I was going to write a post on this, but I came across this article on WikiHow and could hardly think how to improve it. So here it is in it’s entirety:

—————-

How to Have a Great Conversation

The art of conversation takes practice, and is not as hard as you might think. It will take some knowledge, practice, and patience, and you can learn to relax and enjoy a great conversation.

Steps

1. Listen. This is the most important part of any conversation. Pay attention to what is being said. A conversation will not go anywhere if you are too busy thinking of anything else, including what you plan to say next. If you listen well, the other person’s statements will suggest questions for you to ask. Allow the other person to do most of the talking. They will often not realize that it was they who did most of the talking, and you get the credit for being a good conversationalist – which of course, you are!

2. Find out what the other person is interested in. You can even do some research in advance when you know you will have an opportunity to talk with a specific person. Complimenting them is a great place to start. Everyone likes sincere compliments, and that can be a great ice-breaker.

3. Ask questions. What do they like to do? What sort of things have they done in their lives? What is happening to them now? What did they do today or last weekend? Identify things about them that you might be interested in hearing about, and politely ask questions. Remember, there was a reason that you wanted to talk to them, so obviously there was something about them that you found interesting. However, try to space out your questions or they’ll feel like you’re interrogating them which is very bad and closes off friendships.

(more…)