How to Balance a Professional and Lively Conversation

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By: Zack Pierola, Beta Class

Having the knowledge of how to make lively conversations while remaining professional is an indispensable skill. Face-to-face interactions are going to happen and feeling comfortable while conversing is essential. You might be making small talk with your new supervisor or networking at an event. In both cases, the old-fashion necessities of listening and speaking should be front and transparent. No matter which of these interaction, knowing what to say and how to listen can be a building block to a better career.

Be formal.

Being formal is classy. Start with a handshake and if you’re being introduced to someone stick to using a title (Mr., Ms., etc.) until you are asked to use a different name. Most importantly, if you are introduced to someone and you are given his or her name, don’t for get it. While the conversation progresses, stay classy and formal and try to avoid any of your bad habits show. For instances, don’t chew gum while having a conversation, speaking in the middle of a big bite, or looking at your phone while someone is talking to you.

When the conversation is coming to the end, a handshake is appropriate to signify the ending of the conversation while acknowledging their name or the name of the company they work for, also, an exchange of business cards would be acceptable if the interaction calls for it

Don’t talk too much

When you are having a conversation with your with a good friend, it flows well and you don’t have to think about what to say next. This should be the same while having a quality professional interaction; it needs to flow well to stay healthy.

Things to avoid would be talking too much. Some of us like to speak… a lot, which is good when we are social but to someone who doesn’t know you well, this can be off-putting for a professional situation. Another thing to avoid would be dominating a situation or someone who does this without realizing it. Neither of these are appealing and should be avoided at all cost.

The same way you would treat your conversation partner, make sure you use the same respect with everyone else in his or her company the same way. Equal respect across the board makes your sincerity shine.

All of these things can help to keep a professional conversation. You can keep things interesting by encouraging chatter, keeping your answers concise and knowing how to listen. If you stay polite and formal in your interactions, you’ll be on your way to carrying on a professional conversation. Stay sharp and stay positive and your next conversation will be prosperous.

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