If you often run out of things to say during conversations, just know that there’s nothing wrong with you.
Social skills simply need to be trained! A good conversation requires a balanced combination between friendly subjects, confidence, and good improvisation skills.
Here are some tips and apps to practice conversation and find the confidence you need to become a charming conversationalist!
Practice talking with online conversations
The best way to improve your conversation is to practice with different people and train your social skills.
If you’re too shy to talk with people in real life, you could begin online in a smaller and friendly setting.
There are apps and social platforms where you can have exciting conversations and become more confident. Check out this guide:
1. Improspeak: find new topics and new interesting people
Improspeak is an original app where you can talk and share your passions in a community of like-minded people.
All you need is a webcam and a microphone, and Improspeak will match you with someone based on your shared interests, then the conversation can start.
If you don’t know what to say or struggle to find topics to talk about, Improspeak gives you fun question cards that you can use to keep the conversation going.
A unique aspect of Improspeak is its way to keep moderation: after each chat, you will be able to rate your conversation buddy. This system keeps away pervs and bullies from the community.
So if you want to improve your communication skills while having meaningful conversations with interesting people, Improspeak is the perfect solution for you. Oh and, by the way, it’s free.
2. Paltalk: talk with people anonymously
Paltalk is an app that allows you to enter live chatting rooms about a broad range of subjects, from animals to politics.
You can go with the flow and pick a random room to practice improvisation, or you can create a group and host your room about anything you want to discuss.
If you’re camera-shy, Paltalk provides a wide range of filters and video effects to help you
Improving your conversation skills anonymously!
3. Twitch: discover new skills with your community
Twitch is a live streaming platform where you can follow themed channels by content creators or have your channel sharing what you like. This video-sharing community is exciting to gamers and creative people who want to show how they enjoy certain activities.
Twitch is a great social platform for finding people with similar interests and gaining knowledge about skills you want to master.
4. Social media: start with the right foot
We all know Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Every social media is structured to connect people, starting with a friend request or a simple follow. How can you start a conversation? There is a social media etiquette that helps you with that.
- Start with following people and pages you like. You will be able to see followers or interests you have in common with someone, which could be an excellent common ground.
- Share your interests and opinions. Let people see who you are and what you like, show them what you’re passionate about and be open to receiving feedback of any kind.
- If you like someone’s content, let them know! Don’t be shy with the reaction buttons. There are different designed options you can engage with to express yourself better; sometimes, a like is not enough, so try other expressions.
- Comment what you think. Remember to be polite and appropriate, whether you’re commenting on a picture or a personal thought. Be aware of social cues, even online! Go on with moderation; start with small comments on a shared interest, and If the person doesn’t respond to your comments, don’t be insistent.
- Start a conversation with a direct message. Once you see positive interactions between you and someone, like reciprocal likes and comments, you could start a conversation with them in a private chat. Keep it simple, start with something in common, or hook up to a public page you both follow.
5. Online Forums: find people with the same interests
For every interest, there’s a forum online. You cal search for a specific topic and you’ll be surprised by the number of people willing to help you out or simply talk about your common passions.
The most known platform that works as a forum is Reddit, but if you’re looking for something specific, there are several places to share your content and talk with people online.
Find the community that fits you best and start conversations!
Find interesting things to say with these apps
The conversation topics you’re looking for are all around you!
Keep in touch with people on social media, find out trending conversations, and know what’s new.
Maybe there’s a new series that everybody is talking about or quirky news that makes everybody smile. Here is where you can find a topic to start a conversation:
1. Random Topics
Random Topics is an app that generates a random topic for conversation every time you want to practice, whether you’re by yourself or with other people.
Once you get the topic, the app gives you a timer and text-to-speech features, so you can use it while you’re driving, cooking, jogging, etc., and you can check your speech later.
You can skip topics you don’t like and even set a timer to change issues automatically. This way, you will develop perfect time management and small talk skills!
