As humans, when we converse with each other, we communicate with more than just the words we use. For example, our body language is important, and we listen to people’s tone of voice too. If you’re having a casual, happy conversation with someone, it’s important to speak in a friendly tone. Even in tense situations, being friendly will improve diplomacy. To do this, adjust your speaking style and body language. You’ll soon sound as friendly as can be!
Do the following simple yet important things:
1. Smile: This makes you appear and sound approachable; moreover, when you smile, your face opens up and stretches; this easily makes your tone friendlier. Smiling will also make your conversation partner feel comfortable being around you.
You could do this by by standing in front of your bathroom mirror and saying a few sentences with a big grin on your face.
2. Maintain Eye Contact: It’s important to maintain eye contact if you want to have a friendly conversation. Tell yourself “I must make eye contact to make a good impression on this person” and just do it. Practice with friends and family in a low stress environment first, before you know it, you’ll be used to doing it without stress.
3. Maintain good posture: Keeping your body open and posture straight make you appear inviting. Avoid crossing your arms, try straightening your shoulders and back. Ensure to use your body language to look welcoming and positive.
If you feel like your arms are flopping awkwardly next to your sides while you’re chatting, lace your fingers together in front of your body. This is still more inviting than crossing your arms over your chest.
4. Speak Slowly: Speaking slowly helps you to keep people engaged. When you speak too quickly, you sound like you just want your conversation to be over and done. Instead, speak slowly to allow your listener to hear every word you say. This will tell them you actually want to be there talking to them. You don’t need to take thirty seconds to get out every word. Be aware of your speed, and you’ll naturally slow down. Add some pauses to let your listener keep up with you.
If you’re finding this difficult to do, use expressions/words like: elm, you know, well, you see, etc.
Example: consider the following conversation between you and your friend
(Example of a good reply)
Your friend: Ben, what’s important to you?
You: My Certificate
(Example of a better reply)
Your friend: Ben, what’s important to you?
You: Well, my Certificate, you know
5. Avoid sounding aggressive. Using a softer voice will help you avoid sounding aggressive. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re being yelled at by someone. Keep your voice at a level that allows people to hear you without shouting at them.
Any time you’re struggling to make yourself heard, you’re probably going to end up shouting, which won’t sound friendly, so breathe in and out gently to help get words out of your mouth without stress.
So breathe, remain calm and remember to be in control of your actions. Stay in the moment and don’t forget that you control your voice and what your body does.
6. Listen up. Listening attentively allows you to show empathy. When you have a conversation with someone, it’s important to show interest in what the other person has to say. Nod and keep your eyes on their face while they’re speaking to you. By showing you care, you’ll keep up the friendly tone of the conversation even when you’re not the one doing the talking.
Ask follow-up questions based on what they’ve said to keep your friendly chat going. For example, if they tell you they have a Dog named Bingo, you could say, “I love animals! How old is Bingo?”
7. Avoid talking too much: Keep the conversation balanced so you’re both chatting. Maintain a back-and-forth with your conversation partner. Don’t tell a story that takes an hour to get through. Instead, use the conversation to learn about each other or get updates on how both of you are doing.
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8. Be Kind: Be friendly in what you say in addition to how you say it. Share a nice thought about the other person. Avoid making things up just to be nice, it’ll sound fake. Avoid gossiping and don’t complain too much. These habits will quickly turn a friendly, positive conversation into a negative whining session.
Be careful with your pitch when you compliment people. If you go high on the wrong words, you’ll end up sounding sarcastic. For example, saying “I love those earrings!” with a really high-pitched “love” might make your listener think you’re making fun of their jewelry.
How you’ll know if you’re improving:
- Use your Smartphone or a camera to take a voice recording or video of you while you speak. Pay close attention to the pitch, speed, and loudness of your voice. Make improvements after each new recording.
- Pay close attention to how you speak during your conversations with strangers, friends, and family members. Be sure to smile, and take the time to give detailed answers or comments to people when they’re chatting with you. Ask people who are close to you how you can be honest without being overly direct.
IF YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER WAY TO IMPROVE ONES CONVERSATION, PLEASE SHARE WITH US USING THE COMMENT SECTION BELLOW.
Written for campusbiz.com.ng by Bolaji Dadowu, you can reach in via email@example.com
Resources from: wikihow.com, jw.org.
Funmilola Bolaji is a researcher and writer, a National Certificate of Education (NCE) holder with other Certificate training; she writes for several blogs including campusbiz. You might want to reach her through firstname.lastname@example.org for campusbiz.com.ng related inquiries.