The conversation is one of the commonest yet the most idyllic things in life. Having healthy and constructive, or even casual conversations is extremely heartening and is important to have a healthy, diverse and engaging worldview. Efficacious conversation not only helps one surmount the challenges of professional life but is also a touching and gratifying experience that gives the emotional satisfaction and fulfilment of conveying your ideas well and driving your sentiments just as they are. But more often than not, we are deterred from striking a conversation owing to lack of confidence and various inhibitions. Even at the most opportune of times, we fail to make the right verbal move, whether it be in the professional sphere or in day-to-day routines and end up losing connect, and fail to capitalise. The frustration of not being able to enact our ideas and faithfully convey our thoughts pangs us incessantly and gnaws at our innards at various times, even long after the slip. Our hesitation not only haunts us at the time of initiating or replying in a conversation as helplessness, but also returns as regret and chronic misery. It is thus vital to get rid of this crippling malady that constantly plagues our speech and incapacitates us in human-to-human interactions. Here are some directives that will help you rid yourself of the characteristic hesitation experienced while talking, once and for all.
Open with Confidence
Get your salutations right, understand the mood, approach with poise yet retain the confident charm and suavity. Get in the feel of the situation, deploy the most optimal introduction and above all understand that being social animals it is natural for humans to interact.
A Hello or a Hi never harms. Be clear about your intent and desired subject of conversation when approaching a stranger if it’s utilitarian, and if casual, never rush it, and ease with the flow. Cheesy, artificial, ill-thought, overthought, and insincere icebreakers seldom work. Be natural but always stay civil and genial.
Assert yourself just right
Keep your body language upright, have the appropriate level of closeness and flair – mild intimacy and moderate formality work in most situations, be respectful but not overly or overtly so, and assert yourself optimally. Claim your due territory, humbly and flexibly. Neither be meek nor be cocky, just command yourself as a player commands his side of the field or court, and remember this is no match, and if it is, either is it one of golf, or you both are on the same side of the team.
There are zones of the intimacy of varying radii. Obey and abide with them at all times, constantly scrutinise your level of intrusion and the level of comfort of the other person and adjust accordantly – you need not be cynically vigilant of it, just be semi-conscious of it and respect limits. Look out for subtle visual cues that the other person subconsciously emanates like backing away from you, leaning, folding arms, mildly frowning, and so on.
Chew your Words
Ruminate upon your ideas. In order to ensure consistency of flow of your words mull upon your thoughts, regulate them through a filter but do not exert yourself to the point of this seeming an artificial exercise. Be steady – do not stammer, stutter, fumble and falter for the initial minutes and then blurt out things all at once in a befuddling mess. Permit your speech a relaxation time and don’t use “uh…” and “aa…” as fillers interspersing your flow. Make sure to complete your sentences no matter how brief they are and think at least a couple words ahead of what you are speaking. Thinking before speaking is a good idea, overthinking isn’t. Be your true self and tackle ideas objectively one at a time, even if they come in a flow. Once the rally of conversations is set, you’ll automatically ease in as the ‘serve & volley’ would ensue.
Know what you speak
Be sincere, consistent, and make sure you are familiar with the nature of the content of what you are speaking and that you are at least partially if not well-acquainted with its situational suitability. This is not to mean that you shouldn’t talk about things that you know little to none about, or be reluctant about asking questions, nor does it imply that you shouldn’t try to know other people’s expertise or broach topics you are not sound at – it simply means that your mode of speech should be appropriate to the intent, context and connotation. If you are asking a question, make sure your tone clarifies it – there are no question marks floating in the air, and it may be taken as an assertion. Sarcasm, Interjection, Humour, and such tones must be clarified by your intonation, your facial expression, gesture and articulation lest they are misinterpreted and lead to misunderstanding. In order to avoid misconveyance, be sure beforehand of your intent and do not attempt to artificially manipulate it in order to serve a motive.
These simple hacks shall facilitate you overcoming common speech defects as well as the general, prevailing reluctance and ubiquitous behavioural inhibition, and over time enable you to become a charismatic and gregarious individual and enrapturing professional.