Category Archives: Social Skills

How To Keep A Conversation Going

how to keep a conversation going

Most people that have society anxiety somehow feel that he or she has to be perfect at everything and that includes mundane conversation. Only someone who is obsessed with being perfect would wonder how to keep a conversation going with a girl or guy. Dude, this isn’t rocket science it is just having a conversation.

If you are worried about the awkward silence, chances are you aren’t alone and that’s why so many conversations consist of fluff. How about those Mets?  If you give yourself a chance, you would quickly see that you have enough vocabulary arsenals to hold and to keep a conversation going.

Observation is Key

Take the next opportunity to listen to a nearby conversation between two people. Try not to seem as if you are eavesdropping, because nobody likes that, but listen to what the conversation is actually about. You will find that if the two people have similar friends or family, they are gossiping about one of them. Again, their conversation isn’t about rocket science and has nothing to do with world hunger or world peace. So lighten up!

Good conversation is rarer than you think but when it happens it is magical. You actually feel like you’ve participated in a match with equal opponents.  If that is the type of conversation that you are expecting every time—sorry to disappoint you.

Fluff Your Way

Most people like to talk about themselves and if you let the conversation go in that direction, you will always have something to talk about. For instance, a common question is “what do you like to do.” A person could keep a conversation going for hours just on that question alone.  Then, you can pick something from what was said and comment on how you like to do similar things.

If that sounds too much like a date type question, you could use something else like “Would you ever go skydiving?” Any question will do if it gets the person talking and keeps their focus on them and not you.

Most Conversations are Forgotten

Because most people are just talking to pass the time, the conversation that you have won’t be remembered in a few days anyway so why worry about it. That’s not to say that you aren’t interesting but it’s true. People are moving about and busy with other things so they won’t remember if you were interesting or not. That is unless you two make a connection than it won’t matter what you say anyways because she or he likes you already.

Be Yourself

Don’t be afraid to be transparent. Most people find this appealing because they are spending too much time trying to be cool. If you don’t appear marred by fumbling a little bit, you have just boosted your appeal in their eyes.

Trust Yourself

Turn off your brain and let the conversation happen. You just might surprise yourself with those witty comebacks. Just focus on having breezy conversations rather than saying the right things.

Practice

The only way to improve your conversation skills is to talk to people. This seems obvious but many people with social anxiety tend to shy away from conversations with others, especially strangers.

The art of conservation like painting, drawing, and driving takes practice and you will not be a master overnight. Forgive yourself if you stutter or say something awkward, it’s part of the learning process. Keep at it and before you know it you’ll be hit at most parties.

Best of luck!

Arnov

6 Tips To Overcoming Fear Of Public Speaking


master social anxiety

The fear of public speaking is one of the most common fears in the world. People are more terrified of public speaking than death. This means at a funeral most people would rather be in the coffin than give the eulogy. If you question this fear you will slowly start to realize how irrational it is. I used to be terrified of public speaking and still am to this day.

Even the best public speakers in the world feel anxiety before getting on stage. Fear of public speaking is a natural biologic reaction which never quite goes away. However, it is possible to dramatically reduce the fear of public speaking and make it manageable.

The first time I had to give a speech was in the 7th grade. Being a shy kid, my parents had forced me to enter a public speaking competition to “bring me out of my shell”. When they called my name to get to the stage I was terrified.

The well rehearsed speech I spent hours memorizing went blank. There was no podium to hide my shaking legs. I forgot most of my speech and looked like a complete idiot in front of 200 people. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

After that embarrassing event I started to feel a change. I was angry at myself for being such a coward and decided that I had to get this part of my life handled. I started participating in class more and tried to find as many as many opportunities to do public speaking as possible.

I entered the same public speaking competing again next year and came in 4th. I didn’t win, but I realized that public speaking is a skill set just like playing the piano or chess. It’s something you can learn and become better at through practice.

Since that embarrassing speech completion in the 7th grade I have dramatically reduced my fear of public speaking and gone on to give dozens of speeches throughout the years. One of my biggest speech successes was when I ran for student council president and had to give a speech in front of 2000 people.

I ended up winning by a landslide, and that would never have been possible if I hadn’t learned to improve my public speaking skills. I still feel nervous when going up on stage, but after 30 seconds I begin to enjoy the rush, and feed of the energy of the crowd. There is no better feeling than conquering your fear and giving a brilliant speech.

Mastering this skill set has given me immense confidence and a great sense of accomplishment. Here are some of the tips I followed to overcome the fear of public speaking:

  1. Start small. If the thought of speaking to crowd makes you shutter in fear, it’s ok. Take baby steps. Begin by talking to a small group of close friends or family. If you’re too shy to do that, practice in front of a mirror or into camera?. Challenge yourself to speak to bigger and bigger groups . Try taking a program like Toast Masters. It’s a great program that teaches people how to slowly overcome their fear of public speaking.
  2. Don’t memorize your speech. The anxiety of giving a speech will make you go blank and will have difficulty remembering your speech which will make you even more anxious. This a negative feedback loop. Instead, focus on a 2-3 main points and have an overall understanding of the subject matter.
  3. Understand your topic: You will be a lot more confident if you thoroughly understand your topic. Take time to prepare your points.
  4. Challenge Irrational Beliefs: People are not viscous monsters who want to see you embarrass yourself. Almost everybody has a fear of public speaking so they will understand if you are a bit nervous.
  5. Relax:  You will feel the most anxious the minute before you have to go on stage. Be aware of your nervous thoughts and don’t let them bog you down.
  6. Visualization: I have saved the best for last. Incorporating visualization exercises has dramatically increased my public speaking abilities. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between reality and something you vividly imagine. Take advantage of this principle and mentally rehearse everyday leading up to the speech. Make the visualization as real as possible. Take a few deep breaths, and relax. Imagine the stage, the lights, your heartbeat, etc. Imagine giving your speech in front of everyone.  The more realistic you make your visualization the more powerful the results will be.

Do you have any tips to overcome fear of public speaking? If so please share in the comments section below.