10 tips to create the gift of the word for fun and profit

Yes! We all know them. Those disgusting people who can get into any situation and seem to be the perfect fit for the conversation. They seem to feel right at home with any crowd and can turn a group of strangers into friends in no time. In fact, they can do it in the time it takes you and me to munch on a couple of dainty sandwiches, drink a glass of punch, and blend into the wallpaper.

I guess it’s one of those things that you are born or raised to do.

Or is that it?

Like many things in life, being able to feel comfortable around strangers, strike up a conversation about topics you know little about, and get out on the other side with new friends or business contacts is a learnable skill. While being born with certain genes or being raised in a certain way can surely help, you can learn to get around those alleged limitations, and you might even end up being better at pulling it off than those who seem to have an advantage over you. .

While comprehensive training courses and programs could be committed to turning the most bland wallflower into a flourishing talker and bon vivant, here are some tips to help you increase your ‘gift’ of the talk to a point where you too can join the crowd. the corner and witty speech on the subject at hand … usually.

1. Start with who you are. Never fake it. If you are a gardener and the subject is rocket science, listen and learn. When the garden crowd approaches, you have YOUR chance to shine. You are simply not going to be the center of attention, not even a small source of wit and wisdom in every conversation.

2. Listen and learn. As we mentioned earlier, let’s explore this a bit. First of all, you can often seem wiser than you are by keeping your mouth shut. While it’s closed, listen to that rocket scientist. The dry, technical details may be over your head, but he may say something that makes sense to you and you can use the information in a conversation later. He can spark your interest in the topic, and what better source of reference than to ask the educated speaker for his or her advice on how to learn more.

3. Be patient. We’ve already established that you don’t want to jump over your head and that you can benefit from speaking anyway. However, no matter how lofty the topic is, any conversation can often drift onto more mundane topics, particularly if there are others, like you, who are in the dark on some highly technical topic.

4. Be curious. As mentioned above, asking a relevant question or even professing ignorance in the hopes of enlightening yourself will generate sparks of familiarity with the speakers. More than once, I have seen various experts practically compete with each other in their attempts to simplify and communicate a difficult topic to someone who seemed genuinely interested. Still, people like to have their ego stroked, and giving them a chance to show their mastery or ask for their opinion can get the juices flowing. In the midst of all this, he learns more, makes new friends, and feels more comfortable within the group.

5. Admit mistakes and ignorance, take the blame, laugh at yourself. One of the easiest ways to make others feel comfortable is to admit your own ignorance. When you start a statement or question by letting others know that you may not know what you are talking about, they will feel less “threatened” if that is a good word. It is a tension breaker in all directions when someone acknowledges ignorance or error. Most people are inclined to forgive those who can admit their mistakes or lack of knowledge. They will also feel more comfortable if you can laugh at yourself.

6. Have a sense of humor. While many topics are serious and do not leave much room for humor, most people in a conversation are generally open to humor as long as it is not a taunt or the variety of key cops. Of course, if the group is just cutting themselves off, then cut with them.

7. Educate yourself. The essence of being comfortable in a group is knowing that you have as much knowledge as anyone else there. While you may regularly feel this way at work, where you are among colleagues, it can be quite different at a party or on a date where your counterpart may be from some other field or social group. Keeping up with the basics about current events in the fields of politics, economics, sports, science, health, and entertainment gives you footholds to stand out from the crowd in many talking places.

It also helps you keep up with the popular books and movies of the moment. Even if you can only read or watch one, and that is NOT the one under discussion, you will at least have some concept of what many other popular books (or movies or TV shows) of the moment are about. , and possibly you will be able to ask rational questions that give those who ARE familiar with the subject a chance to shine.

8. Prepare yourself. While education, as mentioned above, is a daily process and may not have much depth, the preparation can be much more in-depth. There are two ways this can make you a conversational powerhouse.

** Become an expert in a particular topic or area. It could be a hobby or you could just find something that interests you and may be of interest to others. For example, if you were an expert on gemstones, politics, ancient coins, rare books, health, or fitness, there will be opportunities for you to wisely discuss your topic. If it is a topic that interests you deeply, the depth of your feelings will often shape your presentation and speech in such a way that it leaves an impression on your listeners.

** Cram before the event if possible. If you are going to be among investors, learn some investment terminology. If you have questions while reading that books or tapes don’t seem to answer, put them away. You may have the opportunity to ask a genuine (or supposed) expert.

9. Encourage others to speak up. If Jane is commenting on a topic and it seems to come to an end, encourage her to continue. You can just say “tell me more” or you can ask a question as mentioned above. If Jane is in the crowd and you know she’s eager to say something, ask her something like, “Jane! Haven’t I heard you talk about it before?” Of course, if you have no idea what Jane is thinking, shut up and leave her alone.

10. Follow-up. If people are of interest to you or if you want more information on the topics covered, get names and numbers, request business cards, and bring some of your own. Call them later to tell them how much you enjoyed the conversation, invite them to join you for lunch or a cup of coffee, or send them a small gift that in some way relates to the experience.

A few months ago, I attended a presentation by a local newspaper editor. In the process of his presentation, I realized that many of his points were similar, though not the same, to some points in a book that I had enjoyed. I chatted with him after the presentation for just a couple of minutes, but managed to ask him if he had ever read the book. He admitted he hadn’t but seemed interested in it, even taking a moment to pull out a business card and jot down the book’s title and author’s name.

Later when I was checking it out on Amazon, I realized that I could get a copy sent to you for a few dollars and I did. A few days later, he contacted me to thank me for the book. He and I have communicated from time to time since then, and he has encouraged and advised me on my writing, and even suggested that I join a professional organization that I didn’t even know existed.

One of the most important investments you can make in any “growth stock” is in the quantity and quality of your personal and business contacts AND your friends. Life is much easier for those who have invested wisely and extensively in these. With a good list of friends and professional contacts, the next job is easier to find, the solution to the next problem is in your address book, the right contact is a phone call away, and life is a pleasant passage.

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