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Conversation is a form of interactive, spontaneous communication between two or more people who are following rules of etiquette 1 - The first thing you can do to improve your conversational skills is to listen. To speak reasonably on any topic requires a certain degree of knowledge as to what the discussion is about. Listen to what others are saying before speaking. Not only will you have ideas as to what you want to say, but listening gives you the opportunity to respond to what others have said already. 2 - It's also a very good idea to try to see things from the other people or person's perspective. If you can empathize with their position, than you have a common bond, which is almost always helpful when trying to talk with people. But also, try to not get so caught up in what you want to say in response to what someone else has said that you stop listening to what others are still saying while waiting for your turn to speak. 3 - Try to include others in your conversation. Quite often when two or more people begin to converse, they begin to close ranks. This makes it very difficult for anyone else to join the conversation. By reaching out to others that may be present, but silent, you forge a bit of camaraderie that will engender you to this other person and make them more inclined to talk to you, which in turn will help you talk to them. 4 - Most people that converse well in small groups use positive words. This is no accident. People respond much more favorably to people who speak in upbeat tones. It's human nature. While it's true that a lot of conversations tend to veer into gossip and the darker aspects of social behavior, it doesn't have to continue that way. It's almost always possible to find something reasonably optimistic about any subject. You might want to note however, that there is always a fine line between optimistic conversation and moralizing. Very few people engaged in general conversation will welcome either arrogance or lectures. 5 - Once it's your turn to speak, try to follow a logical progression with your words. This will usually mean having some bit of an idea of what you want to say before you start speaking. Following a logical sequence of ideas makes it easier for those who are trying to listen to you understand what you are trying to say. 6 - Another thing that greatly helps in conversation is watching the body language of the people around you. This might seem obvious, but quite often when we find ourselves with a group of people we retreat to the safety of our own thoughts, which tends to block out what is going on with the people around us. To read the body language of those around you, you need to make a conscious, concerted effort. 7 - Be more interesting. If you want to be good with conversation, it's good to have things to talk about. Of course there is always your personal life, e.g. the going's on of you, your family or your friends and co-workers. But this news is sporadic and usually not nearly as interesting to others as you might hope. It also can grow rather tiresome for others if all you have to offer is new words describing the same old message. To converse in meaningful ways, you need to have new things to talk about. Read the newspaper, watch the news. Take up a hobby. Do interesting things. In short, broaden your horizons. You'll find you have more to share with others than you might have imagined. 8 -Another thing most great conversationalists have in common is confidence. People grow annoyed listening to people who speak too softly or don't finish their sentences. People are much more inclined to respond if they see you are excited about something, or at least have some reason for sharing other than that you happen to be standing there. If you are going to speak, do so with energy and assurance. If you can't, it's usually best to wait until you can. 9 - Something you can easily do that helps with conversation is to smile. Do it while listening and while speaking. It will...
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