The most common question that people are looking for to aid in their communication skills seems to be related to the most popular and easy-to-talk-about conversation topics.
We have all been in that strange situation where we do not know what to talk to with someone we’ve just met, or when we are just wondering what kind of conversation we’re going to have to fill in the awkward silence.
The important thing is not to turn those awkward moments into a significant problem. In fact, pauses are something useful for the conversation – they give people time to think.
But if we feel that the silence has become too long, perhaps we need some guidance on what topics to talk about to keep the conversation comfortable and enjoyable.
The solution is to choose an issue that is noncommittal and easy for everyone – one with which everyone can share their opinions without worry.
#1. The person we talk to
People usually love to talk about themselves – they are also well informed on this topic, so they will quickly tell us what we ask them so long as we do not ask inconvenient or highly embarrassing questions.
Let’s try to ask our interlocutor what he is interested in and find out what he likes to do. This does not mean you should question them about their work in a social situation. Most people want to forget their job and do not find it an inspiring topic for conversation.
Instead, let’s find out what our interlocutor is really enthusiastic about and what he does in his spare time. It is good to ask open-ended questions so that we do not fall into another awkward silence after a few yes or no answers.
We must not stop the evasive answers or breaks beginning with “Um…” The foremost thing is to concentrate on what the person is telling us really. Quite often, there are still very few answers to what we can get and keep up with.
If we focus the conversation on the interests of the other person, we will find that he usually responds enthusiastically. It may be that he will keep us listening all night, but that should not bother us.
If we are courteous enough to listen carefully to what our interlocutor has to say about ourselves, rather than trying to turn the conversation at the first opportunity, we will find that the man sitting in front of us is happy and in turn, will return the gesture and will take the time to listen to you.
#2. Something about the surrounding situation
It’s okay not to get stuck on just one topic for conversation. We can look around for inspiration. If we are a party, the collection of CDs or pictures on the wall can be a good conversation.
Another option is to note something about the interlocutor’s bathroom. All of these are great ways to talk, but the most important thing is to remember that our comments should be confident and flattering.
It is not a good idea to be critical of what we see, because we can offend someone or at least make them feel uncomfortable, which will make them leave and find another interlocutor.
#3. Current world issues
If we keep track of what is happening in the world, we will never miss out on topics of conversation. If we keep track of the news, we’ll always have something interesting at hand to grab the person’s attention.
But if we do not know them very well and we are not sure they would appreciate it, it is better to avoid topics related to death and other tragedies.
#4. Television and cinema
Almost everyone watches TV. The newest episode of “How I Met Your Mother,” or a new full-length movie might be all we need to let the conversation run smoothly and unobtrusively.
We can discuss which of the latest blockbusters really deserve the whole buzz and which are somewhat disappointing.
These four topics alone should be enough for a lengthy and easy-going conversation that we can all enjoy.