How to Keep a Conversation Going: It’s not always easy to keep the flow of a discussion continuing. You may utilize a variety of straightforward methods to keep the other person involved and interested, which is a fortunate development.
Show that you are interested in being attentive and asking thoughtful questions. The next step is to locate a cadence that enables you to establish a relationship with the other individual. During the chat, make sure to demonstrate open body language that puts the other person at ease. This will help everyone have a better experience.
How to Keep a Conversation Going: FAQs & Answers
What should I do if I run out of things to say during a conversation?
If you find yourself running out of things to say, try asking open-ended questions to encourage the other person to share more about themselves. You can also share your own thoughts or experiences related to the topic at hand or transition to a new topic that might be of mutual interest. Remember to be present and actively listen to the other person’s responses to keep the conversation flowing.
How can I avoid dominating a conversation and allow others to speak?
It’s important to be mindful of the balance between sharing about yourself and allowing others to speak. Practice active listening by giving the other person your full attention, avoiding interruptions, and refraining from planning your response while they are speaking. Ask follow-up questions to encourage them to share more, and be aware of their non-verbal cues to gauge their engagement in the conversation.
What if I disagree with the other person’s opinions during a conversation?
Disagreements are a normal part of conversations, but it’s important to handle them with respect. Avoid getting into a heated argument or dismissing the other person’s opinions. Instead, actively listen to their perspective, express your own opinions in a respectful manner, and seek common ground. Focus on understanding each other’s viewpoints rather than trying to win an argument.
How to Keep a Conversation Going
1. Putting on an Act of Interest
Choose topics that you are aware will capture the interest of the other person
People have a natural curiosity to talk about themselves and the things that interest them. You can keep the conversation going if you stick to topics that you are aware the other person is interested in hearing about.
- Before you meet up with someone, prepare three things to talk about that you can easily transition into if the discussion starts to drag. Bring to mind any recent travel experiences, professional happenings, or personal connections that your buddy has shared with you.
- Inquire about their family and friends, their school or place of employment, their hobbies and interests, as well as their history. (where they came from or their family history).
- When deciding whether to drop a subject or continue talking about it, you may also utilize context clues from previous sections of the discussion to help you decide. For instance, if the individual seemed excited while talking about riding bulls earlier, you may question them about other bull riders, cowboy culture, or how the experience of riding for the first time compared to prior times they have ridden.
Ask open-ended questions
While some “yes” or “no” questions might end the debate, others can lead to further options. Keep your queries open-ended so the other person may go into as much detail as they’d like.
- Open-ended questions, on the other hand, require more of the respondent. For instance, consider asking, “What was it like studying abroad?” instead of, “So, you studied a year abroad in 2006, is that right? ” The second query will offer the other individual more opportunity to expound on their response.
- If you do ask a closed-ended “yes” or “no,” question, come back with something like, “Tell me more.”
- What were you like in high school? is one of the fun, original icebreakers. or “What is something about you that would really surprise people?”
Listen attentively to what they say
To keep a discussion going, listening is just as crucial as speaking. You may learn about the viewpoint of the other person by actively listening. Wait till the other person has completed speaking entirely before responding. Then, sum up what they said by stating something like “It sounds like…” to demonstrate that you were paying attention.
- Ask a clarifying inquiry, such as “Are you saying…?” if you think you may have misunderstood a portion of the message.
Encourage them to speak more
The finest listeners are active participants in conversations rather than passive observers. They use encouragers to interact with them without interfering. These may be brief expressions of approbation such as “Ahh” or “Oh?” Encouragers, like the word “And,” can motivate someone to continue speaking.
- Encouragers may also nod or adopt the other person’s expression, such as making an offended or astonished face.
2. Creating a Smooth Rhythm
The fact that both parties filter what they should and shouldn’t say is one of the main reasons why most talks end in failure. You begin to fear that you have exhausted every possible subject matter, and you are unable to determine whether an idea is acceptable or sufficiently remarkable. Follow the technique of just blurting out anything you’re thinking during these moments without censoring it.
