During the course of a normal conversation one will often experience moments wherein both the people involved in the conversation run out of things to say to each other. There are times when a long pause affects the conversation and then it becomes difficult to continue talking.
This can be a specifically harrowing experience during dates, an interview, official corporate meetings etc. No one can tell what their counterpart is thinking but at times when a conversation stalls no one knows what to do to make it start again.
This is why it is important to know a few basic about conversations, basically to understand how to continue one without slipping in an opportunity for a pause.
A pause can make both / all the parties involved in the conversation uncomfortable. So its obviously best to avoid it completely.
Think of yourself as a mediator during a conversation, this will automatically help you to guide the conversation in a manner that leaves no room for an unwanted pause. If you run out of things to say, look at yourself as a sort of “savior of the day” so you can frame your mind to keep talking about something or the other. Although it’s smart to avoid saying anything rather than make a fool of yourself its best to learn how to fill in the blanks when you are having a conversation too.
Always remember that a conversation is an act that requires two people to contribute equally to a talk. It will never be a complete conversation if only one person constantly keeps talking. Below are few tips to keep a conversation going:
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Add more points to your counterpart’s ones
During a conversation it is essential to keep talking and expanding the conversation. This can happen if you as a speaker keep adding more points to what you are saying and also to that what your partner is saying. In order to do this you need to be alert during the conversation so that your mind can think up new things to say while the other person speaks. This will help ensure that the conversation moves smoothly.
During a conversation you need to be attentive so that the other person feels like you are interested. If you aren’t attentive enough then the other person will eventually stop talking thus leaving you in a lurch. Be attentive also so that you can reply quickly or react to what your counterpart is saying.
Lead the conversation towards interesting topics
If you having a conversation with someone and you feel that the conversation is going nowhere or is boring then it may hit the pause button soon, unless you take the initiative to lure the conversation by changing the subject and leading it toward an interesting topic. You need learn how to do this properly because you don’t want the change to be too sudden and abrupt either.
Keep passing comments throughout the conversation
While you are having a conversation with someone it is important to keep passing comments while the person is talking so that there can be a level of continuity to the talk. For instance, if the person is talking about their trip to Switzerland, keep saying things like, Oh really? That’s’ wonderful.
Learn to ask questions
If you ask a question, the other person is obliged to answer it. SO, during a conversation, ask as many questions as you can but obviously not too many because you will come across as annoying then! The key lies in asking the “right” questions at the right time.
Contribute to the conversation
No one likes to feel like they are talking to themselves. So when you are in a conversation with someone you need to contribute equally to the conversation too by talking about relevant matters suited to the subject and tone of the conversation.
Initiate interactive banter
During a conversation, you need to get the other person to talk to you as much as they can. This helps avoid road blocks during the talk. It is therefore important to initiate banter. For instance, if someone seems to be hitting the pause button on the conversation, jerk them awake by suddenly picking up any random topic, even something as simple as, “Oh I didn’t notice, your shirt is so smart, where did you get it from?”
Don’t let the other person end the conversation
If you aren’t prepared for an end then don’t give the other person a chance to end the conversation. Its simple, all you need to do is just get the other person to keep talking. Talk about random things, things that give the other person a chance to keep speaking.
While talking to someone, use a lot of references to give the person more time to think and react. For instance, if you say, “But Alice was thinking of getting it from …. instead”, the person will have a reason to think and say something back thus ensuring that the conversation doesn’t suddenly just stop…
Let your body language help to continue the talking
If you look away while the person is talking or if you keep checking your mobile for a text then the other person will feel that you don’t care and will stop talking. The sudden stop will result in an awkward silence thereafter. The best thing you can do in this case is to let your body language help you by looking the person in the eye when they talk, by smiling when they say something funny… the idea is to find ways to keep the conversation going.