How to keep a conversation going

Many people fear face-to-face networking because they worry that they won’t know what to say, or that conversation will dry up.

So here’s a simple technique for you, to ensure that you will never, ever be lost for words again. And, the best bit about this technique is that you will naturally develop rapport, and the other person will think that you are great. 

Almost sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

That simple technique is called listening.

When you meet someone new, or perhaps not so new, aim to focus eighty percent of your energies on listening to what they are saying.

This means temporarily forgetting about your own needs and what you’ve been getting up to. Really focus on what they are saying – and perhaps what they are not saying.

Let a few pauses hang – because the other person is more likely to fill them, without you having to do anything. Then aim to dig into what they are saying, using open questions to encourage the other person to talk at length.

Did they say that they hadn’t come far today? So, where did they come from? How’s their day been today?

Or perhaps, it’s a breakfast meeting? What have they got planned for the rest of the day?

If you are worried about how to get the conversation actually started, how about having a look my article on 27 great conversation starters.

What do you do to make sure you are never lost for words? Leave your comments below with your tips.

Heather Townsend is the author of The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking. and the founder of The Efficiency Coach. Follow her Partnership Potential and Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks.

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