Conversation Skills 101: How to Improve Conversation Skills and Be More Articulate | Arman Chowdhury | Skillshare

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Conversation Skills 101: How to Improve Conversation Skills and Be More Articulate

teacher avatar Arman Chowdhury, Confidence thru Communication

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:11
    • 2. What is A Conversation?

      1:48
    • 3. What Do you Talk About?

      2:37
    • 4. 2 Elements of a Conversation

      2:25
    • 5. Keep Conversations Going

      3:52
    • 6. Bad Conversations

      2:35
    • 7. Bonus Tip: Start Conversations

      2:10
    • 8. Practice!

      1:30
    • 9. Final Project

      1:39
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About This Class

Conversations skills are essential to thriving in a professional environment. Learning how to improve conversation skills will allow you to engage with your peers, create opportunities for yourself and feel calmer in social interactions.

This is a beginner's course to learn conversation skills. No equipment is needed.

In this course, you will learn:

  • What is a conversation?
  • What to talk about?
  • The elements of a conversation.
  • How to keep a conversation flowing.

Plus, there will be a final project at the end where you can test your skillsets in order to make sure that you are applying the information. 

At the end of this course, we will have demystified the process of what a conversation is, so you can improve conversation skills and connect with your employees and team members.

It will be easier to express yourself and articulate your ideas when dealing with others. Great conversation skills open up the doors in your personal and professional life.

Let's begin!

Meet Your Teacher

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Arman Chowdhury

Confidence thru Communication

Teacher

 

Hello, I'm Arman Chowdhury. I am an engineer, public speaker, and writer who currently owns the company, ArmaniTalks. The ArmaniTalks company aims to help engineers and entrepreneurs improve their communication skills so they can express themselves with clarity and confidence. 

 

A few of the core communication skills covered include public speaking, storytelling, social skills, emotional intelligence, and creativity.

 

