Being chatty is natural for some people, especially those with extroverted personalities. However, it is the exact opposite for many introverts.
Unfortunately, many shy and reserved people may let opportunities slip through their hands because they can’t strike up and keep a conversation going.
Fortunately, how to be more talkative and conversational isn’t rocket science. Anyone can do it if they put their minds to it. In fact, a romantic relationship between extroverts and introverts can be enjoyable if both parties learn a few tips and tricks.
In this article, I’ll share a few ways to be more talkative, and it all starts with adopting the right mindset.
Adopt the Right Mindset
First, it is important to clarify that there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert.
The world would be boring if everyone were the same, don’t you think? Our personality traits shape us differently, making our interpersonal relationships more interesting.
Here’s my point.
Approach the changes you want to see in yourself with a mindset that says, “I want to add more positive qualities to my personality.”
This mindset allows you to be more confident in implementing changes in your life.
On the other hand, you’re less likely to make meaningful progress in your quest for change if you already feel bad about your introversion or assume that you are “less-than” because you are not an extrovert.
That’s because your frustration will easily concede defeat when you make mistakes.
Introverts who feel bad and rush into learning how to be more talkative often beat themselves up when they falter and say things like:
“Oh, what’s the use of trying to be more talkative anyway? I’m a shy, tongue-tied, timid fellow! I should’ve known that this won’t work. Who was I kidding?”
Becoming more conversational isn’t a smooth ride for the typical introvert. It is okay to feel completely awkward and even a little scared sometimes.
I should mention that even extroverts may have social anxiety sometimes, so it is okay to have butterflies in your stomach now and again when you step out of your comfort zone to strike up a conversation with complete strangers.
One of the things you can do to help you develop great conversational skills is to focus on the benefits of being a more talkative person. This will help you shift your focus from whatever mistakes and potential embarrassments you may face to the opportunities you’ll create for yourself.
Some of the positives that should be top of mind for you include:
- You expand your social network and open yourself up to more opportunities.
- People feel comfortable around you, and you get to know people beyond the surface.
- People see you as an interesting person and not as a snob.
- You are more comfortable meeting new people and making new and awesome friends.
- You have better verbal communication skills and know how to keep things interesting during small talks.
- Your interactions will have fewer awkward silences, and you’ll really enjoy being around people as much as others enjoy being around you.
Once you have the right mindset, you are ready to know how to be a more talkative person.
The five tips below will nudge you in the right direction. However, keep in mind that you won’t magically go from being extremely shy, timid, and reticent to a chatty person overnight just because you read a few tips on a blog post.
You need to practice these suggestions consistently and be patient with yourself, even if you make mistakes because you definitely will!
Like any goal you set out to smash, creating a sense of accomplishment is important to keep you motivated. Continue taking baby steps, and you’ll be proud of yourself before long.
How to Be More Talkative: 5 Effective Tips
1. Let Others Know You’re Friendly
Learning how to be more talkative and conversational starts by paying close attention to how people perceive you.
Are you coming across as friendly or unapproachable to a new person?
Suppose you want to ask for directions. Would you talk to someone wearing a frown or someone with a smile on the street?
Of course, the person with a smile has a more open and welcoming body language, so you’re likely to approach them, even if they are strangers.
Although they didn’t say anything, the person with the smile came across as more welcoming.
Here’s the thing.
You don’t have to about telling people, “I am friendly.” Your body language says it all.
No doubt, you may be an introvert, and that’s absolutely fine, but make sure to demonstrate being accessible with your body language.
Keep your head up and wear a genuine smile in social settings.
Avoid standing behind people or objects, and don’t hold a magazine to your chest. These are signs that you’re hiding and don’t want anyone to approach you.
Also, avoid crossing your arms. Instead, keep your body open with your arms at your sides, as this posture sends a subtle signal that you are approachable.
And remember to maintain eye contact during conversations, no matter how brief the interaction.
2. Be Present to Develop a Genuine Interest in People
Here’s the thing about being talkative: it is an emotional state – you have to be in the mood to express and explore your social nature. It is a way of saying, “I’m ready to interact and connect with others.”
As you may have guessed, it will be difficult to get into this mood or emotional state if you’re not genuinely interested in people.
One of the tricks to getting into a talkative mood is to be present.
Stop being self-conscious about your communication skills, and don’t second-guess yourself, even if it is just temporarily.
Simply let yourself loose and enjoy the opportunity to express yourself verbally.
It will be difficult to pay attention to the person in front of you and keep the conversation going if you are lost in past mistakes, concerned about present embarrassments, or worried about future blunders.
Get out of your head and be present!
Actively listen to the person you are conversing with. Be curious and ask open-ended questions. For example, instead of asking, “Do you like board games?” ask something like, “what’s your favorite game?”
The answer to the first question is either a yes or no, but the second question allows the other person to tell you their favorite game and may even prompt them to tell you why they like it so much.
This is how to connect more with people during conversations. And guess what? People will enjoy being around you if they feel heard and understood when talking with you.
3. Elaborate on Your Response
Many people who wish to be more conversational run with the suggestion to ask open-ended questions and risk turning the interaction into Q&A sessions.
A conversation, particularly in social settings, is not an interview, so don’t focus on asking questions only, whether or not they are open-ended.
Look for opportunities to ask questions to help you know people more and give them room to talk more.
However, don’t shy away from providing answers, too. And when you do, avoid being brief with your answers.
Providing short responses will signal an unwillingness to interact. Instead, go into detail with your responses.
For example, if someone wants to know your hobbies, don’t just say cooking or traveling. That’s not enough information to keep the conversation going, and it can lead to many awkward moments of silence and forced smiles.
Instead, talk about your hobby, how exciting it is, how it makes you feel, and all the interesting things about the hobby. Of course, you should go rambling on and on, but you want to provide a bit more information than a short response.
4. Know the Direction of the Conversation
Here’s a common mistake that many introverts make when trying to strike up a conversation. They start with small talks and get trapped, not knowing how to switch gears into something else.
To transition out of small talks:
- Know exactly where you want the conversation to go before you start.
- Start with small talks if necessary or skip them altogether.
- Lead the conversation.
In other words, don’t start a conversation if you don’t have a purpose for it. The following questions can help you figure out the direction of the conversation.
- What do you want to learn about the other person?
- What do you want to share with them or talk to them about?
- What do you enjoy talking about?
- What topics are you conversant with?
When you figure out where you want the conversation to go, it will be easy to transition from small talks into what you want to talk about.
5. Interact With People as Often as Possible
It is one thing to read all the tips and tricks to improve your conversational skills; it is another to regularly implement what you read.
It will be difficult to see any significant improvement in your verbal communication skills if you don’t look for opportunities to interact with others.
You might be great at having conversations in your head, but it won’t count in the real world if no one actually hears the voice inside your head.
If you’re worried about your delivery, the best way to work on it is to practice regularly.
Start with easy settings. These could be one-on-one interactions if you want a more controlled setting. Or you could join a group conversation if you prefer a more chaotic setting where you can chip in a few words here and there.
Go with what you find more comfortable and work your way up.
While there is nothing wrong with being introverted, you might want to improve your conversational skills if being reserved interferes with your normal day-to-day activities.
If you’re fed up with struggling socially, consider practicing these five tips on how to be more talkative so that you can seize more real opportunities and feel happier.
You might also want to check out this post to learn more tips on how to be more extroverted.