I have had the privilege of chatting with a couple of our readers and fans and other people both face to face and via our BBM and I have noticed a recurring decimal. People find it very difficult to start a conversation or or even sustain it. Very difficult. This piece from www.entrepreneur.com but adapted to suit our in house style, will help you gist or talk with almost everyone going forward. All the best.
1. Be open and willing to gist with people
The most important thing about being able to converse or gist as we like to call it here is that willingness to engage people in the first place. So if you are like most of the people who really want to come out of their shelves and start talking. Start now where you are, develop the interest and willingness to talk or gist in the first place. Look for opportunities to meet new people whenever possible. You can’t build relationships with others if you stay indoors all day. Instead, interact with the world around you. When people are gisting around you, don’t just listen, and try to chip in words. Join professional bodies or groups in your church and get active. Let people hear your voice.Talk, you have beautiful things to say.
2. Become a storyteller
. Everyone has a story to tell. Yes we all do, including you. Your story makes you human and reveals your personal truth and connects you with your listeners. So find a story (your story or a story you heard or once told) today and tell. Master storytellers captivate strangers through compelling tales. Now you know why people come to www.lagosconvo.com every day.
3. Show genuine interest
It’s important to tell your story, but it’s equally critical to discover the stories of those around you. Ask the right questions and give new acquaintances time to open up. One of my favorite questions to ask is, “describe your day in one word or one sentence?” Most people enjoy talking about themselves and will appreciate your interest. You’d be surprised at how quickly people then reveal their own backgrounds, philosophies and motivations.
4. Be yourself
Be yourself when you are telling your story. Tell someone’s success story as if it is yours. Unfortunately, mimicking what works for someone else can make you appear insincere. Instead, be vulnerable and show the real you. Express your personality and share your struggles as well as your achievements.
5. Find common ground
Seek to understand and appreciate different points of view. You don’t have to agree with everything someone says, but try to empathize with how he or she feels. Don’t judge or criticize; just listen. When you meet someone for the first time, pay close attention to their interests and hobbies. Learn what matters most so you can begin to find common ground.
6. Practice uncommon courtesies
Small courtesies can mean a big difference when you meet someone new. Be respectful and show others the kindness you expect of them in return. Make eye contact. Smile. Give a firm handshake. Arrive on time. Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ Good manners show that you’re respectful and responsible — two qualities almost everyone appreciates.
7. Show gratitude
When someone does you a favor or goes out of their way to help you, thank them in person. Take them to lunch or buy some sticks of suya(if you are buying for me…hehehe) Small tokens of appreciation leave a lasting impression. Your humility and gratitude will earn you a positive reputation.
8. Never stop learning
The best way to ensure interesting conversations is to know a little about a lot. Stay up-to-date on current events and news. Read blogs especially www.lagosconvo.com (smiles) and newspapers. Sign up for a class at your local university or community college. Attend events and take advantage of continuing education opportunities. Use your knowledge to entertain, educate and engage.
9. Be persistent
At some point, you’ll meet someone with whom you just can’t seem to connect. You may not have anything in common or one of you may simply be having a bad day. Don’t let one setback discourage you. Keep your eye out for everyday opportunities to meet and connect with strangers. The more you practice, the more effortless it will become.