Talk About It

Do you know how to converse? It is absolutely amazing how many people don’t. A tennis match illustrates a basic technique. If the ball is hit to you the object in keeping the game going is to hit it back, to return it.

The same is true in conversation, you return the talking point.

If you know how to ask questions you can keep a conversation moving. By doing so the person with whom you are talking will consider you a brilliant conversationalist. Asking who, what, when, where, why are conversational life preservers. Simple and to the point is the best way to get your point across.

Listening is another vital part of conversation. If while listening to a person’s comment or story you are thinking all the while of a similar personal experience with which to respond and by using it you are aborting your friend’s story. If instead of asking a follow up question you respond with a remark such as, “I know a person who had a similar experience,” or “My daddy he ….,” you are showing a lack of interest in the story being told to you. Doing so shows disrespect. Perhaps you never thought of it in that way, but you need to.

Stories are great, but don’t be a conversational narcissist—make sure you do equal talking and listening by asking for their stories as well. The most important rule for being a good conversationalist is to learn to listen.

One of the biggest mistakes in conversing is going into too many details. Never say, “Long story short.” They rarely are. Instead just keep it short. Give the other person time to participate without boring them with too many details.

Don’t say anything unless you have something to say. Babble is boring. The problem is many people think their babble is interesting to everyone. It isn’t. The listener often gets lost in the details and becomes disinterested. Keep it short and significant. Constantly talking isn’t necessary communication.

Evaluate as to whether the story you are about to tell will be of interest to your companion or if it only interesting to you, and serves as a sort of a tribute to an unrelated person, but it is not really relevant.

Scripture has a lot to say about conversation that is worthy of attention.

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” Ephesians 4: 29.

“Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” Colossians 4: 6.

“He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding” Proverbs 17: 27.

The most important communication you can have is with the Lord. When you pray, remember which one of you is God.