Conversation is the essence of humanity. The invention of complex language is arguably the most significant step in the history of our species. Language gave us the means to articulate the way we feel, exchange ideas and accelerate our move towards civilization.
As society moves forward, the complexity of communication continues to increase. There are thousands of languages across the world, but underneath each and every one of them is a universal truth behind how we communicate with one another. Whether it is through subtle body language or the way we address each other, the common thread exists.
For some, the ability to pick up on subtle social clues comes naturally, and they are able to exude charm and charisma without a moment’s thought. For others, the art of conversation takes a little more work. If you fit into the latter camp do not despair!
This article provides a list of eight simple tricks that anyone can use to shift people’s opinion of you and turn you into a master craftsman of the spoken word.
Use their name
Whether people want to admit it or not, we are all ego driven machines to an extent. So when you meet someone new, give them the sense that they are important by working their name into the conversation.
Having someone new say our name makes us feel like we are worth remembering. In your first exchange with someone try to use their name at least three times in the first five minutes. Make sure you don’t force the name in, just gently use it at the end of questions e.g. where are you from Erica?, etc.
Don’t underestimate silence
Even if they aren’t pausing for effect or in thought, silence shows that you are comfortable to wait for their response and forces them to continue the conversation.
This comfort makes you appear confident, which is a very likeable trait.
Nod your head whilst asking questions
Still on the subject of questions, nodding your head whilst you ask a question influences the other people you are speaking with. Nodding, as a positive action, is more likely to create positivity within the conversation and an agreement with your opinions. You exude confidence from subtly implying that you are right and that they should agree with what you say.
Make eye contact while laughing
Studies have shown that when people are laughing in a group, individuals are more likely to make eye contact with the person they feel most connected with. Understanding this means that you can take advantage of this built-in psychological quirk to your advantage.
By making eye contact with people while you laugh, their brain registers the look as a sign of social connection, which increases your likability. Don’t over stare, though; an unblinking maniacal laugh isn’t what friendships are made of.
Reframe their words into your conversation
There are few things that people hate more than someone who doesn’t appear to be listening.
To show that you are, reframe the words they use and incorporate them in your own sentences during the conversations.
This will indicate that the two of you are on the same page.
Ask for explanations
If you ever want to appeal to the ego of someone, asking them questions about things you genuinely don’t understand is the perfect technique. Not only will you boost them up, but you will also be in a better position to contribute meaningfully to the conversation if you actually understand what is being talked about.
Keep your hands and palms open
Never underestimate the power of thought out gesticulation. Gesticulating (using physical gestures while speaking) with open hands and palms is an inbuilt signal of trust and honesty.
It implies that you feel no tension answering their questions or making your own statements, and is subtle proof that you aren’t lying. It is the very opposite of the ‘aggressive’ point and gives the feeling that you are both likeable and honest.
Wait for your turn
It seems almost too obvious to write this but do NOT interrupt people when they are speaking. A conversation is an even dialogue between people, where everyone should be given a fair opportunity to get their point across.
Although this should be the case, most people don’t adhere to this basic piece of social etiquette. So by simply showing the manners to listen to other people you will be far more likeable than many people. By listening and allowing people to speak you make them feel valued, and who doesn’t want to feel like that?!
These eight simple alterations can make a huge difference to people’s perception of you. Being aware of the way you present yourself to new people whether at work, on a date, in a bar or a friend’s wedding, is an important step to increasing your success; be it romantic, social or your career. Human beings have been talking to each other for 100,000 years, now’s the time you became a master of the art.
By – KIRSTEN COWART