How to make the conversation not boring! A good conversation is one of life’s few true pleasures. When you connect with someone, time stops, space contracts, and you feel truly alive when you leave whatever event you were at.
A night of interminable small conversation, on the other hand, is one of the worst kinds of misery. You’ll feel as weary and depressed after an evening of secret glances at the bar and awkward silences as you will after a night of new friendships.
So, how do you transform one into the other, from tedious small talk to true human connection? You improve at small chat — or, to be more precise, you learn how to make the conversation not boring?
The question-and-answer site gathered valuable advice for anyone who wants to expand their circle of connections and make their next event considerably less boring for a user who wants to know how to make the conversation not boring.
How to make the conversation not boring
Show a greater level of curiosity.
If you want to make small chats more intriguing, show an interest in the person with whom you’re conversing. In the thread’s most popular answer, angel investor Kai Peter Chang asserts, “If you are running out of things to say, you are not interested enough in the person you are chatting with.”
“If you don’t care about the person with whom you’re conversing, it will show,” he adds. “So the first repair is your attitude — if this is someone you don’t care about but are pretending to care about, cut your losses, say ‘it’s wonderful to meet you (yes, lie), and move on.”
Ellen Vrana, a writer, provides the following advice: “Imagine a robot saying, “I’m interested in you.” Creepy. Words alone are insufficient. You must emote to convey a real feeling of interest. Take a step forward. Make eye contact with the other person. Demonstrate that you are paying attention and that you care.”
Inquire with open-ended questions.
Because there is no way to make one-word replies fascinating, the only option is to ignore them.
Craig Weiland, the art director, believes that it’s all about the phrase. “Be careful of how the question is phrased when you ask someone a small-talky inquiry, and always default to open-ended structure in your formulation of questions rather than ones with a straightforward yes or no answer,” he recommends.
“‘Are you here with your family?’ for example, is a question that can be answered with a simple ‘yes,’ and then you’re back in charge… ‘Who are you here with?’ invites them to provide additional information about themselves, presenting new topics for discussion. If they say, ‘My family,’ you can inquire about them because the other side brought them into the situation “He goes on to say more.
“Get out of the small talk phase by asking simple questions that demand more than one word ‘yes/no’ answers and paying attention to the responses,” adds entrepreneur Daniel Da Vinci, who agrees with both points one and two.
Take advantage of your surroundings (or your wardrobe).
The classic example of this tactic is talking about the weather or traffic, but there are other, less painfully cliched ways to use your surroundings as a conversational launch. “Commenting on something in your environment… their attire or jewelry, for example,” software engineer Robert Rapplean recommends.
It’s a method that’s widely endorsed outside of Quora. Dorie Clark, a professional speaker (and hence serial event attendee), recently offered a version of this theme on HBR.
“Wearing a distinctive clothing item may be a great icebreaker,” she adds, “whether it’s a Madeleine Albright-style trademark brooch (which can begin a conversation about the trip to Italy where you acquired it), a tie from your alma institution (‘you’re a Longhorn, too?!?’), or colorful socks.”
To avoid gravitating to people who were just like him, Psychologist Richard Wiseman wrote about one man who had a unique networking strategy: “He would pick a color in advance and then make a point of seeking out people wearing that color to initiate conversations and make connections he wouldn’t otherwise make.”
Take on the role of a pupil.
Small talk can appear aimless and unstructured — and thus excruciatingly painful — but almost everyone understands how and why teaching is done. One trick is to convert a pointless conversation into a learning opportunity.
“Just be honest with that person and 9 out of 10 times they’ll teach you about it,” says entrepreneur Michael Wong. “However, it helps if you show a healthy interest in what’s being said and make an attempt to follow what’s being said.”
Make a game out of it for your entertainment.
Boredom is a two-way street in most cases. You will be bored if your conversation partner is bored. However, the inverse is also true. Others will likely love conversing with you if you’re having a good time. So, as social cause marketer Keirsten Lindholm proposes, “gamify for your entertainment.”
She chooses a topic to learn more about before attending an event, and then uses small conversation as an opportunity to achieve her self-imposed objective.
“Trading ideas is like building a novel together of pleasant banter and should be seen as foreplay to possibilities,” she argues. The chance of spending more time together.”
Read also: How to make a conversation longer?