to be a Better Conversationalist
week some of the most essential dos and don'ts of conversation
norms were presented to help sharpen "conversations skills"
and here are more pointers to make us more conscious about
the mistakes we inadvertently make, to help avoid them from
now on, helping us become even better conversationalists than
what we already are. Most suggestions are derived from common
sense, research and experience and most readers already know
it all, but reading may help bring the latent knowledge to
the surface. Hopefully readers will find the suggestions practical!
talk too loud: Even if you are excited or enthusiastic, it's
best to control your voice if you want to hold your audience
longer, especially when you are talking to a few people only.
talk too fast: It's best to speak at a moderate speed to ensure
that listeners can understand you and has the time to absorb
your message into their minds. Too much of speed may blur
your words and even make you an object of ridicule.
laugh too loud: Does it not seem scary when people you are
talking to, or telling a joke to, suddenly explode into laughter
as loud as thunder? It's best to try and develop a well--managed
courteous laughing style. If anyone rocks back and forth,
leans on others besides themselves, spit or convulse while
laughing, then it's time to modify those traits!
in your pronunciations: It doesn't always matter what sort
of an accent you have, but the basic pronunciation has to
be correct irrespective of what language you use. An "S"
should be pronounced as an "S" and not as "CH"
or "SH". A "J" or a "G" cannot
become a "Z" nor should a "Z" be allowed
to sound like a "J".
talk too slow or drab: It always pays to have energy and enthusiasm
in your voice while you are speaking and to match it with
the right gestures and postures and expressions. If you talk
too slow, you may even send your counterpart to sleep as it
as you speak: Whatever you say in a conversation should be
spoken with confidence if you want it to create the kind of
impact you want. Even if you are requesting something, or
appealing, be confident in the way that you do it, for it
will show that you have conviction on why you need what you
are requesting, and may improve your chance of getting it.
eating before you speak: While with friends we often are so
enthusiastic that we don't want to waste a moment and so speak
while the process of chewing and mastication is still going
on! If anyone tries doing so in front of a mirror, I think
that would be enough to make one realise the merits of discontinuing
yourself properly if you have to take a break for some interruption:
Many of us just hold up a hand almost like a traffic signal
and suddenly answer the cell-phone, or bolt off to the toilet
with a simple "just a sec". It's best to take just
5 to 10 seconds more to politely excuse yourself and explain
the cause and give a more accurate time estimate of conversation
resumption such as saying "could you please excuse me
for 2 or 3 minutes, I will be back from the rest room"!
It's also recommended that we apologise once again before
we resume the conversation.
to not talk while holding a raised cup of especially hot beverage:
Spilling hot tea or coffee on yourself or your counterpart
as you suddenly get unmindful or excited, could not only spoil
your clothes and your whole day, but may also cause serious
injury. So it's best to set your tea or coffee down somewhere
after every sip.
your tone to your audience: It's always important you speak
to your counterpart in the way that he/she/they would want
you to. Be formal with those who want it, and be casual who
prefer that instead. At all times be courteous even with your
worst foe and try and say the harshest of things if needed,
in a polite manner.
on the "You" viewpoint: Speak in a way that lays
the emphasis and importance on the people you are talking
to and their benefits and not on your own to get the best
from the conversation.
earlier, there are hundreds of guidelines that could be applicable
for every kind of communication, and perhaps more tips on
conversations may be provided later, but the ones covered
in this 2-part series, are perhaps some of the most fundamental
steps to significantly improve one's conversation skills.
in achieving more through your conversations!
(R) thedailystar.net 2005