Conversation Etiquette to Make the Most Sophisticated Impression

SocialMettle Staff Nov 20, 2018
One of the ways people judge us, is by the way we converse. Creating a good impression on those who matter becomes easy if you follow an etiquette when it comes to making conversation. Understand the basics of conversation etiquette.
The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
- Dorothy Nevill
Conversation is a great tool which not only helps us gauge the other person's personality, attitude, and nature, but we also get to know their views and opinions on subjects that matter.
Not many people understand the importance of a good, intelligent, and well-chalked out conversation and take it for granted. People focus on dressing well and looking good, while going out on a date or attending a party.
What they do not realize is that even superficial beauty and exterior glamor won't help if they lack presentable and polished conversing skills. So, the truest and surest way to impress someone is to be able enough to strike up a good conversation.
Of course, a lot of things do fall under conversation etiquette, but it is not very complicated. Rather, it is just a basic combination of good manners. Most of us must have come across incidents where people can unintentionally hurt others' feelings, just by saying inappropriate words at the wrong time.
Conversation etiquette is all about developing an understanding of how to speak, how not to speak, what to speak, what not to speak, when to speak, and when not to speak.

Rule #01

How loud? Or how soft? One must avoid talking too loudly while conversing with someone. This is because, speaking very loudly is considered to be unsophisticated and boisterous.
However, one must also avoid talking in a very low voice as you don't want people to strain themselves to hear what you are saying. Your tone should be such that it is audible yet calm, composed, and pleasant.
Apart from the way you speak, the way you laugh also says a lot about you. While laughing too loudly is considered to be impolite, snickering or covering your mouth while laughing is considered as social inadequacy. Also, never laugh or talk while you are chewing food.

Rule #02

Talk, but listen, too. You must have surely come across people who talk only about themselves during a conversation. This can be quite annoying for the other party. One must understand that a conversation is when two people talk with each other.
Hence, listening to the other person is as important as speaking. A good way of starting a conversation is by asking questions to the other person. The questions should be such that it invites engaging and interesting replies from the other individual.

Rule #03

What should you talk about? Choose an appropriate topic for the conversation. A golden rule is to avoid talking about things that can make the other person uncomfortable. You can decide this based on the level of comfort you share with the other person.
On the other hand, there are a variety of topics that can lead to a healthy, interesting, and lively conversation. Some of the topics that can be used safely for a conversation are current affairs, music, films, books, sports, technology, etc. In this case too, make sure that the topic you have selected is something that interests the other person.
Only if he/she seems to be interested, should you continue talking about it. If the other person seems to be disinterested, move your conversation to some other topic to prevent him/her from getting bored.

Rule #04

To debate, or not to? Another thing that one should try avoiding is discussing things that can give rise to a debate. Everybody is entitled to their own opinions. It is not necessary that your views and opinions would match and complement the other's.
However, this does not mean that you have to make them agree to your point. You must understand that people have the right to have their opinions and even if you are right, in no way can you or should you change their opinions. So, it would be best to steer away from such conversations, if you think that it would cause rifts between you and the other person.
Apart from all this, some other pointers include making eye contact that puts you across as confident, being polite that makes you approachable, avoiding giving unwanted advice that doesn't put the other person off, and avoid getting into arguments that causes an otherwise interesting conversation to come to an end.
It is crucial to keep these rules in mind to have an interesting and joyful conversation. Conversation etiquette is summed up perfectly by William Shakespeare's infamous quote: Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood.