How to keep a conversation going

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Hi I am Sam, Now What?

When was the last time you talked to stranger and didn't find anything to say?
When was the last time you got stuck in a conversation and didn't know what to say?
Do you know how to keep a conversation rolling?

The ability to talk to stranger is a skill that doesn't only allow you to improve your self confidence but it can certainly help you become more successful in life.

Now if you are like most people who don't know what to say right after introducing themselves then you gotta read this article to know how to keep the conversation rolling.

If your problem is in starting the conversation or finding the right words to begin the conversation with then you might want to check part one of this article How to find an interesting conversation starter.

How to keep a conversation going

So how can you keep the conversation going?
Here are few killer tips that would help you do so:

  • 1) Give incomplete information: Can you tell the difference between "Hi am Sam and i am a psychologist" and "From my work experience i can tell that you are the kind of person who doesn't like quite places". In the second situation you made the person wonder who you are and what you do. His typical response would be "what do you do?". When you become mysterious and tempt the curiosity of people they become eager to know more about you and as a result they conversation keeps going
  • 2) Tease people: What would you do if someone told you in a friendly way "I don't think this place suits your personality". Most probably you will become eager to know why he said so especially if you believed that he is referring to one of your insecurities. In order to keep people interested you need to tease them but be careful with your words in order not to offend anyone (see also Why do we find certain things interesting)
  • 3) Target their interests: People like to talk about themselves and their interests. Now lets suppose that you just met someone with a dog, lets say a rottweiler. You can say something like "So how do you manage to keep your dog friendly with people since i know rottweilers can sometimes be really aggressive". When you ask an open question about someone's interests you will most likley get long replies and this will allow you to ask more questions
  • 4) Make sure you get no short answers: Before you ask a question make sure you put it in a such a way that you don't get a short answer such as "No" or "Thanks a lot". Instead you need to let the other person talk as much as you can. Can you tell the difference between questions like "You must like your job,ha?" and "Tell me how does it feel like to be a doctor?" (see also How to communicate properly with other people)
  • 5) Always leave them wanting more: If you kept getting short answers even if you were asking the right questions then it might be the time to leave. People don't like those who stick around for long especially if they weren't that interested. Whenever you feel someone is getting really excited about the conversation it might be a good idea to leave. People think often about unfinished businesses and so such an action might let the other person think about you even more. (see also Why being mysterious works)
  • 6) Use your surroundings to open more topics: If you don't know what a person might find interesting then you can use your surroundings to open a new topic. For example "Do you know that they will run a food contest here in 15 minutes?". People usually get interested in whatever is happening around them and by bringing one of these topics into conversation you would make sure that you will sound interesting
  • 7) Connect the dots: One of the big mistakes people make when trying to keep a conversation going is that they keep opening new topics and so end up with a superficial talk about 5 or even 10 different things. If you want the conversation to become long and intimate then you need to go deeper by letting the person express his feelings about a certain topic. This won't happen unless the topics you are choosing are strongly related. For example if you began asking about work then you could go further asking the person how he feels about his profession then you can move to a related topic such as future plans and dreams.

2knowmyself is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

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