The best public speaking is conversational in style. It is but conversation with more people present. The only real difference is there is usually no exchange of remarks. A good example is where someone is in conversation with one person and more individuals are attracted and join. As the group grows the conversationalist is now making a speech. The volume of the speaking is increased so the speech can be heard but the conversational style is carried on because this is the most effective style.
The natural feelings that make people listen attentively to a public speaker are the same feelings that make people listen attentively to the articulate individual in conversation.
The techniques that are applied to improve your public speaking will also improve your conversation skills:-
1. Observe Others
As with public speaking, study the people that are successful. Study how they speak with others, how do they greet them? Are they confident? What topics do they discuss? Compare this to your current approach and identify the areas where you can adopt their “best practice” to improve your skills.
2. Keep Your Audience in Mind
When preparing and delivering your speech it is crucial to keep your audience in mind. In conversation, if you pay attention to others’ interests and activities you will always have plenty to talk about. A genuine interest in others helps immensely – ask them about their day, and any subject that interests them.
3. Research/New Material
When preparing for a public speaking engagement it is important to gather information on your subject so that you are thoroughly prepared and can speak with confidence. This can be used in conversation at your workplace by keeping up to date on the latest developments in your field of endeavour. You can read the latest trade magazines and research the internet. It will give you the ability to hold intelligent conversation and enable you to communicate effectively. By keeping in touch with current events and local politics will also give you plenty of material to use in conversation.
By taking a keen interest in your fellow man, the thing that go on around you and paying attention to details you can greatly add to your conversation material.
After you have researched your topic, it is important to logically organise your speech. This will normally be organised around a central idea with supporting material. A common way to organise your speech is for it to flow sequentially from an introduction to developing your idea to conclusion. Using a logical approach to organising your ideas in public speaking will help you be more effective in day to day conversation as it trains you to speak in a more considered approach.
As with public speaking, some people are able to become experts in conversation with little apparent effort. However, with a little application this is a skill that can be mastered by anyone with the right attitude. By practicing these tips everyday you will soon be an expert in the art of conversation.