23 tips for a safe conversation (with examples) (2023)

23 tips for a safe conversation (with examples) (1)

VonDavid Morin&Viktor Sander| Last updated: February 12, 2021

This will keep you confident and relaxed when conversing with new people.

1. Speak slower

Notice how fast you speak compared to others.

Speaking faster than others may indicate nervousness or fear of taking up space in a conversation.

Speaking a little slower, on the other hand, gives you more time to formulate your thoughts and signals confidence.

Make sure you're not speaking much slower than the person you're speaking to.

2. Accept your nervousness instead of trying to fight it.

To be more confident when talking to someone, remember that nervousness is something that all people deal with.

Even confident people are nervous. Only, despite their nervousness, they still talk to the people they want to talk to.

Accept that the feeling is there and act anyway. Nervousness is not dangerous. That way, it's no different than feeling hungry or excited, for example.

Knowing that being nervous isn't dangerous makes us "less afraid of being afraid." Ironically, this makes us less nervous over time.

3. Knowing that others don't see you the way you see yourself

You see yourself through your whole story."I am nervous". "I'm bad at X."The people you speak to have no idea what your story is.

Studies show that we feel like we stand out in social situations when we really don't.[1] Other studies show that we think people know how we feel when they don't.[2,3] Remember that the people you talk to probably see you in a more positive light than they do themselves.

4. Focus on the topic to be more authentic and charismatic

Refocus on the conversation when it's over in your head.

Someone:"I work as a consultant for a media company"

The mind of a nervous person:Uh oh, sounds fancy, and I'm still learning. I wonder what he will think of me, is my posture weird? What should I answer!? etc

Instead, focus on what he said and be curious about it.

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Your mind when you focus on the topic:I wonder what it's like to be a consultant. What media company? What made you go into the media? Is your passion creativity or your favorite thing about media?

(This is an example of what can happen in your head. You shouldn't ask all of these questions.)

You will be more present, so your facial expressions will be more direct and authentic. You have more options to continue the conversation.

Practice your inquisitive approach every time you see someone speaking on YouTube, TV, etc. It will help you be more present in real social situations.

5. Use tonal variations to sound relaxed and confident.

Varying your tone indicates that you are relaxed. It can also make you sound more charismatic.

Here's an example where I recorded myself speaking with and without pitch variation:

6. Name your nervousness to make it more familiar and less scary.

Here's a powerful routine therapists teach their clients to help overcome nervousness:

  1. Watch your nervousness. What part of the body is it in? (For example, my nervousness is often a twisting pressure just below my chest.)
  2. Accept that it is there. You can even name it. (My Spinning Pressure is called Bob. Naming him makes him less scary and more familiar.)
  3. Let go of the feeling and get on with what you were about to do. You will find that after a while your feeling will weaken.

7. Take an interest in the other person

Ask honest questions and really try to reach your interlocutor. This shows that you are friendly.

In my personal experience, people are safest when they are caring for others. On the other hand, nervous people tend to be overly self-centered in social situations and are unable to care for others.

8. Look at people's feet and eyes to see if they want to talk to you.

Look in the direction of people's feet and see if you're worried they don't want to talk to you.

If they look at you and point their feet at you and join in the conversation, you can be sure that they want to keep talking.

If he takes his feet off you or looks away and stops engaging in the conversation, it's a sign that you want to break up.

There is more hereWays to know if someone wants to talk to you.

9. Feel comfortable opening up and sharing something about yourself.

Alternate between asking about the other person and sharing things about yourself. People prefer a balance between sharing and learning about another person.[4]

Of:How was the visit to Germany?

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She:It was nice but I prefer France.


She:I love the food culture there and how everyone seems so culture conscious.

Of:I understand. I was in Europe many years ago and visited Italy. I was also impressed by the food there.

10. Don't take responsibility for awkward silences

Remember that the other person is trying to say things as much as you are.

They don't wait for you to take responsibility or think you're clumsy. They might even think you're waiting for them to have something smart to say. Knowing this can help relieve the pressure.

11. Get comfortable with silence

Don't try to fill in all the blanks. Confident people can be silent from time to time.

Keep calm and don't stress yourself if you're thinking about saying something. If you show calmness, the other person will feel calm and the silence will not be uncomfortable, but rather relaxing.

12. Go back to previous topics

Feel free to come back to anything you talked about earlier in the conversation.

Amigo:That's why I don't like potatoes.

Of:Ah, okay.

(the grill)

Of:By the way, did you mention that you started writing poetry again?

