Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Ten Tips to Great Communication

July 01, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 105

I will never forget a conversation I had with a set designer I met while she was working on a movie being filmed in Morocco. The two of us were with a party of eight at a Christmas dinner in Fez, and as I was sitting beside her, we fell to talking. She was taken with Fez and wanted to know more about it.

She asked me many questions during the course of the night and my final impression of her had nothing to do with what we had discussed, but rather, the genuine nature of her interest in not only the city, but me, as demonstrated through the intelligent questions she asked me and her unwavering eye contact as I answered. After answering one of her questions, she would follow up with another.

How can we be a conversationalist that people will remember? How can we empower others and engage them in meaningful discussion? Here are some tips to get you started.

1) Listen

Give 100% of your attention, because only then can you ask intelligent questions pertaining to the subject at hand. How many times have you been daydreaming while talking with someone only to ask a stupid question as a result? 'I already told you that. You weren't listening!' is an embarrassment to not only your listening skills, but for you as an excellent conversationalist in general. It's a clear indication to others that you're not paying attention, and you're not interested. If you do find yourself drifting off to a remote island in Tahiti, re-focus, and if you aren't interested in the conversation, bow out in a polite fashion. Never make the other person feel that he is boring, as that in itself is impolite.

2) Make Eye Contact

While you are engaging with others, look them in the eye during the interchange. There's nothing more annoying than somebody who is looking around while you're talking to them. Unless there are extenuating circumstances for their behavior, what it tells me is: 'I'm looking for somebody more interesting to talk to.' If somebody's eyes are darting around as you're conversing, it would be appropriate to say: 'I see that you may be looking for somebody. Perhaps we can talk later.' It gets you out of the situation in a polite fashion, and let's them know indirectly that you think they're ill-mannered. No one wants to talk to a person who isn't interested in talking to them.

3) Ask Pertinent Questions

A good conversationalist always asks questions. Conversation means not just talking, but asking questions, pertinent questions that are relevant to the topic. By asking questions that are germane to the conversation, you demonstrate that you have been listening and that you're engaged.

4) Respond

How many times have you tried to engage another in conversation and all you get in return is: 'Yes.' 'No.' 'Maybe.' A series of grunts is not an answer and further, is impolite. However, perhaps the other person is shy or does not speak your language, in which case they may be drawn out with a series of non-intrusive questions, although if a series of one-word answers is all you can illicit after a timely interval, then it is time to move on to someone with a bigger vocabulary.

5) Know When Not To Talk

Notice body cues. It is surprising how many people disregard body language. Someone rushing along the street and glancing at their watch is not seeking a conversation, but a taxi. How many times have you been stopped by an acquaintance or neighbor who wants to tell you about their ailing dog when you don't have time? Shortly, you have to cut them off with: 'I'm sorry, I have to rush. I'm late.' A better way to deal with this type of situation would be to say: 'I'd love to hear about it, but right now I'm in a ghastly rush.' With this last statement, you have acknowledged the other's feelings and not just brushed them off, so you are not responsible for any ensuing hurt feelings accruing to your rapid dash. They simply have not read the body language.

6) Don't Talk Over Others

Do you talk over people? Do you ask a question about what they did on the weekend and then interject with the events of your weekend? Let people finish what they have to say before adding your comments. Nobody likes to be cutoff when he or she is talking. Likewise, if somebody continually interrupts you, it would not be inappropriate to say: 'I'd love to hear your story. Could I hear it after you hear mine?' Especially if they have asked you a question first. This slight reprimand should be said in a calm voice and not in a sarcastic or derogatory fashion. It is always bad manners to humiliate anyone for their bad behavior, especially while in the company of others.

7) Talk Clearly

How aggravating to ask someone to keep repeating themselves because they don't speak clearly. Mumbling under one's breath is just as bad as speaking too loudly, and both are inconsistent with furthering conversation. It wouldn't be long before the mumbler finds he is talking himself and wondering why his listeners have drifted off to different parts of the room.

