The fear of saying something silly and feeling embarrassed stops many of us from contributing more to discussions at work and when we are relaxing with friends.
And ironically the more we worry about it, the more tense we get and the more likely we are to say something stupid.
Let us a take a look at some remedies:
1. Learn to relax when you feel under pressure.
I often talk about the importance of managing your emotions
This is an essential skill.
There are a wide range of courses and books that you can refer to if you want to learn more about relaxation.
When you feel relaxed it is easier to think on your feet and to be flexible when you need to be.
2. Prepare Yourself
Before a social gathering get ready to have something to talk about.
With the internet on your PC there is no excuse for not becoming well informed about the world. The more knowledge you have the more conversations you can contribute to.
Make a point though of reading up on a variety of subjects otherwise your conversation topics will be limited to what interests you the most. And those topics may not interest your friends as much.
3. Become genuinely interested in other people
One of the big secrets to conversation power is to shut up! We are all a lot more interested in ourselves than in anyone else.
When there is a long silence encourage the other person to talk by asking questions and taking an active interest in the answers.
Take charge of the situation if you want the conversation to continue.
4. Stupid Statements Are Allowed!
If you say something stupid it is not the end of the world. If you try to hide your error then the situation can become chaotic very quickly.
It is far better to just admit that you made a mistake. Also, accept that even smart people say stupid things some times.
As long as you accept that you will make mistakes you have nothing to worry about. Expecting yourself to be perfect is unfair and just sets you up for failure.
All you need to do now is to decide how you will deal with these mistakes when they do happen.
5. Enjoy The Silence!
When there is a long silence in a conversation what normally passes through your mind? Do you judge it as bad? Do you feel under pressure to speak?
The other person has created the silence with you. Why not wait for him to speak first? Take the responsibility off your shoulders. It takes at least two people to have a conversation.
Finally, the reason silence can be uncomfortable is because you become self conscious. You become very aware of your own thoughts and feelings
There is one great way to deal with this. Put your attention on something outside of yourself by paying great attention to the other person and whatever is going on around you in the room.
Become fascinated by what you see and hear and you will forget about your own concerns.
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at: http://www.howtotalkwithconfidence.com/report.htm