Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a conversation with someone and you slowly see their attention fade away? The glaze in their eyes appears and your panic starts to set in. The last thing you can afford to do is bore your audience, especially if you’re trying to create a connection, gain buy-in or simply be seen as a competent, engaging professional.
There is a definite art to creating authentic conversations that lead you to the right opportunities. Whether you’re in a high-profile meeting or simply chatting with one of your co-workers, using these tips outlined below will help you be ANYTHING but boring in your next conversation.
1. Be brief, be bright, and be gone.
When you’re telling a story or want to share some important information, think of your points in terms of soundbites. Soundbites are created to convey a point and be remembered. If you tend toward loquaciousness (being wordy) then practice saying sentences of 10 words or less. Do not talk about yourself unless answering a direct question, and even then stick to one or two soundbites.
2. Volley the conversation.
What makes sports so fun is the engagement between competitors and moving the ball around. Apply this principle to your conversations and you’ll come out a winner. Getting into a habit of volleying the conversation back and forth is simple – especially when you are talking in soundbites. Once you’ve shared your information, turn the conversation over to the other person. This graceful act shows that you are interested in really listening to and connecting with your audience. People will leave their conversations with you feeling heard and valued.
3. Change up your repertoire.
Roger was one of the most charming, confident, and engaging executives I’ve ever met, yet he had a fatal flaw…he shared the same stories and anecdotes over and over. It was so bad that his staff could re-tell his stories verbatim. I don’t have to tell you that this hurt his credibility big time. The brain loves novelty, it’s hardwired to tune in and listen. So use this kernel of information to keep your audience mesmerized with new stories, metaphors, jokes, etc.
This also applies to the questions you ask others. It’s helpful to have a general list of questions to ask people you are just meeting. However, for people you see more often, dig deeper and challenge yourself to ask fresh questions each time you see someone.
Practicing these three communication techniques will bring the right connections your way. Instead of running away from you, they’ll be drawn to your side, eager to have a chat, hear your insights and share their own.
Acing social conversations can accelerate your climb up the corporate ladder. For a lot of people, effortless connecting can be a challenge, yet it doesn’t have to be. If this is something you struggle with, Excelerate can help. Click here to speak to an Excelerate team member to learn more.