There is a tendency for novice writers to be introverted and generally not that great as conversationalists, despite having a great command of language. This is normal and not really frowned upon, but in the days of social media, writers really need to learn how to start and keep a conversation going – whether it’s written or verbal. If you fall into the category of writers who still need to become better conversationalists, here are 5 tips you can keep in mind:
1. Control the conversation by asking questions
When it comes to conversations, the flow of communication is usually at the mercy of the person asking the questions. Be that person and you’ll find it easier to keep a conversation – because you have some semblance of control on where it goes. Just make sure you ask meaningful questions from time to time instead of strings of queries that can be dismissed with simple yes and no answers.
2. Know what you are talking about
Nothing kills a conversation faster than a person who doesn’t know what he/she is talking about. So, if you ever plan on being a good conversationalist, make sure you are at least knowledgeable enough on the topic before you take it by the reigns. Be prepared to answer the hows and the whys.
3. Keep conversations open ended
Conversations are a two way street, so you have to keep your questions and statements open ended enough so that the other person (or people) can participate and share their thoughts; in some ways, an open-ended question can prevent a conversation from dying too quickly.
4. Be genuinely interested in the other party
This is important. You have to be genuinely interested in what the other party is saying, regardless of whether you agree with it or not. There are two reasons why: first is that you’re more likely to seek an end to the conversation itself if you’re not interested (even subconsciously) and second, people can sense if the other party isn’t interested. Conversations will die fast if the other person senses that you’re not really that interested.
5. Find ways to keep the other party entertained
You want the secret as to how other people get a reputation for being charming while others get labeled as boring (despite both being knowledgeable speakers)? It’s because the charming ones find ways to keep the other party entertained. This means being flexible and observant, so that you can “break the ice” with a well-timed joke or recognize when it’s appropriate to stop being formal.
Finally, writers should remember that being a great conversationalist will also show up in your written works. After all, you are technically communicating with the readers every time they read your books. If you are not that great of a conversationalist, it will show up in your text and your book will be boring and one-sided. This is fine if you’re writing user manuals or legal documents, but for the rest…you might want to start practicing your conversational chops, unless you’re fine with your books gathering dust on bookstore shelves.
Image credit: Gideon on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]