November 20, 2013 David Morin

How to Make Conversation Interesting

Update: You should check out my new complete guide on how to avoid awkward silence.

Developing good communication skills is a big component in whether you will grow socially. If you struggle on what to say to others, these tips can help you learn how to make conversation more interesting.

Develop Confidence

If you have trouble talking to others, it often leads back to you feeling awkward or nervous. When you are in your own head, you become aware of your surroundings, you are fearful of how others may perceive you and you freeze up because you don’t want to make mistakes. You have to shake this mindset, which takes time and experience. Instead of focusing on your perceptions of yourself, instead focus on the conversation. The more you are able to let go, the more able you will be to be in the moment.

Build Confidence

The best way to let go is to build experience. The more experience you have, the more comfortable you will be talking to others. One of the best ways to do this is to find someone you trust and practice conversation with them. Ask them to help evaluate your talks. They can do this by examining whether you stay on point, if you change subjects without any cues and if your replies make it seem as if you’re interested. The more you practice, the more confident you will feel communicating with others.

Interesting Conversation Starters

Whether you are going down the hallway at school, or stopping by a coworker’s desk, in life you will have many opportunities to initiate small talk with others. To make these talks more interesting, find out about their interests naturally by asking questions such as, “Did you catch the big game last night?” By doing so, you unobtrusively ask them a direct question where you can determine their interests. To determine a suitable question to ask, be perceptive and learn more about their interests. Are they a part of a sports team or club? The more you express interest in them the easier it is for them to talk to you.

Conversation Topics

When selecting interesting topics, it’s important you know your audience.  If you are unfamiliar with the person, first introduce yourself and then ask them a question specific to the situation. For example, if you approach someone at a party say, “Hi, my name is Daniel. How do you know the host?” If you know the people, it’s important to engage them in their interests. Ask if they caught the latest episode of their favorite show. By doing this, you show interests in others in your group and it is more likely to make good conversation which flows naturally.

By taking these tips and applying them, you can learn how to make small talk interesting. It’s important to remember that the more you practice the better you will become. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as this is a natural part of the process. By building experience, it will help you become more confident thereby giving you the ability to approach others to make interesting talk.

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In an online social skills world full of so-called gurus peddling shallow and manipulative advice, SocialPro stands apart.

David has really done his homework on this site - much of the content is derived from psychological studies, and he takes care to explain concepts in a way that makes them easy to apply. Plus, his content is ethical and scrupulously avoids shady tricks or manipulative techniques.

Dan Wendler Creator of the 260.000+ subreddit /socialskills