Despite being a tech heavy society, good communication and conversation skills are still what separates the best from the rest.
With the market becoming more congested and competition fiercer, winning a client through conversation is a crucial business and life skill. We’ve all met someone who is a natural when it comes to starting and maintaining conversation, and is at complete ease ‘working a room’ full of strangers. But despite what you may think, being a good communicator is not just a god given talent, but also a skill you can practice and perfect.
By working to improve your communication skills you will not only improve your experiences at work and in your relationships, but also in other areas of life; becoming an effective communicator is the key to success.
Here are six expert tips for being more effective in conversation:
1. Don’t be afraid to start the conversation with a compliment.
Tell the person in conversation why you admire them, or why you’re excited to work with them. Starting the conversation with a compliment is a useful tool to ease the atmosphere between you and is a great way to kick off the relationship with positive energy. Of course, you must be careful not to overdo it, but an honest compliment goes a long way. Avoid comments about appearance or personality, stick to their achievements, which means research if you can! Charismatic and successful people encourage others to be their best selves, and take a genuine interest in people as individuals.
“When you lavish praise on people, they flourish; criticize and they shrivel up.” – Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
2. Show interest and be interesting.
Ask questions and communicate your genuine curiosity. Make them feel like there is no one else you’d rather be talking to. If you show interest and passion for what the other person is saying, you naturally make them feel more relaxed and in turn they will be more open to sharing things with you. Only speak when you’ve heard them out and when it’s your turn try to reveal your personality and passions. Be yourself and if they know more than your business they’ll naturally trust you.
“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” – Leo Burnett, Founder and Advertising Executive of Leo Burnett
3. Get them talking about their passions and interests.
If you get to this stage you’ve done well. You’ve progressed from small talk to real conversation and now they’ll associate the positive feelings of their passions with you. People love to relay their passions to others and if you remember to ask open ended questions, rather than yes-or-no questions, you’re sure to keep the conversation flowing smoothly.
4. Eye contact, body language and energy level.
Our body language is one of the most important aspects to consider when trying to effectively communicate with others. Eye contact is crucial to communicating your confidence and interest. If done well, they’ll trust you. Your body language must compliment theirs, so if they are feeling anxious, let your body language show understanding and believe in them. Make sure your energy level is always slightly higher than theirs. They’ll feel your enthusiasm for business and you’ll appear confident and ready for anything.
“Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.” – Charles Dickens, Writer and Social Critic
5. Say their name like you’re talking about Leonardo DiCaprio.
When using someone’s name in a conversation you are acknowledging their identity and presence. There’s also a great deal of value in how you say their name. Seriously, if you say their name with the right kind of inflection, they’ll feel a positive bond with you. This is one of the most powerful conversation tactics, especially if you’re fighting an uphill battle. So it’s not how often you say their name, but how you say it.
“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.” – Tony Robbins, Motivation Speaker
6. End with an offer to take the relationship further.
Whether this means a meeting over lunch, instead of in a conference room, or attending an event together, this gesture is an extension of the interest and enthusiasm you displayed throughout the conversation. It lets the other person know that you valued their exchange and sets the relationship up for further development.
We’d love your feedback. Do you have any other tips for building charisma? Let us know in the comments below.
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