Another reason a conversation falls silent is that the other person may want to end it.

13. Practice good posture

Lift your chest with your upper back. It lets more air into your lungs, so your voice gets louder. Good posture can also make us more confident.[5]

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It isVideo has helped me permanently improve my posture.

14. Relax your face and show your authentic expression

Make sure to relax your facial muscles and avoid looking angry or tense. Allow your natural facial expression to show. This can make you seem more authentic.

Remember to "open" your face when you find yourself tensing up. Read more hereour guide to relaxation.

15. Use a confident voice

Some who are nervous lower their voices and sound like they are doubting themselves. Use a voice that shows you believe what you say.

If you are not sure about something, it is better to say for sure that you are not sure. With a specific voice:"I'm not sure, but I think..."

16. Speak loudly enough, but not louder than necessary

Speak loud enough to always be heard clearly. However, avoid trying to be "the loudest". This may seem like an attempt to balance the uncertainty.

Here's our guide on how to do ithow to speak louder.

17. Lower your pitch by an octave

Lower your pitch an octave when you speak louder. Most make the mistake of speaking so darkly that they lose their tonal variation.

It's enough to drop an octave or "step" down to sound confident but also natural.

18. Show that you are listening

Show that you are listening carefully. Presence makes you appear more confident. Confident people who are good listeners are often seen as charismatic.

  1. maintain eye contact
  2. nod every now and then
  3. Provide feedback by humming and saying "yes" or "wow" if appropriate
  4. Don't prepare in your head what you're going to say next: be present with what they're saying.

19. Don't smile all the time

Smile when you say hello or goodbye or when something is funny or funny.

Avoid smiling all the time when having a normal conversation. This may seem insincere or edgy.

20. Make eye contact while you speak and look away when you are thinking

Make eye contact when you or someone else is speaking. The exception is when you are walking and talking next to someone.

In normal conversations, we often take short pauses to collect our thoughts. During this time, break eye contact. Otherwise, it may feel too intense.

Maintain eye contact for an extra second when greeting or saying goodbye to people. It signals confidence not to look down or the other way.

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Look for a relaxed and friendly facial expression.

More eye contact makes a comfortable situation more comfortable and an aggressive situation more aggressive. So it's important to show friendship in addition to eye contact.[6]

21. Ask yourself how a confident person would react

Ask yourself what a confident person would do if they made the social mistake you made. Often we find that a confident person wouldn't care.

When we see our mistakes from the perspective of a confident person, we can feel more relaxed in the conversation. We know that mistakes aren't that bad and that it's okay to make small mistakes.

It's better to speak freely and sometimes make mistakes than to always take care of yourself.

22. Knowing that everyone is full of insecurities

Remember that the people you meet are full of insecurities. For example, 8 out of 10 feel uncomfortable being in the spotlight.[7]

They're probably just as worried about what to say or seem nervous as you are. Knowing this can make us feel safer.

23. Practice your conversational skills

Improve your conversational skills to feel more confident that you know what to say. The most important part ofimprove your conversation skillsis to gain more conversational experience. Make an effort to talk to people in your daily life and take initiatives to talk to new people.

Keep reading our guidehow to start a conversationor see our overviewBooks on how to start a conversation.


  1. Gilovich, T., Medvec, VH and Savitsky, K. (2000).The focus effect on social judgement: a self-centered tendency in assessing the importance of one's actions and appearances.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,78(2), 211.
  2. Savitsky, K. and Gilovich, T. (2003).The illusion of transparency and liberation from language anxiety.Journal of Experimental Social Psychology,39(6), 618-625.
  3. Macinnis, Cara and P. Mackinnon, Sean and Macintyre, Peter. (2010).The illusion of transparency and normative beliefs over the fear of public speaking. Current research in social psychology.
  4. Aron, A., Melinat, E., Aron, E.N., Vallone, R.D. und Bator, R.J. (1997).The experimental creation of interpersonal closeness: a procedure and some preliminary results.Personality and Social Psychology Newsletter,23(4), 363-377.
  5. Cuddy, AJ, Schultz, SJ & Fosse, NE (2018).The P-curve from a larger research group on postural feedback shows clear evidence of power pose effects: response to Simmons and Simonsohn (2017).psychological science,29(4), 656-666.
  6. How eye contact brings them together (or separates them). (North Dakota.). Retrieved August 23, 2019 fromhttps://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/neuro-behavioral-betterment/201609/how-eye-contact-brings-you-together-or-pulls-you-apart
  7. Mandala, Eugenia. (2008).shyness and gender. Physical, emotional, cognitive, behavioral consequences, and coping strategies of shyness in women and men of different gender identities.. The new educational magazine. P. 264.

