses to these questions. Listen to them and ask another follow up.
3. Ask about Current Affairs
You can also ask questions according to what is prominent or popular at the moment. For example, a president’s election, a hit song, a popular trend, etc. Base these questions on the understanding you have of the person. This would be established via Tip No. 1. If the person does not seem interested or seems offended, change the topic. Be observant of their non-verbal (facial expressions, body language, etc) & verbal (for example, tone) cues while talking about things or listening to their responses.
4. Establish Common Interests
The best way to keep a conversation going is to find things you both are interested in. You can do this by asking them about their hobbies or if they watch or do a particular thing. For example, you could ask them if they watch anime or read books. This way, you’ll be more likely to find someone you really gel with. And if nothing else, it will help keep the exchange going and make things interesting.
5. Keep a Balance
Asking questions gives the other person a reason to speak, if they’re not the most outgoing. But remember to also add in relevant bits about yourself. For example, if you’re asking someone about their favourite sport, you can wait for them to reply and then tell them about yours. You could also talk about your favourite sport first before they answer so they’re more comfortable. Also, respond to questions the other person has so there’s fair exchange.
6. Don’t Make the Conversation about Yourself
A great conversation killer is self-obsession. Sure it’s nice to talk about yourself moderately, but you don’t want the entire thing to be about you and your accomplishments. Show interest in the other person’s life and achievements. People love to talk about themselves and this can result in longer “talk time”.