You might be a kind, sweet, and personable individual, but sometimes you need to step up your game in order to make the best impression on people. And whether you have social anxiety or not, being able to hold an engaging conversation is a skill that can't hurt.
Let's go through some of the most important conversation skills that will help you avoid being boring or distracted in social settings.
Make eye contact
Don't look around the room unless it is natural for your eyes to wander there.
Gesture with your hands when appropriate
If not doing so could signal nervousness or disinterest.
Use voice inflection if giving a speech or telling a story
Your voice should garner attention and keep it.
Don't make jokes too often
Especially not ones you have overused in the past; keep the conversation serious in order to retain people's attention. If anything makes someone uncomfortable do not joke about that with them.
Ask questions about people's experiences and viewpoints
Your willingness to listen will make others feel comfortable around you.
Listen to others
Especially when stating agreements or disagreements; be considerate by not picking up where the conversation has left off.
Don't interrupt people
Don't speak over them, and allow them to finish speaking before you reply with your own thoughts on a topic.
These are all simple things to remember, but none too difficult to grasp if you're just careful about what you say and do from now on. If you're practicing these things now, it will be much easier the next time you have to speak with someone new. And even if you write a lot or watch TV a lot, remember that speaking is key for having a successful conversation.