- For instance, during prolonged stillness, you may get the thought that your feet are uncomfortable in your heels. Geez, these heels are hurting my feet! may sound strange to say out loud. However, such open admission can spark a discussion about the feminist argument against wearing high heels or a moment when someone fell because they were wearing absurdly high heels.
Even the most successful interactions have obstacles that might derail the discourse. Naming it and taking action are the best solutions for it. Making the other person feel uncomfortable could really make them withdraw.
- For instance, if you accidentally uttered anything hurtful, go back and apologize right away. Act as though it never happened.
Get them to laugh
An excellent approach to maintaining communication is through humor. It also aids in developing a relationship with the other individual. Making someone laugh strengthens our bond with them since we are more prone to laugh with friends.
- Laughter doesn’t require a joke. At the appropriate time, sarcasm and wit may be powerful. You often discuss anime with others. “So, I guess I need to stop mentioning anime before you think I’m a freak… I am,” may be said after the third time. I love anime. I always dress like my fave character. I swear!
Ask more detailed questions
After the formalities are through, move the conversation into a more in-depth area. Consider a discussion as a dinner where you first eat the appetizers before moving on to the main course and dessert. Go deeper once you and the other person have had a few rounds with flimsy subjects.
- As an illustration, you questioned, “What do you do for a living?” Asking, “Why did you choose that career?” after a while may help you go deeper. In general, asking “why” inquiries encourages you to delve more into previously disclosed details.
- Keep a watchful eye out for clues regarding the other person’s degree of comfort when you ask more personal inquiries. Back off and ask fewer personal inquiries if they start to appear uneasy.
Fear not the silence
Communication may benefit from silence. Thus, it shouldn’t be avoided at all costs. It aids in your ability to gather your thoughts and breathe. If things get monotonous or overly heated, it might also indicate that it’s time for a topic shift.
- Silence for a few seconds is very typical. Don’t feel compelled to fill it out right away.
- Then change the subject by stating, “I’m interested in hearing more about what you were saying earlier about…,” if the quiet is too long.
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3. Keeping Positive Body Language
Display relaxed body language
In to make the other person feel at ease and more receptive to talking to you, body language plays a crucial role. It’s possible that the other person will feel nervous if you sit quite rigidly in your chair. Put on a friendly grin and lean back slightly in your chair to show how at ease you are. If you’d rather stand, you can casually lean against a wall or column.
- Loosening your shoulders is another gesture that conveys calm. If they’re tight, put them on the floor and backward.
Face the person you are talking to
An effective dialogue entails establishing a rapport between oneself and the interlocutor. The attainment of a connection is hindered when one is positioned in a manner that is oriented away from the other party. In addition, orienting your body or feet in a different direction signifies your readiness to depart. It is recommended to orient one’s body towards the other person.
- To demonstrate engagement in specific segments of the discourse, incline one’s body towards the interlocutor.
Make eye contact
Maintaining eye contact is crucial to maintaining a discussion. At the beginning of the talk, you should establish eye contact right away. Then, keep it going by maintaining eye contact with the other person for four to five seconds. Away-looking is OK too! Before making eye contact once more, pause for a moment to look around.
- Set a goal of speaking for around 50% of the time and listening for 70% of the time. You can remember how much eye contact to make without staring someone down if you stick to this ratio.
Pose with authority to convey assurance
If you’re not feeling too confident, try moving your body in a way that gives the impression that you are. Try placing your hands in an inverted “V” behind your head while sitting. By keeping your hands on your hips throughout the conversation if you’re standing, you can power-pose effectively.
Straighten your legs and arms
Crossed legs and arms convey a lack of attention to what the other person is saying. You could come across as defensive or guarded as a result. Make a special effort to relax your arms and legs at your sides during a discussion if you have a tendency to do so.
- If, at first, this doesn’t seem natural to you, that’s fine. Test it out. You could start to feel more at ease with time.
It is important to keep in mind that productive communication is a two-way street, and being an expert conversationalist requires a lot of practice. You can keep a discussion going and develop meaningful relationships with other people by doing things like being present, asking questions that require thinking, talking about yourself, engaging in active listening, and showing respect to those around you.