Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Becoming a Talk Target

Have you ever been around a "talk target"?  They are the people you see in public and you are drawn to their warmth and friendliness. They are the ones that draw you in a conversation and make you feel at home.  They make talking comfortable and fun!

I am in no way a "talk target".  By nature I am shy and quiet and generally try to stay back until drawn into a group.  But, since there are so many opportunities to show kindness and care through every day life, I felt I needed to brush up on my conversation skills.  Here are some tips to help engage others in conversation and be a "talk target".

What do Talk Targets do to make others feel comfortable and encourage conversation? Here is a partial list:
•Take the first step and initiate. Say hello.
•Listen to introductions. Good listening requires practice and sometimes silence.
•Maintain eye contact and smile.
•Use humor appropriately to lighten conversation.
•Consider what is said and address it. Let the situation set the agenda.
•Be well-read and familiar with current events.
•Have a broad range of topics of interest.
•Encourage others to contribute.
•Volley the conversation by answering questions with a comment and a "return question."
•Learn about the perspectives and background of other parties.
•Converse with an aura of authority and expertise.
•Ask the opinions of others.
•Tell interesting stories.
•Be open to change and exchange.
•Be enthusiastic.
•Use others' names in conversation.
•Refrain from monopolizing conversation.
•Use varied tones, inflections, and pacing.
•Pay attention to what has been said, and respond accordingly.
•Put people at ease with friendliness.
•Open up the circle of conversation by physically stepping back and allowing people to join.

We all do these things, but we can be conscious of doing more of them to be on our best behaviors as confident conversationalists --- and inspire others to do the same. That will make us Talk Targets in any group.

Read Talk Targets - Becoming A Magnet for the full article.


  1. Great reminders! Very timely for me, too, as I will be attending a conference this weekend with almost 200 attendees. A lot of these will be useful. Thanks!

  2. This was great! I find I'm least successful at small talk when I most self-focussed. When I switch gears and look OUT, talk flows more easily. :~D

  3. This is something that I definitely struggle with but sincerely do want to work on...these are great tips. Thanks!

  4. I linked to this post today. Really enjoyed it! ღ


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