How to Start and Maintain a Witty Conversation


Everyone loves a witty conversationalist. People enjoy talking to someone who not only amuses and enlivens conversations but also makes other people feel witty. Using intelligent speech can also be useful in flirting. Not everyone is born with this kind of talent, so here are some ways for you to ensure you impress people with how you talk.

1) Be a good listener. Pay attention to what others are saying or to the topic of the conversation and let others know that you are listening by paraphrasing what is being talked about. This gesture shows that you consider other people’s ideas and not just your own.

To strike a witty conversation, however, instead of simply paraphrasing what was just said, try to be creative and look for a comparison. It would be better if it’s something that you and the other person or the rest of the group are familiar with. With this approach, you exhibit an impression that you are well-versed with the topic at hand because of the comparison you just did. More comparisons will mean a wittier you.

2) Using creative and vivid exaggeration is another strategy you can use. This is great for establishing wit, aside from opening doors to a lot of discussion. For example, a friend is telling a story about his cross-eyed teacher in middle school. Your response can be something like, “Wow, I’d bet she’s so cross-eyed that tears run down her back when she cries!”

3) Puns can also add to the wittiness of your conversations. Grab a word or phrase that someone just used and then use it differently while ensuring that it still has something to do with the ongoing conversation. To demonstrate an example, let’s continue the conversation from the previous tip using the “…tears run down her back” line. Assuming that there’s a stethoscope lying around that you can use as props, you can use it to pretend to be a doctor and say, “Clearly a case of bacteria!”

If nobody reacts and you end up saying, “Get it? Back-tear-ia?” then something’s wrong with how you delivered the line.

Remember that the context has to be clear when you are using puns. If the topic of the conversation isn’t medically related, then it will not sound witty and will just be a random response.

If you think puns are your weakness, you can try reading Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde. You can also watch the TV show M*A*S*H. The show provides good examples of witty puns and tips on how not to overuse puns. Satirical programs like Mock the Week can also be helpful. You can get tips from the masters such as Hugh Denis, Frankie Boyle and Dara O'Brian.


4) Metaphors can also be utilized. For example, someone suddenly says “It’s 6 o’ clock!” You can respond with, “Thanks to Big Ben!” (Note that Big Ben is the nickname of a big bell clock found in London). This specific example is a sarcastic one and that by saying thank you does not mean you are thankful at all. A better example would be to mention your son’s messy room and how a recent hurricane, say Hurricane Bob, was responsible for the mess. Metaphors are also great for complimenting or describing your admiration for someone.

5) Use famous lines or quotes from a book, movie or significant figure. A more ambiguous statement will make you sound wittier but it might confuse the other person if they do not know what you are talking about. For example, someone says, “I’ll try” and you respond with, “Do or do not; there is no try”, you would know they got it if you get, “The force is strong in you” as a response.

6) Respond quickly and casually, as if what you just said is something that you use in a normal conversation. Creative ideas and comparisons is one thing; delivering them quickly is another. A casual tone will also make you look more convincing. You can also add a mischievous smile and a raised eyebrow for a playful touch. 

7) Think quickly and anticipate how the conversation will go. If you’ve already prepared a response but the conversation took an unexpected turn, be ready with a back up statement. This is why it is very important to go back to the first tip which is pay attention to what’s going on in the conversation. This way, you won’t get left behind and your response will make sense no matter what happens.



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