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Three Techniques for Keeping a Conversation Alive | Print |  E-mail

Have you ever had a conversation at a networking event where the
conversation died after the initial exchange of "Hi, how are yous?"
We all have.  Here are three ways to keep a conversation alive.

#1 - When asked a yes/no question, respond in a way that keeps the
conversation going. 

Instead of saying, "yes, or no," to "Did you have a hard time
finding this location?" say, "it was really easy for me to find
since I used to live three blocks from here." 

That keeps the conversation going and gives the other person
something to respond to.  "Really? I used to live near here also."

#2 - Go to events prepared with responses to these inevitable
questions:
"How are you?" 
"How's life/business/work?"
"What's been going on?" 

It may be easy to give superficial, one-word answers such as
"Fine," "Good," "Nothing much," but those answers won't do much to
advance the conversation because they don't give the questioner
anything to build on. 

Instead, have something interesting to say that will keep the
conversation going. 

"My wife and I just got back from a wonderful trip to the Grand
Canyon." 

 "Our business is expanding so much that it's providing real
challenges in terms of staffing." 

 "I've been doing a lot of hiking this summer."

#3 - Phrase your own questions in a way that can't be answered with
just one word. 

Instead of "Did you enjoy the presenter?", ask "How did you find
the presenter's topic?"  If you get a short reply, follow up with
"What did you find most interesting about the presentation?"

These techniques work at events, as well as with people you see
regularly - colleagues, neighbors, friends.  Keeping a conversation
alive will get you beyond the superficial and into the depths of
what's really important to you personally and professionally.
Keeping a conversation alive is easy!  Try it this week.

 

You are welcome to reprint and distribute copies of our articles provided you follow our reprint guidelines .   

Copyright © 2012, The Networking Gurus, Donna Feldman and Cindy Rold.

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