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How To Be A Great Conversationalist Print E-mail

Learning to make small talks and maintain a conversation is an important skill for your business networking success.

Here's some useful tips on how you can master the art and be a great conversationalist.

1.    Be well versed on current events
Keep yourself up-to-date with the current affairs (including sports and entertainment news) through newspapers, TV, magazines, etc.

2.    Prepare yourself in advance
Arm yourself with a list of conversation starters and questions. Avoid yes/no questions. Ask for opinions instead, like “What do you think about the recent (insert the latest hot topic or whatever is in the current news)?”

3.    Keep your conversation civil
Avoid topics that might be sensitive to your audience. Stay away from politics, religion and off-colour jokes.

4.    Look for shared interest
People like people who are like them. As you converse, pick up things you have in common so you can discuss further.

5.    Make it host-centric
Talk about the host. For example, ask “So, how do you know the host?” or “How are you connected to the host?”. It’ll spin off a conversation from there.

6.    Do not attack
You can disagree but do not attack. Instead of saying “You’re wrong” or “That’s not true”, say “Well, I don’t quite agree with that…”

7.    End the argument graciously

If you inadvertently get into an argument, say something like “Well, let’s just agree to disagree, drop the subject and enjoy the party, shall we?” or change the subject.

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