The last part of the article that tells how to be a better conversationalist from the November Toastmaster magazine talks about a balanced conversation.
“Allow the other person to speak as often as you do. Keep in mind that you can’t control other people’s behavior. That means you can’t prevent them from talking too much, interrupting you or rambling on about irrelevant subjects. Therefore, it’s best not to expend mental energy worrying about someone else’s conversational etiquette and instead focus on what you can control – namely, your own habits.
“Pay attention to how often you allow the other person a chance to respond. The best conversations resemble a friendly game of catch, in that there’s a perfect balance between throwing and catching. Attention spans have been shrinking for at least the past two decades, so if you talk for more than 30 seconds at a time, it’s likely you’ve lost the other person’s focus.
“Help them stay engaged and remain focused by keeping it brief. An easy way to do that and to ensure what you’ve said will be understood and remembered is to talk about one thing at a time.
“If someone asks what you did over the weekend, don’t start with Friday afternoon and give them all the details you can remember. Instead, give the bullet points and allow them to respond.” Or just focus on one aspect that who you’re talking to might be more interested in hearing.
“Imagine conversation as a game of tennis in which you are constantly hitting the ball back to the other side. Remember that you already know everything you’re going to say and, if you’re going to learn something new, you’re going to have to listen.”
Would you like to be a part of the Community Clean-Up in April? We sure need your help. Whether you have 30 minutes or 2 hours to give, we need help on this Spring cleaning of our community. What part of cleaning up would you like to take part in? You have your choices … litter pick up in your favorite park, alley cleaning in your own alley, limb and trash pick up for elderly, cleaning up at the nursing home or along the highway and roads you drive every day. What clean up project would make you happier? Now get a couple of people you enjoy being around and plan to do that project together. Call me while you’re figuring it out. My number is 580-338-6246.
See you on the bricks!