You may look, act, and even walk like a gentleman but if you don’t know the art of gentleman talk, you’ll drop the ball – always remember this!
For a gentleman, looking sophisticated and classy is only half the battle – the actual challenge lies in conversing.
But it can surely be mastered with learning and practice.
If you want to learn how to speak like a gentleman, there are certain rules that you should know about and follow in all your conversations. And no, saying ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ isn’t enough a marker for a true gentleman!
Learning the following golden conversation rules for a gentleman won’t only distinguish you as a decent and valued individual in a gathering but will also win you new friends and impressed ladies!
Do we even need to say you should start taking notes?
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Always Say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’
- 2 2. Disagree with Politeness
- 3 3. Never Interrupt the Speaker
- 4 4. Don’t Show Any Signs of Boredom or Tiredness
- 5 5. Quit Using Foul Language
- 6 6. Say No to Being Condescending
- 7 7. Share but Not Go Overboard
- 8 8. Don’t Fake It
- 9 9. Apply the Thinking Filter
- 10 10. Don’t Be Egoistic
- 11 11. Practice Modesty
- 12 12. Never Take Sides In An Argument
- 13 13. Be a Good Listener
- 14 14. Don’t Speak Ill of an Absentee
- 15 15. Ignore Any Language Mistakes Others Make
- 16 16. Try Not to Be a Buffoon
- 17 17. Control Your Anger
- 18 18. Avoid Flattery
- 19 20. Don’t Brag About Your Travel Expeditions
- 20 21. Avoid the Use of Jargons
- 21 22. Leave Those Who Have Withdrawn Alone
1. Always Say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’
Starting with the most obvious rule, a true gentleman never hesitates to say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’.
Saying ‘please’ shows that you respect people and that your world doesn’t revolve around you and only you. It’s a simple way of acknowledging others and gaining their respect in return.
A genuine ‘thank you’ also speaks volumes of your character and personality. Whether the waiter has just served you food or the doorman has opened the door for you, thank them.
Neither will it harm you nor is it that difficult. Plus, people around you will respect you more for the sweet little gestures.
2. Disagree with Politeness
There may be occasions when you have a contrasting opinion than what others are saying in a group conversation.
While you shouldn’t necessarily hold back your idea, you should differ politely. It’s never gentlemanly to enforce your opinion on others. Listen to their point of view and if you don’t agree, present your thoughts in a respectful manner.
3. Never Interrupt the Speaker
How do you feel if someone interrupts your train of words or jumps in uninvited to complete your sentence?
You’ll feel disrespected and annoyed, we’re sure!
Don’t ever do that to anyone – it’s against the rules of gentleman talk. Wait for them to finish what they’re saying before you start speaking.
If you feel think they’ve missed any details, it may be a good idea to resist giving showing off that you have a better memory because chances are, they aren’t comfortable sharing those details with everyone.
4. Don’t Show Any Signs of Boredom or Tiredness
It’s ill-bred to look at your watch or engage in any activity that shows that you’re bored or tired of listening to someone who’s giving a long speech.
You wouldn’t want people to do the same to you, right? Just be considerate and kind – it’s all that it takes to show that you’re a true gentleman who knows how to respect others.
5. Quit Using Foul Language
Do you have a habit of cursing while speaking?
Quit it NOW if you want to talk like a gentleman!
Cursing not only robs you off sophistication but also your credibility. You surely can express yourself and put your point across the room without using curse words.
If you tend to curse a lot, chances are that people think of you as a negative, disrespectful, and unprofessional individual.
Even if your frustration or anger levels are touching the skies for whatsoever reasons, don’t use foul language. Controlling that mouth diarrhea is one of the crucial conversation rules for a gentleman.
6. Say No to Being Condescending
A true gentleman never talks down to people to portray a good image of oneself. They know that lifting oneself is never done by insulting others.
A gentleman is very considerate of others’ feelings and ideas – and thus, they never gossip or spread rumors for fun. They know that being condescending will only feast on their dignity!
If you want to talk like a gentleman, you must know that everything doesn’t need to be talked about with everyone.
Over-sharing is a habit that only pushes you in the background where there are several people with no distinguishable identities.
If you don’t want your voice to get lost in the background noise, make sure you know where you should draw a line before giving out too much information.
People who end up sharing their whole life story in the very first meeting are usually seen as desperate.
Sharing things that are too personal is a big turn off for the listeners. Create an aura of mystery and let the people be curious to know more about you!
8. Don’t Fake It
Nobody likes fabrication – just be yourself instead of trying to be someone you aren’t.
Many men try to fake their accent and style of speaking just to impress the people around them. Don’t ever do that! It only shows that you lack confidence in yourself.
You’re 100% amazing just the way you’re. Don’t let anyone make you feel or think that way!
Trying to be fake will only make you look stupid. So, stick to your natural accent, voice, and speaking style, and talk about things that you’re comfortable discussing.
True gentlemen never use big words to prove they’re smart.
9. Apply the Thinking Filter
As a gentleman, you should always pass your thoughts and words through the thinking filter.