Flipboard combines news, popular stories, and conversations about any of your interests in one app.
You can read, save and share articles, pictures, and different media in a community of inspiring people, and you can also become the creator of your magazine.
With Flipboard, you have all the information about a given topic in one click, and you will always know what to say!
IceBreaker gives you hundreds of inspiring questions to keep the conversation flowing when you don’t know what to say.
You can personalise the question cards and add them to your list to have them set when you need them. There’s a card for every occasion!
IceBreaker also allows you to share your cards on social media, so you can use this tool both online and in real life to overcome shyness and start great conversations!
4. Great Big Story
Great Big Story is an app made by the CNN Company to create a new model of broadcasting content.
The app provides high-quality short inspirational videos with positive, quirky themes.
The video documentaries are 3 to 10 minutes long and professionally produced, and they can be about a strange-looking fish to a dance group that combines hip hop with classical ballet.
With Great Big Story, you can constantly be inspired by great people and collect unique conversation starters!
5. Small Talk
Small talk is an app that keeps you inspired and enjoyable by giving you quotes, jokes, fun facts, historical events, and tips to use in your everyday conversations.
The app sends you daily insights on different subjects that you can save as your favourites. It also reminds you to practice in your free time to become a charming conversationalist!
6. Thechlecticism: Small Talk Cheat Sheet
If you need a complete guide to help you with a conversation, the author of the blog “Thechlecticism” published a Small Talk Cheat Sheet on Reddit that had massive success.
The Cheat Sheet has been furtherly improved and has become a famous Small Talk guide for introverts that includes step-by-step principles to follow, with examples, tips, and topics you can use.
Thechlecticism is a Blog where you can find many tips and advice to become your most confident version!
Social anxiety? No problem!
If you think social anxiety prevents you from having pleasant conversations, you should learn how to manage it.
Social anxiety is a common problem that makes us believe we are constantly observed and judged by others. To fight this fear and overcome anxiety, you should follow these tips:
1. Don’t be so hard on yourself
Don’t take yourself too seriously! We often judge ourselves more than others. Our minds will only notice the blunders we make and focus on them without seeing our strengths.
Everybody has flaws, but we have qualities too. Focus on your positive side and forgive yourself for your slight mistakes without overthinking the situation.
2. Practice deep breathing
Anxiety can cause your breathing to get faster, together with your heart rate; therefore you might feel dizzy and get even more anxious in a loop because your body is literally in a fight or flight mode.
There are effective techniques that focus on breathing to help you keep calm. Try these little steps:
- Try to sit down and relax your shoulders.
- Put your hand on your belly and feel the movement as you’re breathing.
- Breathe for 4 seconds through your nose.
- Hold your breath for 4 seconds.
- Breath out for 4 seconds through your mouth.
Practice this until you feel calm again.
3. Ground yourself in the present moment
Use your senses to stay in the present moment. When we’re in an anxiety state, we struggle to return to Earth and be present to ourselves.
To avoid this feeling, find five things you can smell, five things you can touch, five things you can taste, and so on. This exercise will help you be aware of your surrounding.
4. Expose yourself to social interactions and be prepared
You might feel anxious and avoid social situations, but a little practice is the best way to fight the fear of social interactions. Pick an event to attend, a social occasion to practice comfortably, and prepare for what’s to come.
Depending on the occasion, you might want to find related subjects to talk about or relaxing exercises to manage anxiety.
5. Shift the focus to something else
If you’re worried about being the centre of attention, take the focus away from you and shift the conversation to what’s happening right there.
Be present and aware of your surroundings, listen to what people say and remember that nobody can read your mind and know that you’re anxious at that moment.
Now let’s start conversations: follow these steps
Once you find a topic, you have to start the conversation and keep it alive and exciting. You don’t want to go blank. Here are the essential tips to have a delightful talk:
1. Find common ground
When we want to have a positive conversation, we look for similarities.