8) Get to the Point

I once had a friend who never stopped talking, but more importantly, he never got to the point. He would answer a question by adding numerous inconsequential details in order to lead up to his answer. By the time he got to the point, the question had been forgotten. Sometimes a simple 'fine, thank you' will suffice. This fellow talked so many people's ears off that he was never invited to social functions. Finally, he had no friends left because he never came up for air or let anyone else talk. If you are asked about one thing, leave it to that one thing and do not embellish the answer with a multitude of insignificant details.

9) Add Humor

Humor always adds to any conversation and a quick wit is something that most people appreciate and admire. People want to laugh and it is the intelligent conversationalist who can find an appropriate bon mot to interject at the appropriate time. Of course, humor should not be derogatory nor inflammatory, nor be used in a vindictive way to hurt others. Even the most serious situation has a humorous angle; however, not everything should be turned into a joke. Know the difference.

10) Be Interested

Demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in what the other person is saying by using all of the above techniques. To ask pertinent questions demonstrates that you are listening. To interject humor you create a bond, and by making eye contact you show the speaker that you are interested in them and no one else.

There is a Buddhic expression: Be here now. This is also the essence of conversation: Being in the moment. Life is all about communicating, and the art of good communication can be learned. The good conversationalist listens with interest; keeps to the point; reads body language; and speaks with clarity and conviction. The next time you get into a meaningful exchange with someone be awake, and see if you can liberate the artist in you.

Please follow my blog at

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:



Body Language


Asking Questions


Great Communication


Eye Contact

Teenage rebellion is easier to tolerate in book or film form. Take a look back at some of the most well known and loved "coming of age" stories set in boarding schools.

By: Harvey McEwan l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 445

An important thing you have to consider before working out is having a pair of great training shoes. You cannot immediately undergo any physical training wearing inappropriate footwear. If you do so,

By: Steve Hill l Recreation & Sports l July 10, 2012 lViews: 349

Granite is one natural stone that is used for several purposes from dimension stone to countertops to sculptures. The use of granite for building the temples and monuments was initiated millions

By: Steve L Patterson l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 298

Up to 65,000 H-1B visas for new employment may be issued each fiscal year (FY) for professional workers, including medical providers. In general, a person who already has an H-1B and applies for

By: Ann Badmus l Arts & Entertainment l July 10, 2012 lViews: 309

Beside coin shooting, gold detecting or the many other things you can do with your metal detector. There is a large group of people who take their metal detector out looking for old stuff. Not just

By: Candy L Lindsey l Recreation & Sports l July 07, 2012 lViews: 293

Many people want to be writers and you may be one of them. In order to make your dream occupation a reality, you need to have a plan. You also need to work on this plan constantly. These tips from a

By: Harriet Hodgson l Writing & Speaking l July 06, 2012 lViews: 439

The most successful networkers build relationships with others because they love people, the dynamics of relationships and are irrepressible matchmakers. They love sharing their lives and experiences

By: Rick Frishmanl Communicationsl July 06, 2012 lViews: 193

Although the T1 Line Internet Service is not as popular as DSL or your common broadband connection, it does deliver higher speed connections and is mainly used in business networks. With advances in

By: Jacob Richardl Communicationsl July 05, 2012 lViews: 182

Today, most of the telecommunication systems are being run on the fiber optic network. This network has many advantages over the older versions of networking. The optical carrier fiber network is

By: Jacob Richardl Communicationsl July 05, 2012 lViews: 220

Many businesses start out as small firms before gradually increasing their size as well as their operations. The beginning is normally the hardest aspects in any business. The use of services such as

By: Jacob Richardl Communicationsl July 05, 2012 lViews: 189

Point to point ethernet service providers are a private data trade that allow one to have an independent cable or wireless network link, ensuring utmost up time and a dedicated bandwidth ranging from

By: Jacob Richardl Communicationsl July 05, 2012 lViews: 233

Do we need all that information? Well yes and no. We need it if it is going to grow our businesses, or it pertains to people and promises we make. So how do we get it organized so that we don't end

By: Mandie Crawfordl Communicationsl July 05, 2012 lViews: 194

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus