In today’s world, knowing how to converse with people is one of the most important virtues you can possess. The art of conversation is something everyone should strive to master. It doesn’t matter that you are not a professional speaker or a top-level CEO negotiating multi-million worth deals. To become successful, the art of holding up a meaningful conversation is necessary.
Being able to win people’s goodwill and make them listen to you and vice-versa, being able to listen to their arguments and give pertinent replies is a must-have skill in today’s society.
We live in a global village where communication is more critical than ever. Small business owners, independent contractors, employees, and their employers – we are all connected by the high-speed internet, powerful mobile phones but, above all, by the need to collaborate.
“No Man Is an Island”
Used as a motto for Ernst Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bells Toll, John Donne’s poem, although written over 400 years ago, is extremely actual and accurate.
We are all a part of a global network of ideas, feelings, and thoughts. We need to socialize, both in our professional capacities and in our private lives.
In this context, the ability to start and maintain a good conversation is essential. We all want to be understood. Moreover, we want our ideas to be accepted. We need to validate our beliefs with others who share the same views.
Entrepreneurs – Masters of the Art of Conversation
So, why did I select entrepreneurs as the category of people most adequate to share advice on impactful conversations?
The answer is because entrepreneurs are some of the best conversationalists in the world.
Most entrepreneurs started on their own, with a great idea and a little cash available. Somehow, they managed to persuade investors and associates to finance their plans. Then, they managed to attract talented employees. Finally, they were able to navigate through the treacherous seas of the ongoing economic crisis and keep their business afloat.
A big part of their success is owed to their skill of carrying on impactful conversations with key stakeholders.
So, what is the best advice entrepreneurs can give us to improve our conversation style? Go ahead and learn them to become a pro at impactful conversation.
How to Have an Impactful Conversation According to Entrepreneurs?
Organizations are always looking for people who can carry impactful and meaningful conversations. Here are 7 simple tips on how to converse effectively while creating an impact.
1. First Rule To Have A Meaningful Conversation – Be Yourself
The number one advice any entrepreneur has for people who are working on their conversation skills is to refrain from trying to imitate anyone. You won’t seem smarter if you try to talk like Steve Jobs or Richard Branson. Instead, you will appear as lacking authenticity and true intrinsic value in what you have to say.
Imitation may be the highest form of compliment, but when you want to carry your point across, your number one asset is sounding authentic. Remember, in order to converse effectively, be your true self. People will show empathy, goodwill, and trust to someone they can perceive as being “the real deal.”
2. Relax and Make Visual Contact
Many people avoid eye contact during a conversation because they believe their interlocutor will perceive their insecurities. Lack of visual contact is seen as being insincere and trying to hide something.
The first step to giving the right non-verbal signals is to relax.
It is not easy, but then again, nothing is when you do it for the first time. Whether you’ve been introduced to someone or you made the approach yourself during a business fair or another type of networking event, you must strive for an excellent first impression.
Be friendly, and do not try to sound too smart or too eager. And maintain visual contact during the conversation. This trick will help you to converse effectively.
3. Allow Yourself to Become Vulnerable
When you are talking about your professional experiences or your business idea, share a few of the difficulties you encountered along the way. Your interlocutors do not expect and will not believe a long string of successes and no failures or learning moments.
You should not strive to come off as perfect in their eyes.
Being vulnerable and sharing some of your less than glorious moments here and then will make you human and approachable. This is the first step towards establishing rapport with your interlocutor and winning their confidence.
4. Relate With Your Interlocutor To Make Your Conversation Meaningful
Being relatable is an art. Too little feels shallow; too much feels patronizing. Agree and empathize with what people tell you to the degree that they believe that you understand their problems and pain points.
Being relatable is one of the key qualities of a great salesperson, and entrepreneurs cultivate this skill to a high degree. However, it is beneficial to know how to relate to others in conversations.
Apart from being more likable, you will win more positive results with this attitude than with aloofness.
Have a look at these sample phrases that can help you make any conversation impactful and meaningful.
- How do you feel about it?
- Let’s do it your way!
- I want to be honest with you.
- I want to be completely transparent with you.
- That’s great input, we must implement it!
5. Look Out for Non-Verbal Cues
Body language is imperative in human communication. It gives away the true feelings and attitudes of your interlocutor. Some people have mastered the art of controlling their body language and sending misleading signals.
Others are not aware that the way they sit, look, and move their hands is in contradiction with the ideas they verbalize. Looking at your interlocutor is not just recommended for maintaining visual contact. It gives you valuable clues about what they feel about your conversation.
You can perceive whether they are about to disagree with what you are saying or are slightly bored. By changing the approach or the topic altogether, you can win back their attention and goodwill before your interlocutor is completely put off by your conversation style.
6. Pay Attention to the Pitch of Your Voice
We have a wide array of voices: the voice we use when speaking to our children, our pets, our loved ones are very different from the voice we use at work or concerning business partners or state authorities.
An impactful conversation depends on the tone and pitch of the voice. A lot of public speakers take special lessons to train their voices.
You don’t have to spend money on such courses (they can be expensive), but you can do something simpler: imagine that you are carrying out a conversation and record yourself. Then listen to the recording and note how your voice sounds, how it changes tone when you speak of various issues.
By constant monitoring, you will be able to train yourself to have a pleasant and persuasive conversational voice.
7. Stop and Listen To Have a Meaningful Conversation
Last, but not least, a conversation involves two people. This means that you should leave your interlocutor the occasion to share their ideas, reply to your questions, and express their opinion about what you are saying.
In a conversation, the art of listening is just as important as the art of speaking.
Nobody likes to become a passive spectator to a monologue. No matter how interesting you think your ideas are, allow the other to express theirs and take the time to understand their point of view.
Therefore, to make your conversation more meaningful, listen.
Mastering the art of conversation takes time. It is a skill of grace, elegance, subtlety, and creative execution. Learning how to converse may seem tricky. Although the ability to converse with others comes naturally to some, it is a skill. There’s a science to meaningful conversation. Just remember, don’t let awkward silences scare you.
Are you ready to become a pro at impactful conversation?
What steps do you plan to take in this respect? What are your tips converse while making an impact? Feel free to share your views with me – after all, this is also a form of conversation.