Have you ever had a conversation that completely changed your day or even your life? Its funny how just a little word of advice, or even some brutal home truths can be so powerful.
There are around 6500 spoken languages in the world, helping people to communicate, share stories and educate; whether it be between families, friends or complete strangers.
New Zealands most admired wine brand Villa Maria has surveyed the nation about what makes a conversation memorable, how body language plays a huge role in communication and what we love the most about talking.
While technology makes connecting with a subtle like here or an emoji there easier than ever, there has got to be something said for hearing someones voice, or even seeing the expression on their face as they speak.
Striking up a conversation with an old pal can bring back feelings of old times, while making chit chat with someone new could potentially open doors, ushering in new job opportunities or even a new flame. But it can be hard knowing what to say and at the right time – and harder to keep the conversation flowing. After all, recent research suggests that it takes 38% of Brits less than two minutes to lose interest in a conversation.
The comfortable feeling of being able to pick up where you left off, even if it was years ago, as you enjoy a glass of wine with your companions is priceless, and yet so is the confidence to introduce yourself to a stranger – despite how nerve-wracking it is – because of the opportunities it can lead to. You just never know.
Villa Maria ambassador Angela Lewis has opened up about her favourite conversations, inspired by the brands founding father, Sir George Fistonich.
She says, the founding of Villa Maria hinged on a pivotal conversation between Sir George and his father, and conversations have continued to play a crucial role in making Villa Maria one of the most successful family-owned wineries in the world.
So, as part of its expert series, which celebrates the value of conversation, Villa Marias Angela spoke to former hostage negotiator and SAS soldier Colin MacLachlan about the importance of engaging conversation in keeping someones attention, even in tough circumstances. Watch the highlights below:
Its an age-old joke that as an ice-breaker, Brits love to talk about the weather and while it might seem like a fail-safe, the subject Brits really warm to is families. Nothing invokes more pride and excitement (and frustration!), as 29% of Brits love to discuss the ins and outs of family life.
Sir George made many of the decisions about his company, which he started in 1961, with his family around the dinner table so would know a thing or two when it comes to the beauty of conversation, especially as Villa Maria has gone on to become the most-awarded winery in New Zealand.
He admits he loves nothing more than to get to the essence of a person, discovering who they are and listening to what they have to say.
Im very curious to know what peoples backgrounds are, he said. And so I tend to sort of work out a way to ask questions and find out what theyre doing, what theyre interested in. But what I have found is that people actually quite enjoy that.
What Brits think makes a winning conversation
Family – 29%
TV – 289%
Movies – 28%
Food – 27%
Sport – 24%
One everyone can relate and contribute to – 50%
Mutual interests – 49%
Happy stories – 39%
Something that inspires debate and discussion – 35%
Nostalgic memories – 35%
Key indicators of a good chat
Eye contact – 51%
Listening – 44%
Positive facial expressions – 32%
Laughter – 30%
Facing a person – 28%
When it comes to a great chat, nothings better than feeling like youve been listened to – that your voice has been heard. Nearly half of Brits value listening as part of a good conversation, while 51% believe good eye contact (often a signal of listening) is validation of a meaningful exchange.