Ever been at a networking event and experienced an awkward silence? Or have you ever been stuck on how to get your conversation partner to talk more openly? Lucky for you, you don’t have to worry about these things anymore, because in this article we will be giving you a few pointers on how to keep that conversation flowing!
Don’t have time to read? No worries, we summarised all the tips in this short video below!
Keeping the conversation on track
One of the major points of keeping a conversation on track, is to listen carefully to what your audience is telling you. Actively listening is key. Find out who you are talking with, what their passion is, and the rest will start flowing smoothly. Don’t panic, be yourself!
Tip 1: Find out who you are talking with?
Find what to say in your favorite topics. We all have things we are passionate about: activities, hobbies, projects, goals, ideas or jobs. Take some time to make a short but relevant list with the things you are most passionate about, and would make easy conversational topics for you. Read that list a couple of times and get to know it well. Then, when you find yourself in a stalling conversation, think about the list and find a way to maneuver the conversation to one of the topics on it.
Tip 2: Ask open ended questions.
One way to keep a conversation going is to get the other person talking. And the best way to do this is by addressing her open ended questions. These are questions which require more than simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, and offer the possibility of much richer answers. Question like ‘What do you think of this event?’ instead of ‘Do you like this event?’ These kinds of questions encourage people to talk and they can be a lifesaver in stalling conversations.
Tip 3: Blurt.
Often, we find it hard to keep a conversation going not because we can’t think of anything to say, but because we fear the other person won’t enjoy that particular subject, fact or opinion we have in mind. However, most of the time, this fear is not anchored in reality. This is where blurting comes in. Blurting is a conversational technique which means saying whatever you’re thinking about in that moment, instead of censoring yourself. Give it a try, and you’ll discover that people are not that harsh and they can enjoy a lot of things in a conversation.
Tip 4: Let the other person end the silence.
Let the other person end the silence. Most people are uncomfortable with silences in a conversation. When one occurs, they immediately try to fill it by finding something to say. You can use this to keep a conversation going. When for example, you’ve just met a person at a party, you’re talking and the conversation is stalling, do not leave that person and go find the peanuts or something like that. Instead, hang in there and let the silence work for you. Most of the time, the other person will eventually pick up the conversation and end the silence.