Social Question

gamefu91's avatar

How to be chatty, talkative, be better at conversations and talk about just anything?

Asked by gamefu91 (591points) January 10th, 2011

I am really poor when it comes to making conversations.There are times when I want to speak but have no idea what to say,I feel so miserable.And when in a group I can barely open my mouth.
How can I be very very chatty, very talkative?
How to make really good conversations and prevent them from dyeing out?
And what can I do when some group I join is already talking about something?
Any books you would suggest? Any online resources or videos that can help me? Internet is a great source for almost anything,provided we can search it well.

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20 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Well, don’t start drinking as a solution, that’s for sure. My advice is fake it until you make it.

ucme's avatar

Just be yourself, talk about anything under the sun. Conversations have a habit of ebbing & flowing anyway. Doesn’t have to be of universal interest. Just get that tongue wagging, come up for air from time to time though :¬)

janbb's avatar

You can’t change your basic personality but reading current fiction, newspapers and magazines will help your awareness and often give you topics for conversation that others will want to participate in. Asking other people questions and really listening to their answers is a great way to get liked!

vocalthoughts's avatar

My best advice would be to know what you’re talking about first. So.. Stepping out of your comfort zone and learning new things would be beneficial. It would help especially when joining in on a conversation that’s already taking place, plus you’d be able to start conversations easier. “Confidence in what you say comes from confidence in what you know.” .. The more you know, the better equipped you are.

marinelife's avatar

@janbb has great advice about listening to others and asking questions to get conversation flowing.

You could look into joining Toastmasters, which helps you get comfortable with public speaking.

choreplay's avatar

There is a lot to be said for learning the art of small talk, like, how about this weather?

john65pennington's avatar

My son had this identical problem. after graduating high school, my son asked me for suggestions for his future life. this is what i told him: “try to know a little bit about everything on the planet. read the news, read all the words on your computer and check out Wakipedia and read, read, read.” my son took my words to heart and it changed his whole personality. he used my advice, while attending Vanderbilt University and San Diego State. he started talking and has not stopped, yet. he became Speaker of the House in Washington State and was appointed as the westcoast Director of FEMA. he is still talking.

I will give this same advice to you. look in the mirror and practice your motions, while speaking. people pay attention to this and you would be amazed at how it will change your life.

Think before you speak and have at least some knowledge of what you are about to say.

It works.

choreplay's avatar

John, Hows the weather, since your 3.5 hours west of me. Whats comming our way.

See thats how it’s done.

john65pennington's avatar

Season, 3 inches of snow on the ground and about 2 more heading our way. temp. is 32 degrees and still snowing lightly. like everyone in Nashville, its time to hit the stores for bread and milk. people panic here at the mention of snow. you okay?

Kayak8's avatar

I completely agree with @janbb. The world has plenty of talkers and not enough listeners. I would encourage you to focus your energy on maintaining eye contact and really listening to what the other speaker is saying.

Teddy Roosevelt said that when he knew he was going to meet someone, he would read three books on subjects that he knew interested the other person so that he could hold up his half of a conversation.

I used to be very awkward in the type of situation you described and now I am very comfortable. Learning to listen is a big part of it, but listening also gives you a chance to observe speakers to see what works, what hand gestures do they use, what facial expressions accompany their words, etc. Over time, you will naturally incorporate certain effective techniques if you study them in this way. Next time you watch TV, don’t look at the show, watch what the actors do to convey various elements of what they are trying to say. You will start to get that it is much more than the words that come out of your mouth.

The other big thing is topics. If you want to talk about things that no one in the room cares about, don’t bother. You need to become familiar with topics that are of interest to others. For example, I train dogs for search and rescue. Many folks watch CSI and other police procedurals on TV, so they are very curious about search dogs, (e.g., Do the dogs live with you? How do you train a dog to find a dead body? Do you work with the police, etc). When people are asking you questions about something they think is interesting, different or curious, it is very easy to be the life of the party just by answering the questions on topics other people find interesting and about which they know little.

zenvelo's avatar

People love to talk about themselves. Ask them general questions (where did you go on your last vacation? did you enjoy it?). Actively listen! then after they speak, ask them more about what they’ve said. People will find you fascinating even though they have done all the talking.

jaytkay's avatar

I have a friend who is a successful salesmen. His job is essentially traveling around the world and making people trust him like a friend, and he says taking a Dale Carnegie course early in his career was a big help.

choreplay's avatar

Lol, @jaytkay, I’m recording Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence people from casette to cd as we speak, for my children to have copies of. Great advice!

global_nomad's avatar

I used to be so painfully shy and I still hate to answer questions and speak in front of a group of people. I get tongue tied when the attention is on me. I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to appear outgoing and talkative if you simply ask people questions about themselves. If you join a conversation that is already in motion, sit back until you have something relevant to say. Nobody likes someone who just butts in and says something random or who tries to change the subject, especially if it’s something they are enjoying talking about. The other day I was at an event and was speaking with my mom about the 22 mile bike ride I was about to participate in. Out of the blue, our neighbor, whom we had also been talking with, started talking about when he went zip-lining and how there were alligators beneath him. It instantly killed the conversation because neither my mom nor I knew how to respond because we were neither talking about zip-lining nor alligators. So, as long as you don’t say something totally irrelevant like that, you should be fine.

tranquilsea's avatar

I sucked at conversations too. I started to improved by watching people who were good at it. They asked a lot of questions and listened the the answers and then asked follow up questions based on those answers. Twenty years later and that process has worked for me.

I can start a conversation with anyone now. I amaze my kids lol.

As to keeping a waning conversation going: just as others have stated, be well read. Read up on world events, local events, scientific events etc. If you have a broad base of interests then you are bound to find something that someone else can grab onto. Hopefully that will lead to other things to talk about. If someone brings something up that you don’t know anything about, ask them to explain.

That being said, if I throw out 5, 6, 7 conversation starters and I get the sound of crickets back I fall silent. I’ll work hard to stir up interest but if the other party(ies) aren’t willing to play ball then I’m out.

lloydbird's avatar

Firstly, you are wrong.

Your skilfully crafted question suggests that you are already an interesting person.

Secondly, don’t worry. If a conversation (thread) is poor, it will just fizzle out. If it is interesting, it will continue.

Identify what really interests you. Then talk about it. Some might find what you say of no interest, yet others might be fascinated.

Above all relax. And happy chatting to you.

Oh, and you’d do well to follow @zenvelo‘s advice.

CaptainHarley's avatar

You can’t pour water from an empty bucket. Read, stay aware, listen. The more you put in, the more you will have to share.

Arbornaut's avatar

If you don’t have anything nice, useful or interesting to say then say nothing at all.
Hmm, maybe I should think about that one.
@zenvelo Says it best i think.

Ron_C's avatar

Things like dinner conversation or casual conversation do not come comfortably to many people, I know that I had problems when I was younger. I have found that a good conversation starter is to ask about the other person’s life. People, as stated previously, like to talk about themselves. A good starter, with people I barely know is to ask if they are married, where they live, do you have children? Children, especially lead to other topics in the conversation.

sarahtalkpretty's avatar

You seem chatty and well-known spoken to me – but I know it’s different in person. I think you need to develop a passion. For example if you love cars learn everything there is to know about them. You can build on that later to include other topics but when the conversation gets slow you will always have a topic ready to discuss. Personally I like talking to well informed people even if they have one main passion. Also you should ask the other person lots of questions and ask further questions about their answers. You want to let that person know you’re interested

Confidence is the key though. Sometimes conversations slow down, but you can bring them back or just smile and wait for the other person to speak.

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