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How to become a dynamic conversationalist: 7 simple networking tips to master

The way you move your body is your autobiograph in motion – every physical move you make, subliminally tells everyone in eyeshot the story of your life.” – Leil Lowndes  

I am pretty sure you’ve heard of the dictum “First impressions last”, which is why you naturally plan your outfit and make sure you look presentable and appropriate when you are attending an event with great networking opportunities.

However, there is one most important thing we often forget – to plan the right conversation in order to enhance our image further. 

The charismatic people you see chatting confidently in business meetings or comfortably at social parties were not born that way. How do they do it? “What it boils down to is their more skilful way of dealing with fellow human beings”, Says Leil Lowndes.

In her book, How to talk to anyone – 92 little tricks for big success in relationship, Leil Lowndes share many simple and practical tips on how to become a dynamic master conversationalist and I picked the best 7 that I think you can apply in your life.

1.    The Big-Baby Pivot

First things first. Whenever someone approach you, or you approach them - make it a point that you turn your whole body and focus on him or her. Imagine the total body turn, and the undivided attention you would give to that cute baby who crawled up your feet, turned a precious face up to yours and beamed a big toothless grin. That is called the big-baby pivot.

Pivoting 100 percent towards the new person shouts “I think you are very, very special.” Your posture is your biggest success barometer in any relationship. Give everyone you meet the big-baby pivot.  

2.    The flooding smile

Don’t flash an immediate smile when you greet someone, as though anyone who walked into your line of sight would be the beneficiary. Instead, look at the other person’s face for a second. Pause and listen to what they have to say first. Soak into their persona as they speak by gazing straight into their eyes.

Then let a big, warm, responsive smile flood over your face and overflow into your eyes. It will engulf the recipient like a warm wave. The split-second delay convinces people your flooding smile is genuine and only for them.

3.    Never the naked city or naked job

Whenever your new acquaintance asks you the inevitable - where are you from? or What do you do? Never, ever, unfairly challenge their powers of imagination with one-word answer. Learn some engaging facts about your hometown that conversational partners can comment on.

Then, when they say something clever in response to your bait, they think you are a great conversationalist. Same applies with your job, if they ask you what do you do, throw out some delicious facts about your job for your new acquaintance to munch on. Otherwise they will soon excuse themselves, preferring the snack back at the cheese tray.

4.  The swivelling spotlight

When meeting someone, imagine a giant revolving spotlight between the two of you. When you are talking, the spotlight is on you. When the new person is speaking, it’s shinning on him or her.

If you shine it brightly enough, the stranger will be blinded by the fact that you hardly said a word about yourself. The longer you keep it shinning away from you, the more interesting he or she finds you.  

5.    Accentuate the positive

When first meeting someone, lock your closet door and save your skeletons for later. You and your new good friend can invite the skeletons out, have a great laugh, and dance over their bones later in the relationship.

But now’s the time, as the old song say, to “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.” This is the right time to seal the deal or ask whatever you wanted to gain from the conversation.

6.    Limit the fidget

Whenever your conversation really counts, especially when you are in an interview -  let your nose itch, your ear tingle, or your foot prickle. Do not fidget, twitch, wiggle, squirm, or scratch.  And above all, keep your paws away from your puss.

Hand motions near your face and all fidgeting can give your listener the gut feeling you are fibbing.

7.    The latest news or trending topics

The last move you make before leaving for the party, even after you have given yourself final approval in the mirror – is to turn the radio news or scroll through your Facebook/twitter feed to find out about any hot topic that’s trending. Anything that happened today or yesterday is good material to have a conversation about – be it sport, politics, etc. 

After sealing the deal or establishing a relationship with your new mate, transitioning smoothly into the latest news or trending topic will help you leave the conversation to the next in a positive note and you will appear as a credible person without any ulterior motive.