Friday, January 1, 2010

What to Say (Conversational Skills, Part 4)

Today I continue with some tips on the art of conversation.

Adding on to Tuesdays list of topics of conversation, remember to make mental notes of what acquaintances have told you about their activities and follow up the next time you see them (or later in the evening). Remembering that she had to get lasik eye surgery shows that you care about her as a person. Or saying “I couldn’t help but think of you when I saw [the latest Meg Ryan movie] because you look so much like her (or I remember you saying you really admired her, etc.)” also shows your interest in this person.

Now you think of ten questions to ask a woman you’re interested in. Yes, right now. Get a piece of paper (or open a google doc) and write them down.

Ask yourself: Do you care about the answers to those questions? Would you want to answer those questions? Do your questions bring out conversational meat--do they elicit opinions or strong feelings?

So you’ve asked the question. Now you need to listen. And show that you’re listening. Yes, you can listen while you’re looking something up on Google on your iPhone, but doing so conveys that you’d rather be on the Web than on her. Let your body language show you’re interested:

Maintain eye contact (but don’t stare)

Lean forward

Figure out where to put your hands and leave them there--quit fidgeting. It conveys impatience or nervousness. Neither of which are appealing.

Leave your arms open, not crossed

Nod, and say “umhm”

And pay attention to her body language so you can gauge her interest in the conversation. Interest is shown by: eye dilation, blinking more rapidly than normal, leaning forward, touching you, mirroring your body language and expressive use of the eyebrows.

BUT do not let her do all the talking. Even if she seems really into hearing herself talk on and on, it doesn’t allow her to get to know you at all. It’ll be hard for her to think about you or look forward to seeing you if she doesn’t know anything about you. Yes, she might want to hang out with you because you stroke her ego. But you want more than that. You also want her to be interested in you as a person. If you only listen you come off as boring and/or desperate.

Up next week: Now it's your turn to talk--so what do you say?

No comments:

Post a Comment