How to Keep A Conversation Going? | Complete Guide

With digital communication and rapid message exchanges taking over, having a meaningful conversation remains a timeless skill. Whether you’re closing a deal in sales, forging new friendships, or navigating the online world, the power of a good chat can’t be underestimated. Learning how to keep a conversation going is an essential skill that can help you build rapport, network effectively, and leave a lasting positive impression.

This guide will help you overcome the awkward silence and become a conversation pro. Learn how to connect with anyone, online or offline, and turn small talk into something special.

So, let’s get started.

Importance of conversation in sales

Conversation is absolutely crucial to success in sales. It’s not just about giving a pitch and hoping it lands – it’s about building a connection and understanding the customer’s needs.

  • Know customer’s needs: Talk to truly understand your customers’ problems and tailor your pitch.
  • Build trust: Connect and show you care about their situation, not just a sale.
  • Present value: Explain how your product solves the specific problems they mentioned.
  • Close the deal: Use conversation to gauge interest and guide the customer towards a purchase.

In short, good conversation builds trust, reveals needs, and lets you present solutions that resonate with the customer.

Now comes the real question.

What makes a good conversation?

A good conversation requires give-and-take, connection, and a willingness to move with the flow. Here are some key elements that make it all come together:

what is a good conversation
  • Active listening: This is more than just waiting for your turn to talk. It’s about truly paying attention, asking clarifying questions, and showing genuine interest in what the other person is saying.
  • Balance: A good conversation is a two-way street. There should be a balance between speaking and listening, ensuring both participants feel heard and valued.
  • Engagement: Great conversations are sparked by curiosity and a desire to learn more. Ask open-ended questions that go beyond yes/no answers, and share your own thoughts and experiences in a relatable way.
  • Mutual respect: It’s about creating a safe space where everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves, even if there are disagreements. Be open-minded and acknowledge different perspectives.
  • Flow: Conversations that flow naturally are a joy. Pick up on cues and build on what the other person is saying. If the topic shifts organically, be flexible and go with it.
  • Energy: Enthusiasm is contagious! Show genuine interest in the conversation, and your partner will likely reciprocate, creating a positive and engaging dynamic.
  • Active intention: If your intention sucks, people will not bother keeping any conversation going with you.

Overall, a good conversation isn’t just about exchanging information, it’s about building connections and fostering a sense of enjoyment. By incorporating these elements, you can turn any conversation into a delightful exchange.

Recommended Read: 170 Professional Conversation Starters For  Every Situation

15 ways to keep a conversation going

Facing someone new and striking up a conversation can feel daunting, but it’s a skill that gets easier with practice. The key is to keep things flowing and engaging for both of you. 

Here are some tips to turn those initial jitters into a smooth and enjoyable conversation. They can be used for both online and offline conversations. 

#1 Open-Ended Question

Instead of “Did you enjoy the movie?” ask, “What specifically resonated with you in the movie?”. This invites them to elaborate on their favorite scenes, characters, or themes.

Instead of “The weather is crazy, right?” try “Why do you think this heatwave is so intense?”. This sparks discussion about climate change, summer plans, or even funny anecdotes about dealing with the heat.

#2 Active Listening 

Hear them out, then say something like “So you’re saying you finally mastered that baking recipe? That’s fantastic! I’ve been wanting to try it myself, any tips?”. This shows you were paying attention and opens the door for further conversation.

If something is not clear, ask open-ended questions that show interest. “You mentioned this new hiking trail being challenging; what made it difficult?”. This demonstrates you’re engaged and want to understand their experience.

#3 Finding Common Ground

Notice details in their clothing, accessories, or comments. “Hey, that’s a cool [band T-shirt]! I love them too, what’s your favorite album?”. This creates a quick connection based on shared taste.

“We both mentioned loving Italian food,” you say, “Have you tried that new restaurant downtown everyone’s raving about?”. This builds on a common interest and opens the door to discussing new experiences.

#4 Turning Comments into Conversation 

Instead of “Oh, that’s cool” when they mention their trip to France, say “Wow, France is amazing! What city did you visit? Did you try any traditional pastries?”. This shows genuine interest and keeps the conversation flowing.

If they mention disliking a recent movie, ask “What specifically didn’t work for you in the plot?”. This sparks a deeper discussion about movie preferences and genres.

