It is a common problem; you are at a party or maybe some sort of formal or informal gathering, and you do not know what to say. People chat and carry on all manner of conversations; yet you seem to be left on the and are little more than an audience to others.

Well, there are some ways to get over that issue and get to play a part in the conversation. If it is a dinner you are in, there is always the old joke of just asking people to pass you things. Of course, that is not much of a conversation. So, you need to explore other means.

First off, you do not want to be interrupting a person when they are speaking. So, you have to watch and wait patiently for a pause, a lull in the conversation; and then jump in. It mightsound like some sort of battle plan, but in the art of speaking, you almost do have to treat it as such.

Now, then there is that issue of being stuck for words. What happens if you are essentially all talked out; if you truly have nothing to say? Well, step one is to step back and take a little breather. Clear you mind, and collect your ideas. After all, if you have been speaking on a subject for quite some time, you might have nothing more to add to the conversation. Do not feel like you always have to speak on everything.

Next, pay attention to what is being said. At some point, the subject of the conversation will move on to something else. Now, that may occur due to the actions of others, or you can do it. The secret to that is to pay attention to what is being said, and look for an opportunity to steer it into an area where you have something to say. Now, this can be tricky. On the one hand, you do not want to take the subject of the conversation away from someone when they are in the middle of making a point. On the other hand, if you see that the conversation is waning a bit; then this can be your chance to revitalize it by moving on to another subject.

Then there is the general climate of the day. You can always connect with a conversation if you stay up to date on current events. So, watch the news, read the paper, and make note of the major events of the world. That way, when someone asks about the Presidential campaign or Global Warming or some other pressing concern of the day, you can offer an opinion. Without that, you will have to continue to stand on the sidelines and just listen.

Another excellent means of getting back into the general scope of a conversation is by using a few simple questions. When given the opportunity, ask the speaker something. Not only will this keep you "in the loop", so to speak, but the speaker will feel good about the fact that you are interested in them. It’s important that you don’t appear mean-spirited accusatory. Just be calm, ask a few things about the subject, and that will help to keep you connected to the conversation.

Along with the art of asking questions is the art of listening properly. By paying close attention to what is said,your subsequent questions will make sense, and you will also get information from the speaker that can give you ideas as to what you can say to be part of the conversation.

Author's Bio: 

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: communication skills