Many men tend to speak without thinking – you’d agree! Aimless speaking often ends up offending others and hurting their feelings. This isn’t what the conversation rules for a gentleman teach!
Only speak when you really have something to say that will add to the meaningfulness of the conversation.
Always remember what the great Greek philosopher Plato said, “Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something.”
10. Don’t Be Egoistic
It goes without saying that a good conversation is a two-way street. Gentlemen never try to make it all about themselves.
You may have notable achievements under your belt or an interesting cultural background that you’d like people to know but it doesn’t mean that others can’t have fascinating stories to tell too.
The conversation should always revolve around a topic all members can relate to. Steering it into a direction to talk about something of your interest is bad manners.
Also, never speak of your culture, profession, or achievements unless someone requests you to.
11. Practice Modesty
If you ever feel intellectually superior during a conversation with everyday society members, don’t see it as a chance to make them feel inferior.
Gentlemen are always modest no matter how intelligent or successful they are.
So, if you want to learn how to speak like a gentleman, just focus on the topic under discussion, be polite, and show deference to other people’s feelings and ideas.
12. Never Take Sides In An Argument
If you ever find yourself a part of a heated argument, your first attempt should be to reconcile the parties.
In case you fail to do so, simply withdraw from the conversation.
Taking sides with one party will only earn you an enemy or two. Hence, it’s always best to step back when speakers lose their temper and aren’t ready to resolve the issue.
13. Be a Good Listener
A true gentleman not only speaks well but is also a good listener. Whenever someone is speaking, always lend an ear with genuine interest and attention.
Your listening skills say a lot about your character. So, make sure that you’re always willing to hear people out with patience instead of cutting them off mid sentences to demonstrate your speaking skills unless you want to repel people.
14. Don’t Speak Ill of an Absentee
It’s not uncommon for everyday conversations to target someone who’s not present at the moment and gossip about them.
A true gentleman never does that! You should always avoid engaging in a conversation that is aimed at injuring an absentee.
You should neither calumniate nor listen to calumny.
15. Ignore Any Language Mistakes Others Make
While you should always try to speak your language properly, you should learn to ignore any errors you identify during a conversation. To human is to err, right?
Pin-pointing and correcting someone while sitting in a group of people is just ill-bred. They may have already realized they made a mistake right after uttering that sentence – there’s no need to bring it to public attention.
A gentleman never tries to be a stickler for speaking perfect words and phrases.
16. Try Not to Be a Buffoon
Sure, it feels great to make people laugh but no character is so damaging for a gentleman’s dignity than that of a buffoon.
If you’re always the funny man in the room, people will likely never take you seriously. Moreover, you may or may not realize this but if two people laugh at your jokes, the other two may be laughing at you.
You shouldn’t do anything that leaves you exposed to censure or bad ridicule.
17. Control Your Anger
It’s not a sin to feel frustrated or angry during a conversation – gentlemen are also humans, after all!
What’s important is how you deal with your anger. You wouldn’t want to use certain words or say something in the heat of the moment that you’ll regret later.
The best way to go about this is by changing the subject while not making it obvious or stop talking.
18. Avoid Flattery
Flattery, for most people, is rude, impolite, and coarse. You may offer a simple, genuine compliment during a conversation but flattery is a big NO!
If you try to flatter your superiors at work, they’ll see you as a selfish individual who wants a favor from them and who can’t be trusted. And if you flatter women, they’ll think that you don’t have anything else to talk about.
Imagine referring to someone as ‘awkward’, ‘ugly’, or ‘disorganized’ when inquiring about them from someone and hearing a response, ‘She’s my daughter’ or ‘He’s a good friend’.
Pretty embarrassing, right? And not to mention, quite inconsiderate!
The best way to avoid such humiliation is by avoiding the use of adjectives when asking about people you don’t know.
20. Don’t Brag About Your Travel Expeditions
If you’re someone who travels frequently, you may have tons of things to talk about and share knowledge with people. But starting every sentence with ‘When I was in France’ or ‘In London’ is very ungentlemanly.
It’s surely a great idea to share interesting things you’ve learned on your journeys but constantly talking about your adventures will repel people.
21. Avoid the Use of Jargons
As a professional man, you may find certain terms to be common and of daily use. However, they may be technical for others who don’t belong to your field of expertise.
Therefore, when you’re talking with someone, try to speak in simple language and avoid using jargons. And if you do unconsciously end up uttering a technical term, don’t make the mistake of explaining its meaning.
Nobody wants you to make them feel they’re less knowledgeable or ignorant.
22. Leave Those Who Have Withdrawn Alone
If during a group conversation, you notice that a couple of people have withdrawn and have started a conversation of their own, you need not listen to them anymore.
In case you’re sitting at a hearing distance from them, you should do what true gentlemen do; switch your seat.
If you want to be recognized as a true gentleman wherever you go, you better remember and follow these conversation rules for a gentleman.
Start by practicing in front of a mirror and see if you can match your body language with your words. Lastly, just not over-think everything and go with the flow.
You’ll soon master the art of gentleman talk if you really want to become a true gentleman!