"I can't tell how many pieces, but I'm trying to pick up the fun." -- Ogle B Straight
Here’s a little speaking exercise: You can do this anytime you open your mouth. It will help you strengthen the connection between your brain and your vocal chords. When you have the inclination that you must say something do this: First look around and find two sets of eyes. This is important because you can’t just gaze into the eyes of the person you’re talking to non-stop. You need a second place to look to when you’re formulating future sentences. If you don’t have that other second set of eyes, you will look up and to the side into some form of vacant space and that is where your lies are found. Whenever you look there, the next thing you say will be a lie. There’s no stopping it and after a few lies you always start to feel bad. In general, it’s not a good practice.
So, two pairs of eyes. Now sometimes you will be having a conversation with only one person. That is not a problem. Simply look around and find something in the world that resembles an eye or a pair of eyes. Look back and forth between this and the person you are talking to. Be careful not to spend more time or even an equal amount of time staring at the make believe eyes because that would get slightly weird after a while. You will be alerted to this if the person you are talking to starts to look around in that direction and sees nothing and then turns back to you with a puzzled look on their face.
If you do have two or more actual people around, you should be good. Now, pick a word. Really any word will do. Try to stay away from basic agreeable terms like ‘Yes’, ‘Right’, and the most common go to ‘Uh huh’. These will work but they’re a little lazy. Be more specific and when you want to really challenge yourself, go off the wall. Say anything off the top of your mind or the tip of your tongue. Say ‘Pindles’ or ‘Semptrovine’. This will immediately draw people in. And they will have nothing to say because what you’ve said makes absolutely no sense, so you truly have the floor.
Before you move on, try to remember the last interesting thing that the other person has said. You’re going to need that to close with or if you start to lose them during your ‘time to run’ as I like to call it. And that’s where we are. The ‘time to run’. This is where you utter nonsense and jumble together words or things that resemble words and shift dynamics from whispering to shouting and laughing and nodding. Don’t forget to nod. At any point this is a good move. Nod and stare. Stare at them, nodding, and wait for them to nod back. They will do it. And when they nod, as soon as you can smile back at them. Woo. That’s a clincher. That’s pro level shit. And if you’ve got one of those imaginary eye dudes hanging out there in the background that’s in reality a symmetrical design on a furnace door or two digital lights on a DVD player or a pair of kitchen shears in the distance sticking up out of a wooden block and of the two plastic loops where one would place their fingers one of them is long and narrow and a bit warped and the other is a perfect ‘O’ and it makes the scissors look like some doofy cartoon character, you still may need to nod at that on occasion. And pay attention for it to nod in return.
And then when you’ve had just about enough time bring back that detail from before. The last thing you remember from before you took command of the situation and repeat that thing. They’ll love that. It’s like passing the mic or the baton. It’s courteous. And in the end that’s what really matters. Courtesy and some straight up off the wall randomness because people need the challenge and a conversation with you, if you follow these exact steps, would really be doing them a favor.