There is a great tactic anyone can use that
guarantees great conversation regardless of who
you are talking to.
The top movers in the world of business and even
those charming people who light up any social
event know this secret and you can use it too.
This is a critical life skill and thankfully it
is much easier than people think to excel at
conversation skills once you know the smart way
to go about it. There are three simple steps to
lighting the conversation fire:
1. Complete Attention.
Give complete attention to the person you are
talking to. Yes, all of your attention. Resist
the temptation to scan the room, play with the
loose change in your pocket or start thinking
about what you need to do later in the day.
Talk and listen to the person before you as if
this is the most important person you have ever
met and as if this conversation is the most
important discussion of you life. When you do
this the other person cannot help but notice the
respect you are showing him. This is flattering.
You will find whoever you are talking to will
respond very positively to this attention. He
will warm to you, speak more freely and pay close
attention to what you say.
2. Conversation is like fishing.
Small talk is the starting point.Why? You engage
in small talk to fish for great topics of
conversation that appeal to you and the other
person – you are looking for shared interests and
For this reason, and following on from step one,
pay very close attention to the non-verbal
behavior of the other person as he talks. You
need to spot clues that indicate his interests.
And, you want to avoid those topics he finds
boring, annoying or distasteful.
It is easy to spot these clues as long as you pay
more attention to how someone talks than to what
he says. You´ll still hear everything he says.
You then simply look for clues as indicated by
more enthusiasm in his voice and body language.
3. Follow the path of least resistance.
When you spot a topic that generates enthusiasm
follow that lead and drive the conversation in
that direction. This is very easy to do since
people love to talk about what interests them. A
few good questions to open up the topic is
usually all it takes.
A spark then ignites the conversation and before
you know it the conversation takes on a life of
Make sure to match the enthusiasm of the other
person in your voice tone and in your body
language. This is important. If you fail to do
this you will dampen his enthusiasm.
One important point. Some topics will get an
emotional response that looks like enthusiasm but
are to be avoided is meeting someone for the
first time. If an issue agitates the other person
the annoyance is like a negative passionate
enthusiasm! This is risky ground with someone you
do not know very well and is best to steer clear
Look for positive enthusiasm especially topics
that cause someone to smile or laugh. Make it a
goal to fish for topics that make people feel
good and you´ll make friends with new people even
faster that you expect.
You can light the conversation fire anytime you
want to by remembering these three points: give
complete attention to the other person, fish for
great topics and follow the path of less
Over time you will get better and better at each
step until it becomes second nature. At this
point this process will run on automatic and
meeting people becomes a lot of fun.
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He
recently revealed the secret strategies all high
achievers use to communicate with charm and
impact. The same techniques you can use to
overcome shyness, develop great conversation
skills and build self-confidence.