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I want to improve my conversation skills
Posted on: 05/11/2004
I find myself having problems starting and carrying on a conversation. Even with friends i know, sometimes in the midst of a conversation, i just feel that i have nothing to say, and i just hate that awkward silence, But, i do want to continue the conversation. Are there ways to break this silence, and inject humour into my sentences? I also find myself very conscious of myself when i'm out with 1 person alone, be it male or female. Is there any way to advice me. Thanks
I guess the important thing is for you to remember that your friends are still your friends, pauses in conversation or not, and that it's okay to stop and smile and sometimes take a moment to think about an answer. A good filler might be to say "well, what do you think?" and then actively listen and respond to what they're saying. It's always okay to say "let me think a minute" if an answer doesn't come right away. And a good way to start conversations is to ask questions -- how was your day, did you like this, have you seen this, what do you think about that, do you have something coming up? One I use with my friends is "what's new and exciting?" Then the next time you see them, ask them follow-up questions -- how did your weekend go, did you have a good time? That way they'll know that you remember what they said. And at appropriate breaks in the conversation, you can always jump in with a change in topic -- "oh, that reminds me" or "by the way".
I hope that helps -- you can take whatever pieces you like of that, and tweak them/add to them, whatever you like.
Answered by Jeanne Beacom, Intern and Nancy Brown