Throughout my career, I have served in the hard skills fields of aerospace engineering, electrical engineering & systems design. Some of my experience with soft skills include serving as the External Vice President of my Toastmasters club, former communications chair of the Tampa BNI chapter, and publishing... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Welcome to the conversation skills for beginners course. My name is Armand rotary, the founder of our money talks, a media company which helps engineers and entrepreneurs improve their communication skills so they can express your ideas with clarity and confidence. It's inserting their money talks business. I've worked with a lot of entrepreneurs and engineers from a variety of fields in order to help them improve their conversation skills so they can engage with their peers and they can behave like leaders in their workplace. And that's the purpose of today's course. You're going to understand how to use conversational skills to improve your professional life. Within this course, you're going to understand what is a conversation. A few of the basic fundamentals of how to start a conversation. How to keep it going. You're going to learn how to spot a bad conversation when you see it. And all this knowledge is going to gear you towards a final project where you're going to be able to exercise good conversation skills by yourself. If you're ready and excited to join this journey, I'll catch you inside. 2. What is A Conversation?: We're going to keep it very simple. A conversation is an exchange of ideas. The most important word in that line is exchange. Because when you don't understand that exchange is the most important, then you may have the tendency to do what ramble. You may turn a dialogue into a monologue where you are the only one expressing ideas, but the other person is just nodding their head, waiting for their chance to speak. Other times, you may actually face the opposite problem. This is when the other person is constantly speaking, speaking away and you're just over, you're nodding your head. And either one of these situations, you as the master communicator, what you need to do is you need to turn this monologue back into a dialogue. You need to make sure that you're incorporating the phrase exchange. If you're someone that is rambling a little too much, then what you need to do is you need to pipe down and ask the other person some questions so they can now start contributing. If the other person is speaking a little too much, then what you need to do is gently interrupt in a polite sort of way with a nice smile on your face and bring some spotlight back onto yourself. Because if you allow other people to ramble, trust me, they will ramble. The most important word in conversation skills is exchange. Exchange, the ideas. 3. What Do you Talk About?: If you're currently someone who struggles with social anxiety or shyness, a large question that you're probably asking yourself is, what do I talk about? Now? Granted, this is a question that is a good question, but it's not an optimal question. The reason that it's not an optimal question is because it's getting you to tactics focused. While in reality, we should be getting you philosophy focused. Rather than keep asking yourself, well, what do I talk about? Ask yourself, what is the best philosophy that I can have in regards to conversation skills? And here it is, the true engine. A great conversation skills comes down to curiosity. If you can be curious regarding the other person, then you will never run short of ideas to speak about. The only problem that you currently have is that you're not curious enough. And when you're not curious enough about the other person, that's when you're worrying too much about you? Or do I speak about do I look ugly when I'm speaking? Are other people noticing my flaws? All this Mee, Mee, Mee centered thoughts indicate that you are not curious enough. The way that we can systematically become more curious is to imagine that this person that we're speaking to is actually the most interesting person in the world. Although they do not seem like it right now. Trust me, they are the most interesting person in the world. They have five facts about them that will completely change your perception in regards to them. But here's the catch. You're not going to understand what those five facts are unless you do some probing immediately with this little narrative that I've presented to you. This person is now someone that's sparking your curiosity. And since they are sparking your curiosity, you now are being presented with a whole bunch of ideas that you can ask this person, who are you? What do you do? What makes you so interesting? And you can gently ease into that. So the philosophy of a great conversation always, always, always comes down to curiosity. 4. 2 Elements of a Conversation: All conversation skills come down to two basic elements, questions and contributions. Normally when you're seeing a different conversation, I want you to break it down. What is it that you're exactly seeing? You'll see that sometimes people are telling a story, sharing a joke, explaining something. And all of those fall under the umbrella of contribution. Other times they're asking some sort of question. What is your name? What do you do? Where are you from? This falls under the umbrella of questions. When we're capable of clarifying a conversation skill from being something that's completely blurry and ambiguous to something that is clarified into contributions and questions. Now becomes a much more scientific approach, rather than us just throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall hoping that something sticks. But more importantly, we can take some time and breakdown which one of the variables that we need improvement on. You may currently be someone who is great with asking questions, but you currently struggle with contributing. The reason that you struggle with contributing, maybe because you're focusing a little too much on yourself. You're probably wondering a little too much about looking ugly when you're speaking. And trust me, you don't want that ugly when you're speaking is a thing called the illusion of transparency. But simply by zoning in on, okay, I'm good with questions. This boost your confidence. But you know what? I can work on contributing some more. Once you've boosted your confidence, you're capable of problem-solving this with much more elegance rather than just saying, Well, I suck a conversation skills. So break it down like this. Questions and contributions. Which one are you currently good? N. Which one can you improve a little bit more. And every now and then, when you're conversing with others, use little mental notes of when this little dynamic is happening. Either someone is contributing or someone is asking questions. 5. Keep Conversations Going: So a lot of people don't have a problem starting the conversation. A lot of people have a problem keeping the conversation going. So I want to give you a little tool which is going to help you tremendously, especially anytime it feels like you just hit a brick wall. This is called the hook. A hook is a point in the conversation where you can grasp and then you can transition into a brand new topic. Anytime that you're transitioning into a brand new topic, it almost feels like you're entering a brand new universe. And to spot hooks, you have to build some judgment. And to build judgment. Oftentimes, you need to go through some failures. But let me give you some examples. Let's say someone comes up to you and says, Hey Johnny, I just came back from the hospital. How's your day going? Us? Johnny can easily answer the question, how's your day going? But did you notice what I said in the beginning? I just came back from the hospital. When I said that you probably felt this emotional charge in your body. Here's a tip. A lot of the times for hooks, you'll feel an emotional charge in your body. Or You'll notice the other person's voice suddenly change a little, or their body language shift suddenly. The shows that this topic is very important to the person, but they have no clue that it's important to them. So if you're smart as