7 Tips for Being a Good Conversationalist

Two Executives Having A Business Conversation In A Bar

“Skillful conversationalists can explore disagreements and make points in ways that feel constructive and positive rather than combative or corrective.” — Gretchen Rubin

Having self-confidence in your conversational skills will help you when negotiating with a client, and you’ll appear more authoritative when speaking in public or before a large group in a boardroom. Unfortunately, most of us don’t feel confident 100% of the time when we’re speaking with a client or a group of people. And even when we do feel confident, it doesn’t always show through in ways that enable us to succeed.

During the course of a conversation, there are several techniques you can use to make your words sound more authoritative, and consequently make yourself sound more knowledgeable. Consider the following seven suggestions:

1) Speak more slowly — We tend to speak faster when we’re nervous. And then there is a percentage of us who are naturally fast talkers. Regardless of your motivations, conscious or subconscious, speaking too quickly indicates a lack of authority or a lack of confidence. You’re also more likely to make mistakes in your enunciation when you speak too quickly as you have less time to think through your words. Make an effort to focus on speaking more slowly when conversing. Not to the point where your words become drawn out and sound unnatural, but just to give your overall pace a comfortable rhythm. Your conversation partner will have more time to digest the words you’re speaking, and you’ll be less likely to make any critical errors that compromise your speaking integrity.

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John Torre

I reside in North Brunswick, NJ, with my wife, Lynn, and daughters Kasey, Jaclyn, and Shelly. We also have a 110 pound, lovable Rottie named Leo that keeps us on our toes! When we're not hard at work we enjoy spending weekends at our bungalow down the Jersey shore, or take extended trips to Walt Disney World as members of the Disney Vacation Club. For kicks, I draw on my dominant "right-brain" and play guitar in classic rock and blues bands, act for local plays and independent productions, and enjoy writing creative fiction. I'm a published author in short fiction and stage plays and a graduate of a local community college's Commercial Writer's Certificate Program. After graduating from the program I was selected as an instructor and taught "Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror" writing for 8 years. I enjoy many fine relationships I made with my students to this day.

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