Human beings hold conversations every day. This is done either by word of mouth or by writing to express ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Holding conversations with one another help people foster a mutual understanding amongst themselves. Conversation can either be up-building or destructive, depending on the nature or context of what is being shared.
For a conversation to exist there must be words; the words must be spoken or spelled out for communication to occur. Vocabularies make the language and facilitate communication.
Vocabulary has enhanced communication in that everyone has learned a set of words they should use to communicate. This has led to the diverse spread of knowledge and enrichment of dialogue.
You would obviously find someone who speaks with a rich vocabulary more interesting than one who uses plain language. This is the power of vocabulary.
How to Improve Your Conversation Skills
1. Express How You Feel
This basically involves being straightforward and stating exactly how you feel. It could be about a situation you were once in or you could just be relating an experience narrated to you by a friend or colleague.
Saying what you really feel gives you room to increase your vocabulary as you outwardly express your view, using words and using more words that you have learned.
Through learning new words, you are able to boost your grammar and talk in a better form of language that is not only superior but also grammatically correct this portrays an element of boldness in you as you are able to stand up for yourself and speak your mind.
Standing before others to express yourself also shows some leadership qualities in you. This, therefore, means that you can represent others in summits and debates.
2. Maintain Good Eye Contact With Your Audience
Keeping eye contact with your listeners makes them more attentive to what you’re saying. As a good speaker, maintaining eye contact shows that you are confident and authentic.
In most cases, eye contact proves that you are credible in all that you are telling the audience and that you have no fear in you.
Increasing your vocabulary during this time is important as the audience is really attentive and all eyes are on you. It is also a way of teaching other fellows the importance of well-defined grammar.
The eyes are the windows to the soul. In fact, you communicate a lot through your eyes through actions such as gazing, winking, blinking, etc.
Psychologists agree that there is usually more eye contact between acquaintances. People will often gaze at someone that they have a familiarity with, or someone they are just interested in.
You may also use this to gauge how interested your audience is in the conversation.
3. Communicate In A Simple Manner
For communication to be effective, you should converse in a way that everyone easily understands. Talk in a moderate way, not too fast to avoid being misunderstood, so that the audience captures your message clearly.
Talk slowly and don’t rush in a conversation. Take your time to think and reflect on something before saying it aloud. This will tremendously improve your communication skills as you’ll have time to critically think over and internalize what you really want to say.
As you speak before your audience, use words that you are conversant with to avoid misunderstandings.
Being simple and precise can be much more beneficial in conveying a message than using complicated words. It is also important to ensure that you are audible enough for everyone to hear you well.
Fluency is also emphasized so that you pronounce words as they are. You should also be articulate enough and straight to the point. Avoid talking too much.
4. Give Unique Compliments To Your Audience
It is always advisable to make people feel good about themselves. By complimenting your audience, you have actively participated in raising their esteem levels thus making them feel special.
You may, for instance, describe how someone that you’ve spotted in the audience has dressed. Pointing them out from the crowd generally means exalting them, and the effect this has on the general audience is priceless – it will feel involved!
Speakers should learn to always appreciate everything, however little it may seem. These small, unassuming acts create a rapport between the speaker and the audience.
With such a rapport established, the audience potentially retains more of whatever information you were passing on to them, which is the ultimate goal for any speaker.
5. Keeps The Conversation Going
It is vital that you keep the rhythm of the conversation going. Be creative in the methods you use to engage the audience and encourage participation.
You may ask your audience to comment on a certain matter, offer their opinions, criticize or defend a statement, and many other tricks to get them active in the conversation.
You can keep the conversation going also by breaking the monotony of the speech and asking the audience to stretch out. This definitely keeps them attentive and reduces any form of boredom.
It is also desirable that your speech was written on paper, and lay close to you. This will give you peace of mind, but it is important that you do not spy on it. It will be enough that it is not far from you, let it be as insuring for you.
6. Get The Audience To Talk About What Interests Them
You can introduce topics that interest the audience. For instance, by selecting comfortable topics that everyone could be free in contributing to.
You may easily discern what one audience would prefer that another wouldn’t by looking at their age differences and cultural backgrounds.
Teenagers would really contribute to topics such as drug abuse, relationships, and technology while the elderly would be more concerned about pension and health care.
You may also bring up a trending topic such as the news in politics or in the business world just to pick their interest up.
Trending issues usually generate a lot of interest since each person usually has an opinion that they would like to share, whether supporting or being against the subject matter. It generally all depends on the creativity of the speaker.
7. Use The Best Words In Your Speech
One can increase their vocabulary through practicing to speak in new words to express their thoughts and feelings.
Conversational skills require a lot of consistent practice which is mainly through speaking. You should use words that are most likely to pick the interest of your listeners.
This will require some discernment on your part. They could be encouraging or motivating words, or just power words that highlight a point.
You can also aim at using words that promote peace instead of harsh words that will end up bringing about division and rivalry.
8. Work on Your Self-esteem
High self-esteem means that you regard yourself as a respectable person full of self-worth. Your audience can easily pick this out from how you carry yourself when addressing them.
Your self-esteem situation may be evident through aspects such as your tone of voice, posture and body language. The audience should see you as composed and indomitable.
Good body language works both ways in that it enables you to be extra confident and at the same time shows your audience that you are sure of what you’re saying.
Conversely, if you have poor body language, your tone of voice is shaky, you mutter a lot while speaking and don’t speak authoritatively, your audience may not be as interested in what you have to say.
They may not even take you seriously since they may perceive incompetence. It is imperative that you always portray high self-esteem.
9. Be Alert
Living in the present is an important characteristic of improving conversational skills. You are able to pay attention and listen if there were cases of tone variation to make the conversation interesting.
Being alert makes the speaker conscious and thus he or she is able to steer the conversation in whatever direction that may seem appropriate.
It is not always beneficial to rigidly stick to the outline or plan of whatever it is you had planned to discuss or talk about.
A good communicator remains flexible, alert to the feedback that is coming from the audience to determine what to talk about, what not to talk about, what excites the current audience, what doesn’t excite them, and other factors.
Of what value would it be to you if you insist on having a conversation with someone over a matter that they clearly find offensive or that makes them uncomfortable?
Being alert will help you realize this well in advance so that appropriate measures can be taken.
10. Have a Positive Attitude towards Learning
No matter how experienced or qualified you may think you are in matters regarding communication, you will make mistakes from time to time.
It is true that with experience you’ll make fewer errors. However, to err is human so it is important to understand and appreciate that you will at one time or another.
There is simply no fool-proof method to avoid this. However, you may decide to look at any errors or mistakes you make, not as failures, but as learning experiences.
This is where having a positive attitude towards learning comes in. There is no end to learning and even the most experienced masters always learn new things.
Having such a positive attitude ensures that you’re conversational skills keep getting better and better, as you continually learn and apply additional methods, tips, and techniques.
Good communication skills are vital and show that one is really able to converse and understand others. Communication generally involves the exchange of ideas, and anyone who has good conversational skills is able to express his ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
We all have different personalities, and our way of conversation determines how civilized we are, and it reveals to our audience the type of people we are. Always strive to improve your communication skills. After all, human beings are social creatures who rely on communication in one way or another, every day.