What is Conversation?
Do you love talking? How much talking do you indulge in every
day? When people meet, what would they usually do? Yes, talking is
something most people do everyday at home, in school, in the
streets, at parties, in church, at table while eating.
Practically everywhere many of our pleasant hours are spent
in friendly conversations with our fellowmen. So ordinary is
the activity that we often take it for granted. How many among
you, for instance have given it some thought even just for
For all we do not know, conversation is an art and being
good at it is a skill that can be learned, enhance and
perfected. It must be practiced intelligently to be mastered. It is
not just a words. It s a complex interplay between people , an
informal spoken exchange of thoughts and feelings involving
many other signals, seen and implied.
To master the art of conversation, there are requirements.
informal interchange of thoughts, information, etc., by spoken w
ords ; oral communication between persons
oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or
ideas (2) : an instance of such exchange
an informal discussion of an issue by representatives of
governments, institutions, or groups
Basis of Good Conversation
A. Sincere Interest in people and things about us
Often times what triggers conversation is personal interest
This can be addressed by showing interest in people, by
being a close observer, by learning to listen by being
thoughtful of others and by understanding the behavior
revolves around the three fundamentals of human nature
1. The importance of being important
According to Pease, the desire to feel important is the strongest in
man and is found to be higher than physiological needs. As
Dewey says, “the greatest needs of human nature are to feel
important, to be recognized and appreciated” So, the more
important you make someone feel, the more positively s/he will
To do this, try the following techniques
• Give sincere compliments
• Listen attentively
• Say thank you
• Remember names
2. People’s primary interest is in themselves
Other people are solely interested in what concerns them, their
family, friends, possessions, feelings and opinions. To successfully
relate to them is to approach them with basic foundation of
human relation what they think and what they want. If nobody
ask about you and yours, they simply not interested, so don’t
3. Nature’s law of equal returns
This law of nature that rarely fails- the urge to return to the giver
something of equal to if not higher value than what was given. If
a person likes what you give s/he is likely to reciprocate it with
something you also like
Conversation is a game of a two person. There is give and take. It
is not a one-way ticket. The game is played according to the
1. Feel a personal responsibility for the success of the game of
conversation. Do your part to “keep the conversational ball
2. Try to be tactful. Rudeness has no place in conversation.
Empathize. Be considerate of the feelings of others. “Loose lips
may sink ships”
3. Try to bring to each person as much pleasure as possible talk
about pleasant things. Fair words cost nothing
4. Speak in a soft, pleasant, sympathetic ,well-modulated tone.
Its nice to hear.
5. Avoid monopolizing the conversation. Do not be a star
performer that overshadows the other players. Talkativeness is
one thing. Speaking well is another. In the words of Prier “They
never taste who always drink ; they always talk who never think”
6. Use your senses. Be keen. Be sensitive to the feelings of others
C. Contribute your share
In the conversation game, like any other game, players have to
take an active part. Or, they don’t play the game at all how?
Rather than remain a quiet observer at the receiving end,
participate in the exchange of ideas by contributing something
worthwhile. Be counted. Feel free to share your experiences with
others. Interesting lessons learned from your readings,
conversation, travels, and from life itself will come in handy. That
way, you don’t look aloof nor appear left out
III. Good manners in conversation
Conversation, as an integral part of daily life, is an occasion for
practicing good manners. They are the happy ways of doing
things. And there is no substitute to being good even to those who
are rude. Remember that you show courtesy to others not
because they are gentle, but because you are
Manners, with or without them, can make or unmake you as
speaker. When and how to make introductions, for example, can
be a problem if you don’t know the ropes. But found even much
more difficult are joining and leaving conversation
To show courtesy, it pays to do the following
a. Be attentive. Listen
b. Maintain eye contact
c. Do not get off the subject
d. Do not interrupt, If you must, do so politely
e. Lastly, do not monopolize the conversation
Remember that conversation is not all oral speech. There are times
when silence is the best response. If well timed, it can have more
eloquence than speech
In social gatherings, it is good practice to make people know one
another by introducing guest or new friends to others
When presenting people to one another, you help them start up
conversation if, as well as mentioning each person’s name, you
add a snippet of information that would get them interested in
each other. The following rules governing introductions will aid
considerably in making one feel at ease in a group.
1. Present a boy to a girl, the boy does not extend his hand for a
handshake unless the girl extends hers first or unless he’s sure
the girl will receive it.
2. A boy always rises when introduced to anyone
3. A younger person is presented to an older person.
4. If both are of the same age, it does not matter
Going along to social gatherings can be harrowing. Often you
know few people and find yourself with no one to talk to. You
feel you cant seem to connect. In this situation, be confident.
Go up to a group of people and join in. In so doing, however,
use your common sense.
If two people are huddled together talking seriously, they are
not likely to welcome your intrusion. Before joining, look for signs
that a group is ready for a change – space between people,
random exchanges with gaps between comments and
people looking round the room.
Approach boldly. Make steady your contact with the person who
looks less involved, smile and ask something like, “Do you mind if I
To end a conversation, do so quickly and decisively. This is more
polite than to go on exchanging listless comments with a person
while your eyes travel the room looking for someone else. At an
appropriate moment say “ It’s been interesting talking to you”
“it’s been pleasure knowing you” or “I’d better go for a mingle”
Alternately make an excuse to go to get some food or to find a
comfort room. If you are sitting, you can indicate that you wish
your conversation to end by standing up telling the other person
at the same time how much you have enjoyed his/her
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