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
- Dorothy Nevill
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.