Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Do people yawn, look at their watch or pretend to use their cellphone when you’re around? Well here are 5 ways you can be more interesting!
To be interesting is to be sensitive to the interests of others. You could choose to be boring and say only what needs to be said to get your message across – an inconsiderate approach that will leave other people cold. Instead, by offering a bit more, you can truly engage your audience.
You can make almost every tedious message or dry conversation more interesting, when you know how. As the old saying goes, it’s not what you say but the way you say it. I share 5 ways that you can embellish your conversation. I make a special effort to use them all the time and not only do I find that people engage into conversation more, but I also enjoy it too.
- Use more colourful adjectives (describing words). A river can be a winding river; a fast-moving river; a dangerous river; etc This adds richness to the picture that forms in the heads of listeners, and also can prompt interesting questions: why was it a dangerous river? The more powerful the image that you create when you talk, the more engaged listeners will be. A dog could be a shaggy dog. A table could be a rickety old table. A story could be a meandering story. Adjectives that are subjective (i.e. based on your own opinions, taste or experience) can be even more interesting, because they could lead to further debate. What an elegant vase! You think so? I wouldn’t pay the asking price.
- Ask an open question after a making statement. We are going to Africa in October… have you been to Africa? A question opens up the conversation and allows other people to actively engage in it. An open question is more interesting than an isolated statement. Why do you think that happened? What would you have done? Have you tried it? Did you hear that too? What do you think? After any statement you make, there are many open questions you could choose from – perhaps the easiest and most effective to use is that last one – what do you think?
- Add in some gossip. Not quite the same as ‘gossiping’ – you could embellish what you’re saying with a suggestion of intrigue by mentioning what somebody else has said, or might have said, or has done, or might have done. The human interest angle adds curiosity. Don’t make it personal or offensive! I have been booked onto that training course in January – there were places left but John said he couldn’t get on that course. Wonder why? This kind of gossip can be harmless.
- Speculate. To add more interest into your conversation, try making an informed guess about something. Sales are down this month – I think it’s due to the unseasonal weather. Speculation is a guess – a punt. You could be right, you might be wrong. Who cares? It gives you something interesting to develop a conversation about. Why do you think it was due to the weather? I hadn’t thought of that but you may be on to something. Speculation in this sense does no harm at all.
- Disagree. It’s OK to disagree – alternative opinions or views do no damage unless they’re deliberately worded as to provoke a dispute. The weather doesn’t affect sales, rather I think that our pricing is too high. A disagreement doesn’t have to be considered negative, if it adds to the richness of the debate. It might even start a debate where there wasn’t one before. But don’t disagree for the sake of it – this can look small-minded and petty and end up in an unnecessary fight.
How do you make yourself interesting?
Do you have more strategies to be interesting? Please share your insightful thoughts by leaving an interesting comment below, or you could start a lively debate in the forums!