How does one end a conversation or talk? Are there any clues that the end is coming?
In high school I was taught that good speakers should just conclude naturally and not need a pronouncement. Stating that you are about to conclude is superfluous. However that is not always the case. In some formal situations such as presentations and speeches I’ve noticed that there are a number of catch phrases and words that creep in to talks as a signal to the listener that the end is near. Some of these are very straight forward, as in: “In conclusion…” or “Let me finish by saying…” These ending clues though informative to the listener are unnecessary. I must admit that they are sometimes welcome and needed. If I’m totally bored with what you are saying and you’ve been droning on for a while, announcing that the end is coming gives me something to look forward to – immediate relief.
But how about informal conversations. Listen to yourself and others when talking and see if there are key words that pop up when you are interacting either in person, on the phone, or through another audio/video device (Skype comes to mind).
In my family the word is “anyway.” If you are in a conversation and there is a lull in the talk and the word “anyway” comes up, you know there is nothing left to say and “Goodbye” is coming soon. I don’t think we intentionally do it, but at this point it is a habit and will always comes up before we end our conversations.
I’m sure we say other things, but “anyway” stands out like a tune you can’t get out of your head. Once you’ve noticed it, it’s hard to miss. Sort of like the arrow in the Fed Ex sign.
Anyway, that’s about all I can think of to write about today. If you have any different words/phrases that you use, I’d be interested in hearing them.