Do you know how to communicate effectively so as to gain pleasure from your interactions? Do you leave your companion feeling good for being in your company? Do you wish to have the ability to talk to strangers and have them instantly warm up to you? Being able to interact effectively is a skill we must have as writers, business owners, sales representatives and so on. No one is born with this skill, but it is an art that can be learned through practice.  Here are a few tips you can use in your written and oral conversations:

1) Be genuinely interested in the next person: Most times, people can sense it when someone is genuinely interested in them. This makes them feel warm towards you and open up as a result. Besides, talking is different from conversing. When having a conversation, make it about the next person. Most people like to talk about themselves. You can start with pleasantries, then go deeper. Pay attention to their expressions. Listen more than you talk. Let go of unnecessary details.
2)Choose positive topics to talk about: The purpose of having a conversation isn't to argue or to find out who is more intelligent than the other. Besides, both parties have to be interested in the conversation. So, create a positive and pleasant environment where the ideas of both parties are appreciated. If you don't know about what is being discussed, admit it. That way, you can learn something new.
3)It's a conversation, not a debate: Give the other person the opportunity to express their opinions. While they're talking, show genuine interest by being attentive. Things can get a little touchy when you get into controversial issues e.g religion, sports, politics etc. In such cases, learn how to 'agree to disagree' .
4)Respect the other person's opinion: Everyone is entitled to their opinion and should be allowed to express it. Keep in mind that your way may not be the best way. Don't impose your views on the next person. Avoid making the conversation sound combative. Don't criticise or judge. Be open minded. For instance, 6+3=9 but so does 5+4 and 8+1.
5)Put the other person in their best light: Make them look good and appreciate their contributions. However, don't go over the top in giving compliments. Avoid unnecessary flattery.
6)Share your own thoughts: It's good that you don't want to dominate or monopolize the conversation, but it becomes boring when you let the other person do all the talking. Let it be reciprocal, or else you'll become a boring conversationalist.
7)Ask questions: Ask purposeful questions that'll elicit meaningful answers and enhance the conversation. This is a proof that youre listening. It'll make the next person more responsive.
8)Courtesy: There is a fine line between good conversation and good manners. Often times, we do certain things during a conversation that could put the other person off. For example, yawning while the next person is talking or using your phone. This is being rude and suggesting that the next person isn't making sense.
9)Practice active listening: Be attentive when someone else is talking. Give non verbal cues to show that you are listening. Smile, nod, make eye contact and check your posture to be sure you're giving out a pleasingly effective body language.
10) Know when to be silent: It's a sign of respect and empathy. Also, pay attention to the tone of your voice. Don't interrupt while the next person is talking. This creates a good conversation flow. Bear in mind that the end result of a conversation would determine whether both parties would be interested in having another conversation with each other again.

Now, how does being a good conversationalist connect to being a good writer?
First of all, writing a book is like having a written conversation with your readers. If you don't carry the conversation well, you lose your readers. Moreover, when writing fiction, characters occasionally have to converse with each other. It can be boring or it can be something that readers look forward to. Ensure you make the dialogue captivating so your readers don't get bored. Make your characters sound different, with each character having a different level of energy and a different set of assumptions which would steer the conversation.

The dialogue needs to be purposeful so as to move the plot forward in some way. It should add to the readers' understanding of a character's personality. Don't make the dialogue too long and tedious. Avoid overusing dialogue tags. Also, let the characters exchange information that is relevant to the story. It is important in demonstrating the relationship between different characters. By employing these techniques, you make your readers feel involved.


However, simply because a writer can create a good dialogue doesn't always  guarantee a good story. There are other things to check to ensure you produce a good book. For instance, checking for grammatical errors. This information is provided in previous articles available on our website at www.mixsie.com Feel free to visit our website anytime and drop comments and reviews. We hope you find this article useful to you as a writer or any other profession you might have.

References: Celestine Chua, Esther Inglis-Arkell