- [Shaf] Okay, so we know there's been a digital revolution.
People communicate through DMs, PMs, texts, emails,
and messages, anything to avoid
actually talking face-to-face to each other.
The art of conversation is still very important
and it's vital in business situations,
and in life in general, that you can chat.
I've been told more than once
that I've got the gift of the gab
and today's Ask Shaf, I'm going to spill the beans
on how you can make sure that you can keep
the conversation flowing.
Right, you're at a party, you hardly know anyone,
you're regretting your outfit,
and generally feeling incredibly awkward.
Firstly, you need to stop caring so much
about what people think of you.
If you are shy or super sensitive, I know that's hard,
but you need to remember that people
generally aren't trying to find fault with you.
They're kinder than you probably imagine.
What's the worst that can happen?
You somehow manage to join a group of folk,
you say something a bit daft,
and you want the ground to swallow you up.
I can guarantee that you'll be thinking about it
long after the people you were talking to will.
You need to gloss over it, move on,
and don't dwell on your mistake.
Stick a smile on your face, act confident,
even if you're dying a little bit inside.
It's often easier to speak to one person
rather than trying to hold court with a group.
Bear in mind, too, that it's possible other people will feel
out their depth and worry that you'll judge them.
Take an interest in one person
and ask them about themselves.
If you fear having a mind blank, the chances are
your mind will indeed go blank,
so always have a question ready to break the ice.
Hey, the Queen reportedly always asks,
"Have you come far today?"
So you could do worse than take a leaf
out of Her Majesty's book and ask the very same question.
It's important that you have a wide range of subjects
that you can talk about and you're knowledgeable on.
You don't need to be an expert,
but it helps conversation flow if you can chat about
popular culture, sport, and politics.
Sure, some of these subjects might throw up
fairly controversial opinions,
but at least the chat isn't going to be dull.
Don't be afraid to offer an opinion,
but only if you can back it up.
When you're chatting to someone, asking questions
is vital to making sure conversation doesn't dry up.
You need them to make one statement or opinion
and a whole world of questions opens up.
Think about the spokes method.
Imagine a bicycle wheel.
In the middle is the hub
or in our case, the topic of conversation.
Now, imagine the spokes coming out
of that hub are related topics.
For example, the person you are chatting to
says they're a vet.
You have loads of questions to follow up with.
How long have you been a vet, have you always loved animals,
do you have any animals, where did you do your course?
Oh, you studied in Glasgow.
I grew up there.
Where did you like hanging out when you were a student?
We're spoiled for choice for museums in Glasgow.
Have you been to Kelvingrove recently?
So from one wee fact,
you can move on with the whole conversation.
There really is no great secret to making good conversation.
Just relax, ask plenty of questions,
and have a few topics up your sleeve that you can rely on
if you think the chat is beginning to falter.
Follow my advice
and you'll be a great conversationalist,
rather than a conversation stopper.
One more bit of advice.
Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel
and you'll see I really can talk the talk.