Johnny, you'll be like, listen, I'll answer your question. How my day is going. But wait a minute. Why were you in the hospital? What you did is you found a point called a hook in the topic, and then it transitioned into a brand new topic. If you can consistently keep on doing this, then you will never run out of conversation material because people are routinely presenting hooks. Another example can be a person who has consistently under appreciated at work. And for this individual, he doesn't get much of a pat on the back. Things we should be extremely important for this person is not even noticed by him. Example, his recent promotion. So he's talking to you and he says, Yes, so I got a recent promotion recently. And one of the projects that I'm working on is weight. You feel that surge in your body. You here, not too much of a difference in this person's voice, but still, you pick up the subject matter. And before he goes off talking about his project, you ask about the promotion. And by asking about the promotion, you're bringing awareness to what this person did. You're giving this person praise. And this is making the other person feel good as well. And he or she is associating that positive emotion back to you. With hooks. The conversation material becomes infinite. All you have to do is keep being curious regarding the other person and feeling the sensations in your body. Every now and then, you think you've got the right hook. But the other person isn't that engaged in the topic? Completely fine. Even shooting incorrectly at a certain hook will help you build your database for the next time. And the time after that. Hooks make conversation material infinite. 6. Bad Conversations: So compensation is an exchange of ideas. There's contribution, there's questions, there's hooks. You could be doing all of this. You could be extremely curious regarding the other person. But every now and then you're going to face someone who does not want to have a conversation back with you. You're putting in all this effort. But this other person is putting in 0 effort. In a situation like this, what you do next is completely up to you. You could use this as an opportunity to work your creativity just a little bit more. Try to breed this conversation back into life. Or you can just flat out ignored the person. Or you could just gently excuse yourself and go to another conversation, multiple different opportunities. And in this situation, I cannot be like, Hey, do this, this, and this. Because a big part of conversation skills is that it requires creativity and requires judgment. But what you can do as a beginner communicator is to spot and be more aware of different body language cues. If you see a certain person that you're speaking to is not asking you questions back or is not contributing. But you notice that they keep touching their neck, they keep shuffling. They seem pretty nervous. Then you can spot that this person may be going through shyness or social anxiety. So you could use this as an opportunity to flex your contribution muscle. You're questioning muscle and your hook muscle. Once you get this person speaking a little bit, who knows, you may get a certain hook that gets this person talking and talking and talking. It's all because you didn't quit once you were able to spot that this person was shy or socially anxious. Other times, you keep trying and trying and trying, and this person is very rude back to you. Rather than being rude back, you can gently excuse yourself. What I'm trying to help you understand is that even with a bad conversation, either you could turn it into a good conversation or you could use this as an opportunity to build your thick skin muscle. The thicker the skin, the less distress. So prime your mind to create when, when, when scenarios. 7. Bonus Tip: Start Conversations: One of the bonus tips is to start the conversation. It's one thing. If someone comes up to you and starts creating the conversation and what you're doing is you're contributing back. It's a completely different ballgame when you are the first one to strike the conversation. And the initial stages, this is going to feel a little weird, mainly because you're creating an opportunity for yourself to potentially get rejected. And you may be taking opportunity. How is this possibly an opportunity if I'm going to get rejected? Because here's the thing. A lot of the times other people are waiting for you to start the conversation with them. So you think they're going to reject you, but they're actually not. And other times, yes, they are going to reject you. They may be having a bad day or they may just not want to speak with you. It's never that personal. And the reason that this becomes an opportunity is because over time, you start to become much more fearless. And each time that you're becoming more fearless in terms of social interactions, each time you sort of have more and more courage to strike up future conversations. You hop in the Uber ride. You are the one striking up a conversation. You have a new employee at work. You are the one introducing yourself to this individual. Your manager's manager's manager is having a bad day and everyone is too scared to interact with them. It is you that is striking up a conversation. So the more that you practice, the more that you're going to get better with time. Now here's the thing. The reason that this is a bonus tip is because only a few people watching this class is actually going to apply it. And I truly do hope that you are one of the rare few. 8. Practice!: Hopefully throughout this class, you've been able to learn that conversation skills aren't something that is just hopefully throughout this class. Hopefully, hopefully throughout this class, you'll learn that conversation skills are in something. Hopefully. Hopefully throughout this class, you learned that conversation skills aren't simply something that you wink. Instead, there are certain skill sets, certain frameworks that you can follow. We discussed that a conversation is simply an exchange of ideas. We understood that the value of a conversation happens when we're extremely curious regarding the other person. We were able to spot that there are certain variables that we can spot in virtually every single conversation, which comes down to questions, contributions, and hooks. And most importantly, we have to understand that this is a skill set. And the skill set is something that we need to consistently keep practicing. So once this class is done, you want to make sure that you don't think that you automatically have become this conversation wizard. Just because you went through a certain class, you want to make the effort to consistently keep on practicing. No matter how small it is, a small interaction today can influence your future 10 years from now. Practice, practice, practice. 9. Final Project: Now it's time for the class project. What I want you to do is find a stranger, spark up a conversation with them. Soon as you open the conversation, I want you to envision that this is the most interesting person on the planet. Immediately that is going to engage your curiosity. Now once you have curiosity, you're going to have better questions to ask this individual. And this person hopefully is contributing back. If this person is not contributing back and is giving you the stink guy, either try to breathe life into the conversation or gently leave. But if you do leave, I want you to start the conversation with someone else. Once you find a conversation that is going on for some time, I want you to keep on asking questions, contributing, and spotting different hooks. Ensure that this conversation goes on for at least ten minutes. Once you are done, gently live. And what I want you to do is I want you to describe your experience in the class project section right below. It only needs to be a paragraph, but allow others to feel inspired by your ability to take action. If you enjoyed today's class and you've learned a thing or two, you could follow me for my future works on Armani talks are com, this has all my logs, my YouTube videos, my books, my podcasts, and much more. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for joining this course.