Teachers initially thought Einstein was dumb.
Maybe some people think you have nothing worthwhile to say. Well, stick out your tongue at that thought!
People will think you're smart when you build your conversations around essential elements in the acronym T-A-L-K.
Think before you speak. Focus on thinking about what will interest the other person. Practice looking at an idea or problem from more than one angle. Mentally play out an idea to see its short- and long-range consequences. Treat ideas as potential friends.
Assert yourself. Push yourself to share your deeper thoughts and feelings, especially when they differ from prevailing opinion. Develop an attractive balance between being assertive and maintaining openness. Memorize small chunks of information that represent what you think. You can become a brilliant conversationalist when you glean even one topic from the newspaper or internet on a regular basis and then assert your thoughts when appropriate.
Listen carefully to what others have said. As you listen, remember details that enrich your life, broaden your perspective, increase awareness of political problems in your country and the world, or sharpen your sensitivity to people. Pay attention to clues to deeper meaning that could fire up conversation with warmth, humor, or significance.
Know ahead of time what to talk about. What bits of knowledge in the news interest you? When you read a book or see interesting information on the Internet, talk about it. What you think will draw out common interests among your friends and expand your friend's enjoyment of being with you.
Instead of being a boring person, TALK skills will make you a conversationalist others enjoy. Whether you talk about basketball or jogging, music or politics, your favorite movie or the economy, your thoughts and feelings will be of interest because they represent you.
Paul W. Swets
P.S. This post is an excerpt from FINDING HAPPINESS: Building Stable Relationships in Turbulent Times. For more information, go to our home page and purchase on Amazon.