#5 Sharing Like a Conversation 

They mentioned a love for rock climbing, so you respond “That’s interesting! I used to do indoor rock climbing a while back, it’s a great workout. What kind of climbs do you enjoy the most?”. Sharing a relevant anecdote keeps the exchange balanced.

#6 Piggybacking on Their Passion

They mention rock climbing, so ask “What got you into rock climbing in the first place? Is it the challenge or the sense of accomplishment?”. This shows curiosity about their specific interest and can lead to a more engaging conversation.

#7 Segueing Smoothly

Let’s say they talk about their love for rock climbing gyms. You can say “That climbing gym sounds like a great community space. Do you enjoy going to concerts too? There’s a cool band playing at a local venue next week…”. This smoothly transitions to a related topic while keeping the conversation going.

how to keep conversation going on

#8 Acknowledge with Humor

A lighthearted touch can bridge the gap. “Sometimes these conversations take unexpected turns; that’s okay, right? Maybe we can circle back to that later?”. This acknowledges the silence and assures them it’s not a big deal.

If the silence persists, ask a general, open-ended question like “What are you looking forward to this summer?” or “Have you tried any new restaurants lately?” This provides a safe conversational springboard.

#9 Body Language

This projects warmth, confidence, and genuine interest in what they’re saying.

Subtle movements show you’re engaged and actively listening, encouraging them to elaborate.

#10 Ask for Elaboration

Go beyond simple agreements. Instead of a bland “Oh cool,” when they mention their trip to France, delve deeper: “France is amazing! What city did you visit? Did you try any traditional pastries?” These open-ended questions show genuine interest and encourage them to elaborate on their experiences.

#11 Do Your Homework

A little preparation can go a long way. If you know you’ll be meeting someone new, try to find some common ground beforehand. Did they mention a love for rock climbing on social media? Look up interesting facts about climbing or popular climbing gyms in your area. This equips you with conversation starters and shows you took an interest in their world. You can check out “conversation starter” blog for more information. 

#12 Tell a Story

Conversations are a two-way street. They mentioned a love for rock climbing, so share a relevant anecdote: “That’s interesting! I used to do indoor rock climbing a while back, it’s a great workout. What kind of climbs do you enjoy the most?” Sharing a personal story keeps the exchange balanced and shows you’re an active participant.

#13 Give & Ask for Recommendations

People love sharing their passions! If they rave about a new restaurant, ask for their recommendation: “Wow, that new restaurant downtown sounds delicious! What dish did you enjoy the most?”. Reciprocate by offering a recommendation of your own: “Have you tried [recommended restaurant]? Their [recommended dish] is fantastic.” This exchange fosters a sense of connection and keeps the conversation flowing.

#14 Be Confident

Confidence is attractive! Smile, make eye contact, and speak clearly. This projects warmth, approachability, and genuine interest in what they’re saying. People gravitate towards those who exude positive energy.

#15 Be Prepared with Icebreakers

A little preparation can ease the pressure, especially if you’re meeting someone new. Have a few conversation starters in your back pocket – a funny observation about the current situation, a thought-provoking question, or a lighthearted comment about something in your surroundings. This gets the ball rolling and creates a comfortable space for conversation to unfold.

9 ways to keep online conversations going

Online conversations, whether over text messages, social media DMs, or dating apps, require some special attention to keep them flowing. Here are a variety of ways to ensure your online chats stay engaging:

#1 Engaging question

Ditch Yes/No: Skip predictable questions like “What’s up?” Instead, use open-ended prompts that invite elaboration. “What are you passionate about these days?” or “What’s been the highlight of your week?” encourage more interesting responses.

Go “Why” and “How”: Turn simple statements into springboards for discussion. “That new song is catchy!” becomes “Why do you love that new song? What about it resonates with you?”. This sparks a deeper conversation about music tastes.

#2 Active listening

Respond, don’t just react: Don’t just send a thumbs-up emoji after their message. Summarize what they said and add your thoughts. “You mentioned missing your friends, that must be tough. Are there any virtual hangouts planned?” This shows you were paying attention and opens the door for further conversation.

Ask clarifying questions: If something is unclear, ask open-ended questions that show interest. “You mentioned a new project at work, sounds exciting! What kind of project is it?” Demonstrates you’re engaged and want to understand more.

