I am often asked by my students the following question: “How can one become an effective and a stimulating conversationalist?”. My response was and still is the same “One must fathom the essence of a conversation and its main components.”
After contemplation, I felt compelled to write this article to discuss the topic aspiring that it would be helpful for those who are seeking enlightenment about being excellent communicators.
The essence of a conversation is its focus or its subject. To have an effective and a stimulating conversation about a particular subject, participants must be well-acquainted with the topic of the conversation along with devising or defining an objective to achieve by the end of the conversation.
If a participant has insufficient knowledge about the topic being discussed, he or she would fall victim to feeling inadequate, being bored to death or left out of the discussion which may lead to terminating the conversation before it achieves its intended objective. However, one doesn’t need to be an expert in a subject to discuss it. Nevertheless, one must have enough information about it to be an active participant in the conversation.
People initiate a conversation for various reasons such as entertainment to pass time, satisfying a need, acquisition of knowledge to quench a curiosity or establishing a new friendship among others.
The objectives of participants for the conversation may vary from one participant to another but they must coincide or complement each other. For example, one participant needs to establish a new friendship with someone, that individual must be receptive to have a new friend to achieve success of the conversation by fulfilling its objective.
As for its components, they are initiating a conversation, attaining the desire to listen carefully to the speaker or the talker in question by the participants, possessing the capacity to understand sufficiently the topic being-discussed and participating in the conversation by responding explicitly without over-simplifying or dragging the responses to questions asked or expressing views as clearly as possible without being condescending or arrogant.
The hardest part of a conversation is initiating it. One must acquire enough sensitivity when approaching another individual to initiate a conversation to avoid invading others’ privacy or interrupting them while they are accomplishing an important task. The approaching individual must find a suitable way to break the ice before delving into discussing the topic at hand.
Exchanging pleasantries is an easy and common way to initiate a conversation. It helps put people at ease by assuring them that they are in a safe environment. Talking casually about the weather is being used frequently to start a chat.
One need to perceptive enough to select a topic that would be of interest to other participants in the conversation to capture their attentions. Otherwise, they may be distracted or just being passive during the conversation. Ofcourse, it is almost impossible to find a topic that captivate the interest of all participants in a conversation but at least the topic should arouse curiosity in the majority of them.
Choosing a partner with whom one can have a productiveand self-gratifying conversation is an important factor in turning it into a stimulating exchange of ideas or a boring encounter. The goal of the intended conversation playing an important in the selection of a partner in a conversation.
One needs to understand the focus of the conversation by listening carefully to the other participants while they are asking questions or expressing their points of views to be able to answer those questions from other participants in the conversation. One has to a good listener who is willing to be an active in the exchange by asking questions to clarify any confusion and avoid turning it into a one-sided talk.
The final component of a conversation is responding to questions asked, expressing points of view or giving feedback. Due to the fact that people can’t focus for a long period of time, one should be brief to the point in accomplishing that task. Long responses may cause confusion among the listeners or leading them to lose interest in the conversation. That also depends upon the topic of the conversation.
From the above discussion, being a stimulating conversationalist or an effective communicator is a complex process but accomplishing it is rewarding. It might eternally change one’s life for the better.
As a conclusion, with little extra efforts and enthusiasm with a profound desire, any can become an effective and a stimulating communicator or a thought-after conversationalist.
Tags:General Teaching & Learning Language & Culture
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