8 conversation tricks that will make you instantly more engaging

by Brendan Brown | February 4, 2024, 10:29 pm

The art of conversation has always been a timeless and essential element of human interaction, captivating and connecting us in profound ways. Engaging in meaningful dialogues beyond small talk is a skill that can be practiced and learned.

While some are naturally skilled at initiating conversations, others may need guidance to become more engaging. Luckily, there are several conversation tricks you can employ to instantly captivate and hold someone’s attention.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at 8 conversation tricks that will make you instantly more engaging. 

1) Use active listening

Last year, I made an awesome new friend at my current job. 

She had an amazing talent for active listening. With each word I spoke, she nodded, locked eyes, and truly made me feel heard and understood, even when we had different opinions.

You see, active listening is one of the conversation skills that’s a good way to make a deep connection with friends and colleagues. It involves really hearing what someone i saying and responding thoughtfully. 

The thing is, it’s not just about using body language that shows you’re listening but actually understanding the other person’s perspective. 

When you actively listen to someone, they feel acknowledged which makes them more willing to keep talking with you.

The beauty here is that the more you do it, the better you’ll become at it.

2) The power of open-ended questions

Great conversation starters are like Sherlock Holmes. When they meet new people, they intentionally choose better questions that create more meaningful conversations.

Open-ended questions are the best way to start a conversation as it encourages the other person to talk more and provide detailed answers. 

These intriguing open questions are not meant for simple yes or no answers. Instead, they give the speaker a chance to tell a captivating story, share intriguing details about themselves, or offer a fascinating perspective.

Keep the conversation flowing by swapping yes/no questions with open-ended ones.

As an alternative, rather than asking, “Did you have a great time on your vacation?”, ask, “So, which was the most exciting part of your vacation?”

You’ll see your conversation transforming into an intriguing story with every new answer.

Related: 12 signs you’re highly perceptive (you notice things other people don’t)

3) The art of mirroring

Mirroring someone’s body language, tone, or even vocabulary – subtly, of course – can help build rapport. Strong communication skills like this can create comfort and foster positive connections with others.

The other day, I met an old friend at a coffee shop. I could tell something was bothering him. Unknowingly, I imitated his gestures and repeated what he said. And suddenly, he opened up, sharing the latest chapters of his life’s adventures. 

So, if your next conversation seems to be going nowhere, why not give this trick a try?

You can start with very subtle adjustments of your hand gestures and facial expressions, and then up the ante as you get more comfortable. Perhaps you could mirror how they shift in their seat or how they phrase their words.

Remember, don’t let it slip into mimicry; we’re aiming for charming chameleon, not parroting parrot.

Besides, too much mirroring can make the other person feel uncomfortable and create awkward energy. 

But I guarantee you’ll see an instant change in their attitude towards you when you get it right.

4) Charm with genuine compliments

Compliments are a fantastic way to begin a conversation. They not only make the other person feel good but also demonstrate genuine care. Conversation starters use eye contact and follow-up questions to ensure understanding.

That’s because genuine compliments come from an authentic place and have the power to make people feel appreciated and valued. 

A genuine compliment can turn a casual chat into a memorable interaction. Perhaps your colleague has presented a fantastic idea in a meeting; don’t hesitate to commend their creativity.

Don’t settle for a simple “Great presentation.” Go above and beyond by acknowledging the time and effort you’ve put into it by saying “I’m curious, how did you come up with such a brilliant idea?”

Saying things like this shows appreciation and emphasizes how much you value their contribution.

Imagine how you would feel if you were in their shoes…pretty good, right?

Related: If you use these 20 phrases, you’re probably an emotionally intelligent person

5) Skill of storytelling at your disposal

Let’s face it: the art of conversation begins with a great story.

Why not leverage your storytelling abilities to craft a captivating narrative?

You see, when you mix interesting stories and anecdotes with the conversation, the most surprising thing can happen: good conversation.

When discussing vacation experiences, it’s effortless to simply state, “My vacation was incredible.” 

However, by sharing specific details about your time there, the conversation becomes much more intriguing. Highlight the activities, places visited, and memorable conversations that made the experience truly unforgettable.

Why not talk about that time you met a local vendor who had an impressive collection of traditional items?

You can bet that your listener will be captivated and eager to know more.

More than that, the other person might even relate to something in your story that triggers an interesting exchange of ideas. 

At the end of the day, your story becomes truly compelling when it originates from the heart.

6) Using empathetic statements

Having a conversation partner who truly gets the situation you’re in is like a breath of fresh air, invigorating and revitalizing your connection.

That’s why empathy plays an essential role here. It helps create an energizing atmosphere that encourages people to genuinely connect with one another.

Unlike in a TV show, real life doesn’t involve a coworker simply saying, “I know how you feel” every time someone faces a problem. Instead, genuine understanding and empathetic responses are the foundations of interpersonal connection.

For example, when your colleague has just gone through a rough patch in their life. You can empathize with them by saying, “It sounds like you had a hard time. I’m sorry to hear that.”

By using empathetic statements like this, you can show the other person that your conversation isn’t just about exchanging facts but actually understanding them and their feelings. 

Combine that with maintaining genuine eye contact and a warm, heartfelt smile, and you’re on the path to having truly meaningful conversations.

7) Networking through sharing personal experiences

You may be thinking about how storytelling and sharing personal experiences are different.

Well, the answer is that they both involve storytelling, but with a difference. 

Storytelling is more about sharing stories to capture your listener’s attention while sharing personal experiences involves discussing valuable lessons you’ve learned from the story.

This kind of conversation also helps build meaningful connections and strengthen relationships.

Imagine being at a networking event, engaged in an intriguing conversation with a fellow professional. Now picture the myriad of fascinating and interesting responses you could elicit by seamlessly weaving in your personal experiences, taking the conversation to new heights.

For instance, let’s say you had an amazing experience working on a project during your college days. You could try mentioning how that particular project taught you about collaboration and teamwork, and perhaps even highlight the funny story of when things didn’t go as planned! 

Using experiences as conversation starters can help build meaningful relationships, as it demonstrates that you’re not just talking about the mundane but actually connecting in a more intimate way.

8) The technique of positivity

Have you ever received an email or newsletter filled with positive messages? How did it make you feel?

I’m guessing pretty good! That’s because positivity is infectious.

Now, let’s kick it up a notch and apply this concept to our conversations. 

Using positivity in conversations not only creates an enjoyable atmosphere but also nurtures the growth of meaningful discussions.

Think about it: when positivity stands as the foundation of every talk, we are more likely to have honest and engaging discussions with each other. There’s clarity and common ground.

On top of that, when we start a conversation with a positive attitude, it helps break the ice and reduces any tension or awkwardness in the air. 

Creating an atmosphere of positivity can make even acquaintances feel at ease and more comfortable while conversing with you.

Doing this will make you a conversation partner that people will enjoy being around and feel safe enough to open up to.

The bottom line

Being a great conversationalist isn’t about attempting to impress others with extravagant words or grand stories. Nor is it about being the center of attention at social gatherings.

It’s about showing genuine connection and interest in other people and building meaningful connections with them.

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, unlocking the power of good conversation tricks will instantly make you more engaging!

By embracing these 8 invaluable tips, you’ll be on the path to becoming an extraordinary conversationalist in no time!

Remember, every conversation is an exciting opportunity to discover, forge connections, and experience personal growth.

With just a little practice and effort, you have the power to craft conversations that aren’t only stimulating and relevant but also incredibly memorable and, most importantly, thoroughly enjoyable!

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