#3 Finding common ground

Look for overlaps in profiles or messages: Notice details in their profile picture, bio, or messages. “Hey, that’s a cool picture from [location]! I’ve always wanted to visit there.” This creates a quick connection based on shared interests.

Expand on shared experiences: “We both love that same band,” you say, “Have you listened to their new album yet?”. This builds on a common interest and opens the door to discussing new experiences.

how to keep conversation going

#4 Comments as conversation starters

Don’t just agree, expand: Instead of a simple “Cool!” when they mention a new hobby, say “That’s interesting! I’ve always been curious about [hobby]. What got you into it?”. This shows genuine interest and keeps the conversation flowing.

Ask for details: If they mention disliking a recent movie, ask “What specifically didn’t work for you in the plot?”. This sparks a deeper discussion about movie preferences and genres.

#5 Sharing is caring

Reciprocity is key: They mentioned a love for cooking, so you respond, “I love to cook too! What’s your favorite dish to make?”. Sharing a relevant anecdote keeps the exchange balanced.

#6 Embrace the GIF or meme

A well-timed visual: A funny GIF or meme relevant to the conversation can add humor and lighten the mood. However, use sparingly and avoid anything overly used or impersonal.

#7 Gently address awkward silences

Acknowledge with Humor: A lighthearted touch can bridge the gap. “Sometimes these online chats take unexpected turns, that’s okay, right?” This acknowledges the silence and assures them it’s not a big deal.

Suggest a Fun Activity: If the silence persists, propose a quick online game or ask if they’d like to see a funny video you came across. This can spark a new thread in the conversation.

#8 Keep it positive and upbeat

People gravitate towards positivity online, just like offline. Avoid negativity or complaining, and focus on lighthearted topics and finding common ground.

#9 Respond in a timely manner

No one likes to be left on read. Try to respond to messages within a reasonable timeframe to show you’re interested and keep the conversation flowing.

By following these tips, you can transform your online conversations from one-sided exchanges to engaging and enjoyable interactions. Remember, online communication is all about connection.

Benefits of having an ongoing communication

Ongoing communication offers a wealth of benefits, both in personal and professional settings. Here’s a breakdown of some key advantages:

Stronger Bonds: Regular chats build closeness, trust, and help avoid misunderstandings.

Teamwork Wins: Communication keeps everyone on the same page, boosts morale, and allows for quicker problem-solving.

Lifelong Learning: Sharing ideas and feedback fosters growth, keeps you informed, and creates new learning opportunities.

Overall Well-being: Open communication reduces stress, combats isolation, and strengthens your support system.

Enhanced Creativity: Open communication allows for brainstorming and the exchange of diverse perspectives, leading to more creative solutions and innovation.

Conflict Prevention: By addressing issues early and openly, ongoing communication can prevent small problems from snowballing into larger conflicts.

Recommended Read: A Complete Guide to Small Talk: Conversation Starter, Meaningful Engagement, and More

Take away: How to keep conversation going?

Conversation is very important in sales, and in many other parts of life too! Just talking at someone isn’t enough. You need to have a back-and-forth conversation to really understand their needs and build a connection. This will help you close the deal and build lasting relationships.

But good conversation skills are important everywhere, not just in sales. Whether you’re chatting with friends online or making new acquaintances, keeping the conversation flowing is key. By following these tips, you can become a conversation pro and connect with anyone!

Here’s an extra tip: Remember, body language is important too! Smile, make eye contact, and listen attentively. This shows the other person you’re interested in what they have to say. With a little practice, you’ll be conversing with confidence in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to keep a conversation going over text?

Ditch yes/no Qs! Ask open-ended questions that invite elaboration.Be an active listener! Respond thoughtfully to their messages and ask follow-up questions.

I always run out of things to say in conversations. Help!

No worries! This guide covers ways to keep conversations flowing. Ask open-ended questions, actively listen, and find common ground. Share your own stories and experiences to make it a two-way street.

How can I make online conversations more engaging?

Skip predictable questions and use engaging prompts. Respond thoughtfully to their messages and ask clarifying questions. Notice details in their profiles to find common interests. Share funny GIFs or memes sparingly to lighten the mood.

What are the benefits of good communication skills?

Strong communication builds trust and strengthens bonds in all aspects of life. It encourages teamwork, boosts problem-solving, and enhances creativity. Open communication can improve your well-being and help avoid conflicts.

how to keep conversation going
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