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Light Your Conversation Fire

Aug 17, 2007
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 passions.

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 will 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 its own.

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 of.

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 will 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 resistance.

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.
About the Author
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because it is available only at: conversation starters
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