2 December 2021

How To Have a Conversation That Doesn’t End in Two Minutes

If you're the kind of person who has a hard time starting a conversation, it might seem natural to assume that you'd have an equally hard time keeping one going. But as it turns out, the ability to keep a conversation going is just as important as being able to start one. In this guide, you'll discover a few "tricks" that you can use to keep a conversation going, no matter who you're talking to.

1: Listen

People like to think that they're good listeners, but the reality is that most people tend to zone out or "space out" more often than they'd like to admit. And while it's one thing to zone out in your own head for a few seconds (or minutes), it can be quite awkward when you suddenly realize that the person you're talking to has been staring at you for the past several moments, wondering why you haven't said anything. In order to avoid this awkwardness, take a leaf from the book of good listeners. Listen closely and attentively when other people are speaking. If you don’t understand what they’re saying, ask them to explain it in a different way.

2: Ask good questions

In order to have a conversation that doesn’t end in two minutes, you need to be able to ask good questions. If you've been letting someone speak uninterrupted for a few minutes, it's time to summarize what they've said and then pose an open-ended question. To give you a helping start, here's a list of good questions to ask a guy, but it's always smart to mix things up a bit.

3: Follow up

In many cases, a good question will lead to follow-up questions. Don't worry about asking too many questions - it's better to allow people to talk than risk having the conversation end too early. Remember, the goal is to keep the conversation going, not to make it the shortest conversation in history.

4: Give them a chance to answer your questions

Your follow-up questions should also open the door for other people to ask you questions and give you their input. Be sure to pause briefly before answering anyone's question so it shows you're giving it some careful thought and reflection.

5: Show you're interested in the conversation

It's important to show you're engaged and interested as someone is speaking. You can do this by maintaining eye contact, nodding your head from time to time, smiling now and then, and periodically saying "I see" or "uh-huh." You should also repeat back key pieces of information so the person knows you're listening.

6: Don't be afraid to give your input

Tap into your creativity and throw in some comments of your own. And while it's important not to interrupt people, if you see the person you're talking to taking a pause or leaving an awkward silence, it's okay to ask them a question that will fuel conversation.

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