A great conversationalist is not born. He or she is made. I know that for a fact as I used to really struggle to join in a conversation except with people I knew very well. There are some easy steps to take to improve your conversation skills but it is something you need to work at. You just have to practice as often as so you can by walking up to people and at the same time enabling them to also talk to you.

Smile. When people see that you are happy, this sends a message to them that you are approachable and friendly. Chances are, they will even smile back and that could already be the beginning of the conversation.

Be honest and not tactless. There are different ways of driving a point; you have to find the right words to say without offending the other person. If you have nothing nice to say, better not say anything and move on to another topic.

Listen and give your full attention. A master conversationalist is more of a listener than a talker. Give the other party time to respond; encourage them to also ask questions or express their opinions.

The previous step can only work by showing interest about the other person and their interests. Studies show that showing importance to the other person will make it easier for you to strike a conversation rather than just talking about yourself.

When you are talking with someone, always address them by their first name. This is a sign that you show importance to who they are, which also strengthens that friendship.

In a conversation, you shouldn’t complain, condemn or criticise; but rather, point out what you didn’t like in a gentle manner. Try to look at the things they have done correctly and acknowledge them.

Combine your conversations with food! Did you know that talking over food helps to facilitate conversation? It is no wonder that most formal networking organisations meet at meal times, especially breakfast or lunch.

No matter how good you are at present, you too can be come a great networking conversationalist. So, smile, show some respect and interest to whoever you are talking to and you will be just fine.