When socializing in the real world, many people find it difficult to properly express themselves with doubt and a lack of confidence limiting social interactions. However, the internet provides a more comfortable platform on which to socialize. Being able to talk to people through a computer screen offers a certain level of protection, which increases people’s confidence and allows them to speak more freely online. There are many ways to be social online from using comment forums to social media to video chat. Video chat is one of the most popular ways to socialize online and can be a great way to improve your online social skills. The following 4 tips can help increase your social skills in a matter of minutes:
Make a Great First Impression
Knowing how to make a great first impression is the first step in engaging someone in conversation. If you never get past a simple ‘hello’ with a person, they will never discover how great you are. So, if you connect with someone on video chat try and have a few topics of discussion prepared to ensure the conversation runs smoothly. Steer away from any controversial subjects at the beginning and keep the conversation easy, allowing it to flow naturally. As you practice, starting a conversation will become easier and easier and you will be able to spark a conversation without a moment’s hesitation.
Tell a Great Story
Telling an interesting story or providing an entertaining antidote can really provide a strong connection with your audience. We all know people who ramble on for hours when telling a story, starting from a point which has little significance and recounting every minor detail. The trick to telling a great story is to capture people’s interest at the very beginning. Start by saying why the story is important and try to use vivid words throughout. Keep the story short and simple with a bit of humor if at all possible. You can post the story to a forum or on social media and gauge the reaction before trying it out in real time on video chat.
Be a Good Listener
Being a great listener is actually much harder than it sounds. A lot of people will simply talk about anything to fill a short silence and actually not give the other person a chance to talk. Remember, if you’re the only one talking then it isn’t a conversation and you may as well be talking to yourself. Social skills are all about knowing when to talk and when to listen. If you feel the person you’re chatting with is a bit shy offer them encouragement by changing the subject to something which interests them.
Make Eye Contact
Obviously this only applies to socializing on webcam, however, eye contact is one of the most important pieces of body language. If you are looking away from the screen or at something in the background when chatting on webcam, the other person is going to think you aren’t interested in what they have to say. On the other hand, starting at your webcam lens will come across as creepy. A good rule of thumb is to match what the other person is doing – if they are making eye contact then you do too, if they are looking away then look away too.