Do you know this situation when, after a specific conversation that has recently happened, you come up with an idea of what you should have said?
This happens way too often to me — in good as well as in bad situations, and I literally hate it.
I often feel like going back to the person and adding something to that conversation which has taken place quite some time ago — which, of course, never happens in reality (I would often love to do it, but I guess it would be quite creepy!).
However, I really often feel like I am missing the right answers, so I did a little research on how to be a bit more eloquent, and I would love to share my insights.
Effective ways to be witty and eloquent
There this famous saying:
“A man’s greatest treasure is wit beyond measure.”
Wit is a charming quality, and one of the easiest ways to get people to lose their guards is by being witty.
As a witty person, you can easily win people over; you can influence and charm people easily. You can turn around any situation into something positive, and generally, a witty person will always find themselves to be the center of attraction in any case, event, or gathering.
Being witty is not about being a comedian or doing funny or silly things for entertainment.
Being witty is a unique ability to think on your feet and be able to come up with a bright or comical observation about the situation on the ground.
Being witty and eloquent is about saying things that make other people admire you, love you, and immediately develop an interest in you.
Like everything else in life (at least I believe so), wit can be practiced and learned by everyone. The only thing needed is a high motivation and the desire to become a more witty and eloquent person.
So, when you see your favorite speaker, writer or entertainer churning out impressive bon mots, one-liners and puns effortlessly, you wonder how they can do that. You want to be like them, but you do not know where exactly to start.
Okay, admittedly, it is weird that this tip comes from me because I watch almost no TV at all for years. However, this is one of the #1 tips on how to expand your vocabulary and become more eloquent.
TV shows, although scripted, are perfect resources to master the art of wittiness and eloquence.
If you want to feel inspired, find yourself television shows with outstanding dialogue and excellent one-liners. — That’s actually what I am currently thinking about. I will have a look if there are any TV shows with inspiring characters from whom I can learn. So, in the best case, it would be about inspiring, high achieving female entrepreneurs.
Any recommendations are highly welcome!
Getting ourselves immersed in proven witty personalities will help us to become wittier and a more smooth talker as well.
Growing your vocabulary
According to the BBC, an average person only knows 35,000 words and regularly uses about 3,000 of those words frequently. The remaining words that they hardly use fall into the “passive vocabulary” which is rarely used at all.
A witty person has no bounds — you should be able to go all out to drive home your point with words. Be exceptional. Make friends with different dictionary resources such as Dictionary.com, The Online Etymology Dictionary, and Thesaurus.com.
Learn different words every day and make sure you find out the origin of the name and how you can use the term. Once you get consistent with this, even you would be surprised at the results.
This is one thing I really love!
I would so much love to be a person who always brings up a great saying or quote into group-conversations!
Think about having a perfect quote for every situation and scenario!
There is nothing better than having a quote that fits the situation.
It makes everyone want to listen to you and look forward to what you may have to say.
You have to memorize, learn, digest, and churn out quotes. This perhaps is one of the most exciting parts of learning wit and eloquence.
Learn to be brief and concise
Earlier this week, I’ve been in an end-of-year talk in my company, and one lady had the chance to hold a short speech of 5 minutes about her department and achievements — she talked about 20 minutes.
Out of respect, nobody wanted to interrupt her, but also no one was interested in her talking, and the whole room was super annoyed.
I guess when it comes to eloquence, there is nothing worse than those persons who simply don’t stop talking.
Sometimes I also struggle quite a lot to be brief and concise, but I always give my best. Having an annoyed conversation partner who doesn’t actually listen to what you are saying sounds horrible to me.
A well-delivered wit is one that is brief and concise.
Even Shakespeare once said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”
If you can express yourself in as few words as possible with impressive one-liners and quotes, you are more likely to pique people’s interests than someone else who keeps going on and on to deliver a point.
Use frameworks and scripts.
As much as being witty and eloquent requires a great deal of spontaneity and being able to come up with things to say at the bat of an eyelid, you sometimes would need to have a script to guide you.
A lot of professional writers and speakers use prompts, scripts, frameworks, and scripts to structure and keep their thoughts in line.
This does not make them any less witty; it only helps them produce an outstanding delivery, which is the goal of any eloquent speaker.
You do not get a second chance at being witty. You only get to do it once, and you must do it right.
I loved this recommendation and instantly tried to apply it to my own life and found some use cases for it, let me tell you one example:
I do organize and host workshops on personal development and there are certain situations which occur again and again — and I would love to have some cool sayings which I can use for those situations. For example, when a participant is coming in late and interrupts a presentation — this is always an awkward situation and lately, this happened during a workshop which I attended as a participant. The presenter got interrupted by a late participant and he said the following: Welcome, great that you’ve arrived — we’ve been waiting for you — we were just exchanging sex phantasies. It was a complete ice-breaker and everybody was again paying attention to the workshop!
I loved how the speaker acted, I will definitely try to come up with such scripts in the future.
I am terrible with puns, but it is one of the things that I would also love to master in the next couple of months.
You have to be able to use words interchangeably — both words that sound alike or mean the same thing.
Imagine a book publishing company that is currently having legal issues, and you were asked to create a witty tagline for them. Think about something like, “At our company, our word is the law.” You have been able to infuse what they do with what they are currently going through. That, exactly, is how puns work. Master the art!
BONUS POINT — You can use The Free Idiom Dictionary to come up with things like these.
Practice makes perfect.
Just as reading and writing must be your favorite past-times, if you want to be a great writer, to be a witty and eloquent speaker or writer, you have to practice being witty and eloquent.
And that involves putting into practice all of the points mentioned above over and over again.
Constant practice is the only thing that ensures success and excellence.
Even if I’m not able to spend hours per day practicing — I will put in a minimum amount of time to get the best results and improve.
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