About The Article Author
Antonio Neves is an internationally recognized speaker, award-winning television journalist (NBC, PBS, BET, etc., and the author of three books. Antonio is a graduate of Columbia University.
If you struggle in social situations, here are 20 tips to help you become a more confident communicator.
1. Never forget, when in doubt, the most valuable thing that you can give someone is your attention.
2. If you find yourself in fear when in conversation, remember that people love to talk about themselves.
3. When in conversation with someone, avoid asking closed questions that can be answered with a "yes" or "no." Instead, ask open-ended questions that allow people the opportunity to share more.
5. When you speak, know where you are going. Have a "roadmap. This means having a clear beginning, middle and end.
6. Don't be afraid of silence. Just because someone stopped speaking doesn't mean that you have to immediately begin talking. Deliberately think about what you want to say next instead of blurting out what immediately comes to mind.
7. If you easily forget people's names, use their name in your first few interactions with them to help commit it to your memory.
8. You can positively influence a conversation without even saying a word. To do this, nod your neck to show that communication has been received. Use your face (mouth, eyes, checks, etc.) to display responses to what people are saying.
9. If you're struggling in a conversation, a tool that you can use is mirroring. This simply means repeating back or paraphrasing what was said to you. Nine times out of 10, when you mirror back what someone says, the person will elaborate on what they shared.
10. To keep a conversation moving forward try simply saying, "Tell me more about that."
11. Put your phone away when you're in conversation with someone or at a dinner table. The phone creates distance between you and others. It acts as an insecurity shield. Don't worry if others have their phones out. Be the exception
12. To bring an awkward conversation to an end, simply say, "It was nice meeting and speaking with you. Have a good night."
13. Don't ask someone if you can "pick their brain." No one wants their brain picked. Instead, be specific about what you want to learn from them.
14. At any type of event, you must be able to properly answer and respond to: What's your story?; Tell me about yourself; What do you do?
15. When answering one of the above questions, avoid giving the resume answer. This means that you share the details of your life in chronological order. For the listener, this can be the equivalent of watching paint dry.
16. When people ask you about yourself, share those unique things or experiences that make you memorable and allow you to standout from the crowd. Further, don't underestimate your experiences. What you find normal about yourself, others may find fascinating.
17. To easily answer the question, "What do you do?", just fill in the blanks in this sentence: "I'm a [title or role/student] for [company/university] where I [the type of work you do].
18. If asked in a job interview, "What's your story?" or "Tell me about yourself," share what you do presently. Then share some of your top past experiences, and close with what you're looking do in the future.
19. When at "networking events," don't network. Instead, work to build relationships. These means taking a long-term approach to relationship building long before you need anything or would consider asking for something.
20. When you find yourself in new situations or meeting new people, approach these situations with excitement or curiosity as opposed to a fixed fear mindset.
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