For example, if you and the other person are both in the same place, you can use that as a conversation starter. What brings them there? Is it their first time? What similar places do they know? And so on.
Remember to keep the conversation circular by adding your opinions after their answers.
Be sure to bring up appropriate topics and keep them casual, maybe subjects related to the specific environment you’re in or the event you’re attending.
2. Open up!
There is a topic that’s never wrong to use: you! If you want to know people, you should start by letting them know you first.
You don’t have to talk about sensitive sides of your life necessarily. You can simply start with things you like, your hobbies, your favourite books or shows, or maybe an interesting situation that happened to you recently.
Start showing yourself and what you’re passionate about; people will follow and add their part to the conversation.
Don’t trick yourself by thinking people will judge you. That is a cognitive bias called the ”spotlight effect”, and everybody overestimates the amount of attention from others.
On the other hand, you could find out you share the same anime with someone you wouldn’t expect.
Once you talk about yourself, you should ask the other person a related open-ended question, meaning there will be a rich answer instead of a basic yes or no. Be curious about the other person!
You can then go deeper and ask other questions about what the person is saying, or you can hook up to their answer and keep the conversation going by mentioning other related things.
That way, you will always switch subjects smoothly and have engaging conversations with no awkward silence.
Before we say anything, we show interest with our body language. Keep eye contact with the partner, especially when he’s talking.
Show yourself participating in what he’s saying and listen actively. You don’t want to look distracted by your phone or to look elsewhere; the other person may feel ignored or think they’re boring. Nod your head, smile and keep an open body language.
5. Let the other person break the silence
Don’t be afraid of occasional pauses! They have the purpose of creating a natural flow in the exchange.
Let your partner be the one to break the silence and add something new to the conversation. Give them space.
You’re not having a monologue, and you have to share the floor in a balanced amount of talking and listening.
Silence is power!
Make your interlocutor feel appreciated and important by giving genuine and appropriate compliments. It can be their eyes or their haircut. However, you can play it safe by complimenting what they’re wearing: something they actively chose to buy and wear. It reflects their style and personality, and it can be an excellent springboard for a conversation.
You could go on and ask them where they bought it, or you could tell them that you’re looking for something similar and see what they suggest. Ask for recommendations about shops or products they appreciate; it will make them feel looked up to.
7. Be honest about yourself
Don’t try to be someone else! People have to know you and like you for your true self.
Making up stories to impress others or pretending to know something you don’t are not good strategies. People appreciate honesty, so if the conversation switches about something you don’t know much about, simply admit it and ask others to explain and tell you more about it.
8. No bragging or ranting
When you talk about yourself, you should always stay humble.
Stay on the same level with your conversation partner, don’t elevate yourself by bragging about your successes, and don’t put yourself down with belittling and disparaging comments as well.
Bragging will make you sound arrogant, while self-deprecation will inspire pity more than genuine sympathy.
It’s a good idea to avoid ranting about your problems as well. That could become a boring monologue or, worst-case scenario, it could lead to a controversial discussion between you and your partner if they disagree with your statements.
9. Remember previous conversations
If you met the same person before, remember what they shared about their life.
Last time they told you about a specific project they were working on? Ask them how it is going and if there’s something new they would like to tell you about.
You will demonstrate you listened carefully and they will be glad you remember some details about them.
10. End the conversation when it’s time
If you notice that the other person doesn’t participate actively in the conversation and seems bored or distracted, it may be time to end the conversation.
Remember that quality conversations are not necessarily long ones, and the way you end a conversation is decisive.
You could politely use an excuse to take leave of the conversation. For example, you could say that you have chores to do, a meetup with someone or groceries to buy.
Tell them that it’s been nice meeting them and hopefully you’ll run into each other again, be relaxed and nicely say goodbye.
These are the best apps and tips to prevent running out of things to say during a conversation. Now it’s your turn! Follow these steps and remember to practice every day to become a great communicator!