1. Be more confident. I’ve talked about this A LOT recently and I still can’t stress how important confident is in any situation. Confidents let’s people see that you know what you are doing and you have things under control, in a conversation that is key to making it go smooth and tidy. So how do you do it? There are many ways you can go about doing this but my favorite way is to have the mindset that no matter what happens socially it will be alright. Ok that may sound kind of naive but let’s say you accidentally spilled food at a cafeteria and everyone stares at you, instead of looking down and being embarrassed, make a joke about it ( for example: aww not again, but that’s ok because I look like shit anyways) don’t make a big deal about it, people care about your reaction more than what actually happened, so use the theory that people care more about how you did it rather than what you did.
2. Don’t be boring. Ok so this may sound like a no shit Sherlock kind of thing but you don’t realize how many people screw this up. For example when someone asks you how was your day instead of saying it was fine, exaggerate it say like: “oh no it was terrible my son got chronic underwear chafing and I had to drive him to the hospital, it was terrible” than say just kidding and tell them how your day actually was. This adds some humor and makes you less boring compared to the normal “yeah it was fine, I did blah blah blah” it makes you more interesting and adds a layer of humor to the conversation. Another helpful tip is give longer answers to questions, this will help give the other person something to talk about as no one likes when they have to carry the conversation and all the other persons answers are yep, uh huh and yeah. So BE MORE SPECIFIC this will help with your answers, giving the other person something to talk about (ex: “I heard you love to cook” “oh yeah it’s one of my favorite things to do other than skiing and teaching”) being more specific and giving slightly longer answers will help the other person find more to talk about.
3. Be a great listener. While I’ve been talking about what you can do as the speaker, I haven’t talked about what to do as a listener. There are many techniques used to show you are listening but my favorites are of course eye contact, asking thoughtful questions and using the mirror method. So what is the mirror method? The mirror method is a way to show you are listening by mimicking the other person movements and words for example: “I went into the army when I was 17” “17?” “Yeah, I was pretty young back then” mimicking the other persons words makes them feel as though you are paying attention, as is mimicking their movements like mimicking their posture, stance, direction they are facing, etc. these things all help show you are listening. (If you want to ask more thoughtful questions, just be more specific in what you are asking)