If you struggle with social skills, just know that there’s nothing wrong with you. The majority of the population does! Social skills are simply mechanical, and the good news is that they can be trained like any other skill. The best way to improve your interactions with others 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 practice social skills 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: discover your social skills with 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. Online Forums: if you don’t want to talk, start with writing
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 platforms that work as a forum are Quora or 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!
3. Twitch: share your skills and discover new ones
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: a great first step to connect with people
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. Paltalk: the perfect solution if you’re shy
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!
Avoid a boring conversation with 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.
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.
3. Ask open-ended questions
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.
4. Pay attention to your body language
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!
6. Give compliments and ask for recommendations
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!