Be a better conversationalist

by By Belinda Wan (bwan@sph.com.sg)
published on 30 June 2016

Are you frequently at a loss for words or worried about making small talk?

Mr Nicholas Goh, the chief executive of an award-winning communications consulting company said being a good conversationalist is important at work or socially, and is linked to being able to communicate effectively.

He said: “Being a good conversationalist shows others that you are confident and articulate, and gives them a good impression of you. This may create opportunities for a promotion or greater responsibilities at work.”

During a conversation, it is imperative to consider the language and tone one should use, as well as the context of the conversation.

Mr Goh said: “This means making sure what you say is appropriate for the situation. Conversing with your supervisor at work, for instance, is not the same as talking to a family member or close friend. There are certain topics that you would not discuss depending on who you are talking to.”

Try these tips to improve your conversational skills.

5 ways to talk to anyone

1.         Increase your knowledge

Read up on fiction and current affairs, said Mr Goh.

“Doing so allows you to understand different perspectives of the world and prepares you to contribute more to conversations.”

2.         Get straight to the point

Mr Goh said: “A great conversationalist is someone who communicates ideas clearly and in a straightforward manner.”

3.         Listen attentively

Many people make the mistake of not listening to what the other person has to say, said Mr Goh.

 “When you really pay attention to what the other person has to say, it adds a level of depth and meaning to the conversation, allowing you to connect with the other party in ways like never before,” he said.

4.         Contribute your input and ask questions

This allows for more meaningful conversations to take place.