For a good number of people, striking up conversations with others is not easy. It is not uncommon to find someone in a room full of people looking out of place, lacking in the art of conversation. If you are such a person, there’s no need to fret. Though not everyone is gifted with exemplary conversation skills, anyone can develop it. Here, some techniques which can assist you in building up good conversational skills:

* Stop worrying about how others see you. Once you start, you will become nervous and self-conscious, making you feel more pressured to start talking. Calm down. Collect your thoughts. Self-confidence is an essential factor when it comes to expressing your thoughts articulately to others.

* Use your sense of humor. People are generally attracted to witty individuals, and this may be your first step in making conversation. But don’t overdo it. Learn how to be tasteful with your jokes. Being the life of the party does not give you the right to be offensive. It doesn’t also mean that you have to be a clown in the process.

* A conversation goes two ways: Don’t just talk, listen as well. Be conscious of when you should speak and when you should keep quiet. It is also important that you give your full attention to the person you are talking to. Do not allow your mind to wander off or start thinking of what you will say next. If you don’t listen, you can’t come up with a relevant response.

* Avoid talking about yourself too much. Being self-absorbed can discourage people from speaking to you. Be as interested about the other person as well. That way, you can enjoy discussing different topics and analyzing different points of view.

* Maintain eye contact at all times. Shifty eyes emit negative vibrations. Looking him straight in the eye shows sincerity. Your body language must not send wrong signals either. People can tell if you are an active participant in the dialogue or not quite there. Avoid looking bored. If your interest is not aroused by the person you are speaking to, learn how to politely end the conversation without being offensive.

Being a good conversationalist does not require that you talk too much. It simply means that you are able to express yourself freely to another person and allow him to do the same.