Secrets to Connnecting in a Conversation

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Vanessa Deifel, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. Vanessa Deifel

    Vanessa Deifel New Member

    I am a introvert by nature. Being the one to start a conversation is not easy for me; in fact it goes beyond that to down right difficult. This is an area I am actively trying to change and have made significant progress using some of the tips outlined here.

    1. Exude confidence. When you are comfortable in your own skin, you make others comfortable. Confidence is attractive; it acts like a magnet, drawing others to you. If you take the attitude that you bring something to the table, you will see that attitude reflected in others. Enthusiasm is infectious!
    2. Show up with something to say. Always be on the lookout for topics and material. Keep up with the news, read business magazines, etc. looking for interesting and timely information that can be shared at the next get together. Perhaps even keep a file to review before the next event.
    3. Begin with a question. One simple question can start a conversation. Have a few on hand and ask something a bit unusual to set you apart and make you memorable. i.e. “How do you enjoy spending your weekends?” Admire something and ask an open ended question in conjunction. i.e. “What a great buffet! What is your favorite dish?”
    4. Find common ground. Build rapport by finding something you have in common and building on it. Find something to appreciate and be genuine in your appreciation.
    5. Focus on others. Put you energy and interest in the other person. People love to talk about themselves. Continue to keep the conversation going back and forth by refocusing on them.
    6. Be inclusive. Make eye contact with everyone in the group, not just the person who directly asked you a question.
    7. Keep body language open and receptive. Nod in agreement, make significant and genuine eye contact, lean toward the other person, and even touch them on the arm if you are a touchy-feely kind of person. Do keep a reasonable bubble of personal space with strangers however.
    8. Stay engaged in the conversation. Stay focused on them and do not allow your attention to wander to other areas of the room, either mentally or physically. Give acknowledgement cues such as “wow”, “cool”, or “that’s awesome”, etc. It let’s them know you are engaged. Keep your eyes on them. When your eyes wander off beyond their shoulder, the person you are talking to knows they are no longer the center of your attention.
    9. Close a conversation with class and kindness. When a conversation naturally lulls, take advantage and say, “It’s been a pleasure talking to you. I hope our paths cross again sometime.” and get their contact information if applicable.

    Words are important. They can teach, inform, reprimand, coerce, and encourage. Words can change people’s lives. Effective communication plays a critical role in every person’s life – helping us be better friends, parents, business partners, employees, and better people.
    The ability to hold a natural conversation is one of the keys to success, not only in the business world, but in life. Knowing when to initiate a discussion, keeping it interesting by asking effective questions, sharing your own stories, and ending the conversation tactfully and effectively is an art.

    When you take the time to acquire and hone good communication skills you open yourself up to better relationships, more career opportunities, and increased self-confidence. Moreover, you reach higher levels of mutual understanding and cooperation while successfully attaining your goals.
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  2. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    So true!

    Words can also help people develop or strengthen particular personality traits or abilities, through the use of written affirmations.

    So, for example, if a person wanted to overcome the fear of speaking before a group, a simple affirmation could be:

    "I am an excellent speaker because I am always well prepared with my material,
    completely at ease before any group, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others."

    To magnetize that affirmation and hasten its outcome, 3 steps are necessary:
    1. Write it down. This gives the idea a physical form.
    2. Read it out loud (or at least mouth the words). This adds another layer and the power of the spoken word.
    3. Visualize yourself confidently speaking in front of a large group. This helps you to 'see' and 'feel' yourself already in the desired state.
    - Try to engage ALL your senses in the visualization.
    - Notice how attentive and interested people are in your speech.
    - Hear the loud and sustained applause you get when you are done.
    - Enjoy the happiness and satisfaction this evokes.​

    You can even practice giving a speech in front of a mirror to simulate the real activity.

    If you were to repeat those steps at least twice a day, you'll be astonished at...
    • how quickly your confidence will grow.
    • how accepting you'll become of the idea that you are indeed an excellent speaker.
    • how many opportunities to speak in front of groups will start popping up.
    And before you know it, you'll become that person you wrote about in the affirmation.

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  3. payment proof

    payment proof Well-Known Member

    I agree with everything in the list and think #3 is so important:

    3. Begin with a question.

    Ask people about themselves, their interests, their life. Show you care about who they are and what matters to them. Just don't ask anything overly personal right at the beginning such as things about sex, religion, or politics lol.

