How to Carry a Conversation

Starting a conversation can be difficult for some people, but keeping one going can be quite another matter. Unless you are a natural born conversationalist you may wonder what to talk about, how to keep others interested in the conversation or how not to sound boring. Starting a conversation may be awkward at first, but once you start talking and get others involved, it's not that difficult to keep the conversation flowing.

Be positive. The truth of the matter is that a positive attitude goes a long way. People are drawn to those with a positive attitude.

Smile and be friendly. If you wear a stone face that makes you look unapproachable you won't carry a conversation too far.

Use your sense of humor to your advantage. A good sense of humor is a great way to start a conversation and keep it going. Inject a little humor into the conversation but keep it light and appropriate. Don't be insulting or touch on sensitive topics especially around those you don't know well. But most people will appreciate a little light-hearted humor.

Talk about a variety of topics. Be open-minded to other points of view.

Be a good listener. Being a good conversationalist involves listening just much as talking. It's not a good idea to monopolize the conversation, otherwise you just might end up talking to yourself. Everyone deserves a chance to take part in the conversation. Learn when to listen and let someone else do the talking.

Show interest when others are speaking. If you expect people to be interested in what you have to say, then you need to show them the same respect. Genuinely listen with interest to what others are saying even if you don't agree with their points of view.

Look the other person in the eye when engaged in conversation. If you're looking everywhere but at the person speaking, he may get the impression that you're not listening and aren't really interested in what is being said. Pay attention and look directly at the speaker.

Be willing to learn. Conversations can range from casual discussions of the local weather to enlightening debates of a philosophical nature. If you find yourself engaged in a conversation turned debate, don't let it become a heated one. Debates can be interesting and educational. Remember that we are all teachers and students in this world as we are all constantly learning and everyone has something to teach.