Why is being a great conversationalist important? Conversations can define who we are, and depending on our communication skills, can open or close doors. They are links that get stronger, and as we build new links that chain becomes a network. Look at a new conversation as a new adventure...and who doesn't like an adventure?
How do we become a great conversationalist? Attention spans aren’t what they use to be. We are immersed in a media-rich environment. For example, how many times have you started to watch a posted video and turned it off within the first minute? If something doesn't grab our interest quickly, we simply move on. It can be the same with conversation. So a good start is to keep the conversation simple, short and to the point.
How do we make a good impression? Share something positive! Watch any news channel, read any paper and sadly you will notice that it is all negative. We live in a high-pressure society so we need positivity where possible. Our goal as a great conversationalist should be to uplift and leave a smile on our listeners face. And be sure to show enthusiasm and smile yourself. Even if you are not physically present, your enthusiasm and your smile will be sensed.
It's not all about "Me", "Myself" and "I"! Generally we are all pretty good at talking about ourselves. So be conscious about keeping the conversation focused on your listener and not too much on yourself. You do not want your listener to walk away thinking "they never asked a single thing about me"! It's important to ask questions! Thought-provoking questions can establish a relationship which will lead to an emotional connection.
Be present in the conversation. Pay attention to what is being said. Have you ever been talking to someone and you can sense that the only thing on their mind is what they're going to say next? Do you really feel they are giving you their genuine attention? Hardly. So really pay attention. Make eye contact, remember the person's name and use it once in awhile during your conversation.
How do we keep a conversation going? Questions that start with "Why", "What", "Where", "When" or "How" encourage opinion or viewpoint answers that will help people open up. These type of questions will keep a conversation following nicely. And find common ground. You may not agree with everything said, but the conversation will soon end or become hostile, if we object to everything said.
It's a skill that can be learned! Being a great conversationalist takes time, effort, and practice. Remember, not so much talking, more listening. Stay present, keep it positive and show enthusiasm. Practice these points and soon you will find yourself having better, stronger relationships.
Remember, keep making great interviews happen!