I’d like to think of myself as a pretty confident person. I can be engaging, funny, sarcastic, but also personable. I admit, it wasn’t until 3 years ago where I actually learned to listen (and not interrupt a conversation), but it’s been helping me keep a conversation these days. I went on a date where the drive there lasted longer that the date! I know most people are not big talkers like I am, but if you are trying to impress someone in an interview or a date, engage them— capture their interest, or at least just keep the conversation going. This one date I went on, the guy had no personality, was monotone, and could not say more than 5 words at a time to me. It was like I was asking 20 questions and he just answered and waited for the next one. Not fun! Also, I could not hear him. There was only so many times I can ask “what?”, “say that again?”. In the end I just pretended that I heard him and just moved on. Maybe even threw in a few laughs.
Interviews and dates should be like conversations, not question and answer. Here are some ways to keep a conversation going:
- Make eye contact: This is important because you can tell how passionate a person is by their eyes. Also, if you are not looking at them, it may seem like you’re not interested. However, do not stare the other person down!
- Use your hands: Go ahead, be animated. It shows that you’re not stiff or boring and actually have personality. Just be careful to control them and not whack anyone while doing so.
- Listen: The art of a conversation is to listen. This will cue you on what to say or ask next and shows that you can relate to the person or let them know that you hear what they have to say which in turn, makes them feel good and can trust you.
- Ask questions: My trick to keep a conversation going is to ask questions. Don’t know exactly what they’re talking about? Ask them about it! Not only will it make you seem more interested, but you will learn something along the way!
- Tell stories: People remember stories whether they’re funny, sad, touching, etc. These are often the most memorable and shared again. You want them to remember you right?
Even if you are not my next husband, I still want an engaging conversation and a good time. I don’t want my time wasted if you are not willing to be open and share. If you are shy or nervous, use some opportunities to practice!