How many times have you read a quotable quote by a famous person and thought, “I wish I could have such great insight”?
One-liners are often meaningful and memorable, but what about the context they were taken from? While it’s great to be remembered for snippets of brilliant conversation, it’s better to be memorable for being a great conversationalist as a whole.
If you’d like to heighten the value of your conversations, here are some tips to consider.
Think Before You Speak
People often have a tendency to blurt out whatever pops into their minds before thinking about the impact it may have on their conversational audience. While flashes of genius may occur occasionally, it’s more likely that a well-thought-out comment will have a greater impact.
Furthermore, when you allow yourself to air your thoughts without consideration to who you’re speaking to or how it may affect them, you can end up saying things you may regret later on, whether it be hurtful comments or simply viewpoints you are not prepared to defend. Instead, take the time during your conversations to carefully consider your remarks. You will find that not only do you become more a memorable speaker, but you won’t have to spend time backpedaling later on comments you didn’t mean.
Know Your Audience
What do you think would be more memorable to a stay-at-home parent – a talk about healthy cooking and recipes for families on a budget or a discussion on the facts and fiction of high-fructose corn syrup? While both topics may contain beneficial knowledge, the former is more likely to keep a parent’s attention and interest because it relates more directly to things a parent may be experiencing.
The point is, to be memorable, you must know who you’re talking to and what will stay with them after the conversation is finished. Whether you are giving an informal lecture to a group of college students or meeting for coffee with your neighbor, being memorable in conversation is all about relating to your audience and talking about things that are of importance to them.
Contrary to what you may think, memorable conversations do not have to be one-sided. If your conversations become more like soliloquies, the person or people you are speaking to are more likely to tune you out. Great discussions require an even (or close to it) share of the speaking time. That means you need to listen as much as you talk.
When you feel strongly about a subject, it may be hard to take the time to hear what another person is saying, but doing so will allow you to analyze their point of view and respond accordingly, rather than having a one-track mind. If your partner in conversation feels like you acknowledge and understand his perspective, he is also more likely to attribute value to your statements.
Last but most certainly not least, you absolutely have to be sincere about your topics of conversation in order to be memorable. People are perceptive, and they will know if you are faking it. Conversely, however, they will also know if you are truly passionate and genuine in what you are saying. Everyone appreciates earnest conversation, and they will be more likely to let what you are saying sink in and affect them if they believe you mean it.
Becoming a memorable conversationalist is not difficult, but it does take thought and consideration. Always think about the impact of your statements before they come out of your mouth, and try to know what matters to your listeners so that you can converse about topics that relate to their interests.
Furthermore, be a listener yourself. Don’t allow your knowledge on a subject or fervent feelings about it to overshadow the thoughts and opinions of others. And lastly, always be sincere when you speak. Try these tips and you never know – you just may find your words of wisdom next to those of Eleanor Roosevelt or Albert Einstein on Bartleby.com!