Most people think that being interesting is something you’re born with. They think it’s a gift that you either have or you don’t.
I don’t think that’s true.
I think being interesting is a skill that anyone can develop with a bit of effort. In fact, I’ve seen a lot of guys go from being shy and boring to being fun, captivating and interesting guys in just a few months by putting some effort into it.
With that in mind, here are 5 secrets to being more interesting and making great conversation that you can use right away.
Boring people tend to think that certain topics are interesting, and other topics are boring. They worry that they “don’t have anything interesting to talk about”. But the reality is that you can make any topic boring or interesting if you present it the right way.
For example, travelling is usually a pretty interesting topic. But that doesn’t prevent some people from boring their friends to death with travel stories. Bad delivery can suck the life out of the most interesting topic.
On the other hand, watch David Attenborough talk about grass. It’s probably the most boring subjest in the world, but his passion and delivery keeps you engaged.
The conclusion? Being interesting is not about the topics you pick, it’s about the way you engage your audience.
How do you engage your audience? First, you need to use emotions.
Honestly, it makes me sad when I see someone take a great story and ruin it by stripping the emotion out of it.
Imagine you went skydiving and were telling your friends about it. Do you think people would be interested in knowing how much you paid, what kind of plane you were in, how high your altitude was? Or do you think they want to know about how it felt, how terrified you were, and how you were briefly angry at your friends for getting you into that situation in the first place.
The best stories are an emotional rollercoaster that has just enough detail to let the action take place.
When you tell a story, it’s absolutely crucial that you start at the beginning. And by beginning, I mean you need to start when the action starts.
A lot of people start their stories way before the beginning. Sometimes you feel like they are telling you the entire story of their life leading up to that story.
When you give too much backstory, you bore people and waste their time.
To create suspense, tease people a little bit with what they are going to get from your conversation, but don’t give away all the goods. This will make them pay attention to the end.
Starting your story by teasing the ending is a great way to do this. For example, opening with: “This is the story of how I was nearly eaten by a bear”, creates suspense that will keep your audience’s attention for a while.
The final part of being an interesting person is knowing when to shut up. Make sure to wrap up your story at the right time – usually right after the high point of the story.
As they say: brevity is the soul of wit.