Oddly enough, if you want to communicate effectively, you first have to be a good listener. It’s essential to pay attention when someone else is talking so that you can respond to the other person and keep the conversation going.
• If you’re making polite conversation with someone you don’t know well, try to draw them out by asking about their interests.
• Don’t just take over the conversation, or you’ll come across as a dominant bore.
• If you ask someone a question, don’t jump in with another question before you’ve heard the answer to the first one.
• Don’t cut someone off in the middle of what they’re saying – even if it is boring!
• When it’s your turn to speak, provide enough information to get your point across, but don’t ramble on.
• If you want to get through to people, don’t use words they won’t know, or long, drawn-out sentences. It’s far better to keep it simple.
• There’s nothing worse than talking over people: it’s very irritating, and no one likes it.
Source: Ken Patterson, OUP