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How to Talk to People: Important Things to Keep in Mind

Rajib Singha Nov 18, 2018
It is not easy for everyone to start a conversation with a stranger, be it a small group or a large audience. In short, not all of us are born with what is known as, 'the gift of the gab'. Read on for a few tips.
Some are born with an inborn talent of talking to people in any kind of situation and convey their ideas. For some people, it becomes a 'nerve wrecking' task even to start a light conversation, and especially when the other person is a complete stranger. This inability of talking to people becomes more intense when the other person is of opposite sex.
Lack of confidence can be one of the reasons why some people become introverts, and find it awkward even to greet other people. Grooming your personality and developing a sense of confidence helps in many ways to talk to people.


Getting yourself properly groomed and presentable is one of the many ways of heightening your self-confidence. It does not mean that you have to be dressed like a 'prince' or a 'princess'; carry a decent style with an appropriate dressing sense.

Carry a Smile

A gentle and relaxed smile always reflects a warm and decent personality. A smile is a good way to start any conversation. In some situation wherein you find it awkward to talk to people, just carry that smile of yours, and you'll be amazed to find that people will actually start talking to you!

Body Language

Maintaining a good body language does half of the work in any conversation where people meet in person. It shows the mindset and temperament of the person.
Before you start talking, make sure that you are in a good posture, and maintain a proper eye contact with the other person. Keeping eye contact increases confidence level and puts you on 'the driver seat'. It also exhibits that you are interested to converse with the other person.

Be Updated

Being updated with latest events and interesting topics of discussion is the best way to start a lively conversation at a social gathering. If you happen to join an ongoing exchange of ideas, you can also contribute to it if you are updated.

Be Respectful

Respect can be earned by having the same for others' feelings, emotions, and opinions. Every individual has the right to put forward his/her views and perception, and at the same time, he/she expects to be heard with attention and interest.
The point of agreeing or disagreeing to the views holds a secondary place, but it is important to remember the golden rule that says, 'Respect the speaker!'.

Active Listening and Acknowledging

For talking comfortably to people on the phone, you have to master the principles of active listening and acknowledging. Here, body language is of least or no importance at all; it's just you and your voice.
In fact, it is easier to talk to people on phone than in person, as there is less awkwardness. However, it is also difficult to convey your feelings and thoughts only through your voice. The key to a quality phone conversation is active listening and acknowledging.
Keep your focus on what the person at the other end says, and acknowledge at the same time. Active listening helps replying to any questions asked and acknowledging shows your interest in the conversation.

Question Smartly

It is difficult to involve depressed people in a conversation. Such people are less likely to talk first, due to their state of mind. Here, your ability to throw the right kind of questions play a great deal in helping the person to come out of his/her depression.
Try asking close-ended questions as the person might not be in a mood to talk much. Questions such as , 'Was your day a good one?' or maybe 'Are you disturbed by any chance?' are examples of close-ended questions. Keep your tone gentle and reassuring; this will help in giving a moral support to the other person and calm his/her nerves.

Social Anxiety Disorder

This disorder is defined as an irrational fear of mingling in social situations; also known as social anxiety (social phobia). The best treatment available for such kind of disorder is CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) and medication (if required).
This therapy strives towards guiding the person's thoughts in a more rational manner and helps the patient to avoid situations that cause anxiety. Medications are also included to help a person counter this disorder. Counseling sessions for personal development techniques and social skills also help in reducing the disorder.
It's all about feeling good about oneself and building confidence. Talking to people is not a difficult task as it seems. Developing a tinge of humor also helps in triggering a talk with friends and even strangers. The ability to talk can be acquired and mastered upon by anyone. All what is needed is correct guidance and determination to fight the odds.