When we speak, there are situations in which we need to be serious, and there are those that are meant to be “lighter”. Lightening a conversation means that you make the conversation fun. If you feel that you have difficulty “lightening up”, try some of the following suggestions:
1. Be yourself. At work, your demeanor, attitude, dress, and style of speaking present you in a certain way to others. This is the “business” you, where you may be required to be more serious. At a social gathering or party, you may dress more casually, speak more informally, and have a generally more relaxed demeanor. Don’t be afraid to let the “real you” show. Enjoy yourself.
2. Smile and laugh often. Greet people with a smile. Laugh when someone tells a joke. When you smile and laugh, you show people that you are having a good time. If you smile very infrequently, it may give the impression that you are not enjoying yourself, that you don’t like the people you are with, that you are very reserved, or that you are upset.
3. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. When you can tell others embarrassing or silly things that have happened to you and you can laugh about them, it makes others get to know the more human side of you. We all make mistakes! Being able to laugh at ourselves means that we do not take ourselves so seriously that we can't acknowledge our mistakes. Others will laugh with you and feel more comfortable telling you about themselves, thus forming a bond.
4. Tell a joke. Try telling a joke or make a funny comment once in a while. This is a great way to lighten a conversation.
5. Be an active listener when someone is telling a funny story. Make a comment, such as “that’s so funny!” , or "I can't believe you did that!" and smile or laugh with them. You can also tell a story about yourself that is similar, if you have one.
6. Try to avoid talking about work. When you are at a party, try not to talk about work, unless it is to relate something funny that happened. Discussing problems at work, upcoming projects, for example, are not considered light conversation and tends to be a serious topic.
7. Tell something funny that your kids said or did. Talking about family is always a great topic of conversation and is easy to talk about. We all have great stories to tell about our kids, especially if our kids are very young.