    Love the post Vanessa!
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  4. Ben Scott

    Ben Scott New Member

    Great thread Vanessa. I like #2. Show up with something to say. One thing that has helped me a lot with this is listening to radio shows in the morning, especially the ones where listeners call in to give their opinions. If I notice that a certain topic does really well at getting listeners engaged, I make a note of it and use it to start a conversation at a social event. For me once I break the ice and start a good conversation, I can then apply the other 8 tips with ease.
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  5. Donnell Nixon

    Donnell Nixon New Member

    Very good information. Anyone ever feel like during a conversation you are talking to a wall or trying to break down one? Haha. Well this post definitely helps :) . No more feeling stumped on what to say next.
    Vanessa Deifel likes this.
  6. florbags

    florbags Member

    Those are great tips, Vanessa! :) For me, the most important is Number 4: Find common ground. Build rapport by finding something you have in common and building on it. Find something to appreciate and be genuine in your appreciation.

    If you have something in common with the person you are talking to, it would be easy to ask questions and build a lasting relationship.
    Vanessa Deifel likes this.
  7. annadenise

    annadenise Active Member

    Excellent posts here. I am an extrovert and naturally seem to be able to connect/talk with people but have many friends and online business friends that have told me they are very hesitant to contact others and some are introverts by nature.

    Finding common ground, as mentioned above, is a great way to break the ice. I've had people in the past under me that would seem quite shy/quiet and hesitant to ask much or get very active in a business opportunity they were joining with me, then we would find an interest we both had, or one they share with my husband or kids, or with my upline (ex. have one fellow that is now a good friend that is an engineer and also in a band. He and I could talk and email just fine, but he had a lot of questions he'd ask over and over again. I then hooked him up with my upline who was also in a band on the side and he answered the same questions and it satisfied him.) Now we just work together, but that extra little connection helped him.

    I also like the comment on write, read and visualize. When I was a manager at a large insurance co. I practiced this before speaking to large groups to make sure I was very comfortable with what I had to discuss. It works! The mirror part is great if you don't like speaking to a crowd. As outgoing as I am, I was nervous when I had 1 or 200 agents I had to speak to. The talking in front of the mirror took care of that. Also, when studying for certifications we were even told by trainers to read everything 3 times, and write it down. That helped me pass some difficult tests for certifications in the insurance industry.
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  8. recruiter1

    recruiter1 Banned

    Finding a Balance is very important to connect with customers in a natural style of conversation.
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  9. payment proof

    payment proof Well-Known Member

    Agreed. A common ground and a comfortable conversation can go a long way, both personally and professionally. :)
  10. Robin Bull

    Robin Bull Member

    I am an extreme introvert. I fall off of the Myers-Briggs scale. It's odd since I've taught and done public speaking, but that's just how it is. I can vouch for personal affirmations. However, I do not worry about showing up to an event where I am not the guest speaker and making sure I have something to say. I prefer to quietly observe. It's really hard to listen and pay attention to what is going on if your mind is encircling the things that you decided you needed to say at the event.

    You don't have to be an extrovert or exhibit extrovert qualities to succeed in business.
  11. Tatsiana

    Tatsiana New Member

    Hello, Payment Proof!
    I'm new here and have a question about creating a link for your signature, as I see you have a few different ones that redirected to your webpages. Could you help or give me a tip how to get it done? Thanks.
  12. Tatsiana

    Tatsiana New Member

    Love the post! I am a very outgoing person and have no problem approaching strangers and starting a conversation, but as far as talking to a crowd larger than 10 people, I'm ready to faint! My heart is racing, I have extreme anxiety!I will start practicing in the mirror, I hope it's helpful as you stated as I'm determined to be a great speaker and overcome my biggest fear!:) Thank you!
  13. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    That's a particularly good point.

    In an age where tweeting, instant messaging and texting are among the default ways to communicate, it seems to me that the art of conversation is loss to most people.

    We have become so self-centered, that instead of tuning in and really absorbing what the other person is saying, we are busy thinking of what we're going to say at the very next pause. So we end up taking turns talking rather than communicating, because no one is truly listening.

    What a waste!

  14. payment proof

    payment proof Well-Known Member

    Looks like you got your signature set up, but if you still have any questions feel free ask. I'm always glad to help other members. :)
  15. Rustler

    Rustler New Member

    I fully agree. Most people didn't have very good communication skills before all this technology. Now with even more distractions it's only going to get worse.

    Mastering your communication skills is the #1 key to success and will IMO give people a massive advantage in today's world (as well as the future) where everyone's nose is stuck to a mobile device.
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  16. Robin Bull

    Robin Bull Member

    Agreed. So many have taken "automation" to mean ignore the people who are attempting to interact with you in social media. Sure, I use HootSuite to time some posts, but I also make it a point to get on FB, Twitter, and G+ to interact with people

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