David Morin

23 tips for a safe conversation (with examples) (2)8 years ago I made a commitment to building my social confidence and being great at connecting with people.

Hundreds of books and thousands of interactions later, I'm ready to share what I've learned with the world.
The interest in my findings has exceeded my dreams. We now have 30,000 members attending our courses. You may have seen my articles in magazines like Business Insider and Lifehacker.

follow me on twitterÖContinue reading.

Viktor Sander B.Sc., B.A.

23 tips for a safe conversation (with examples) (3)

Viktor is a communication and relationship expert at SocialSelf.

(Video) Being Safe on the Internet

He holds a B.A. with a specialization in Psychology from the University of Gothenburg and a B.Sc. with a minor in Bioengineering from Chalmers University of Technology

Before joining SocialSelf, he worked as a relationship and dating coach.

read more about himHere.


What is an example of safety conversation? ›

Ways to Begin a Safety Conversation

I'd like to talk to you about something important. Let's review the safest way to do this task, so you and your team are not at risk of getting hurt.” “I respect your experience and want to make sure nobody is injured, so I'd like to work with you to address this issue. “

What are the 7 safety tips? ›

Seven Basic General Industry Safety Rules
  • Keep work areas clean. ...
  • Use the proper tool for the job. ...
  • Always wear the proper PPE for the work task. ...
  • Never work on live equipment. ...
  • Make sure chemicals are properly labeled and stored.
  • Communicate hazards to other personnel. ...
  • Stop work when needed to address hazards.

What is a good safety moment example? ›

Other safety moment examples

Some other great safety moment topics and example include: Protection from falling objects. Repetitive injuries and ergonomics. Safe driving.

What is a good safety message for today? ›

Always wear safety goggles when working with hazardous materials. Follow safety procedures at all times when using power tools. Make sure your work area is tidy and free of trip hazards. Watch where you're walking – don't run in the workplace!

What are 10 basic safety rules? ›

Top Ten Workplace Safety Tips
  • 1) Reduce Workplace Stress. ...
  • 2) Use Tools and Machines Properly. ...
  • 3) Use Mechanical Aids When Possible. ...
  • 4) Wear Protective Equipment. ...
  • 5) Stay Sober. ...
  • 6) Be Aware of Your Surroundings. ...
  • 7) Correct Posture Protects Your Back. ...
  • 8) Be Alert and Awake.

What are the 20 safety rules? ›

20 most important safety rules in the workplace
  • Follow the dress code. ...
  • Wear safety gear. ...
  • Maintain personal hygiene. ...
  • Take responsibility for your personal safety. ...
  • Maintain a clean workspace. ...
  • Follow work procedures. ...
  • Learn how to act in an emergency. ...
  • Report accidents if they occur.
May 3, 2021

What are 3 important safety tips? ›

The Basics of Safety
  • STAY ALERT - and stay alive. ...
  • WEAR THE RIGHT CLOTHES - work clothes should fit properly. ...
  • USE THE RIGHT TOOLS - if you need a hammer, get a hammer. ...
  • LEARN HOW TO LIFT - Lifting takes more than muscle; it is an art.

What are 5 good safety habits? ›

Five safety habits to live by
  • Be sure. Don't assume that you “might” know how to do a task, especially when it comes to machinery or equipment. ...
  • Be aware. Machinery and equipment can and will pinch, crush or cut you. ...
  • Good housekeeping is essential. ...
  • Choose your attitude. ...
  • Be your own person.
Aug 14, 2017

How do you conduct a safety conversation? ›

A 5-Step Guide for a Safety Conversation
  1. Frame the Conversation. When you initiate a safety conversation with an employee, the first few moments set the stage for what follows. ...
  2. Listen for Influences. ...
  3. Discover Error Traps. ...
  4. Identify the Behavior. ...
  5. Take Action. ...
  6. A Critical Influence Strategy.
May 4, 2016

What are the safety conversation questions? ›


What comes to mind when you hear the word 'safety'? How often do you think about your safety? Do you worry about the safety of those around you? What is more important to you, safety or convenience?

How do you start safety talk? ›

How To Start A Safety Talk
  1. Pick a good time.
  2. Pick a good topic.
  3. Prepare the talk.
  4. Deliver the talk.
May 19, 2020

What are the 3 safety words? ›

Safety words: Warning, Caution, Danger | OEM Off-Highway.


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