Please, shut up and go away!
Like many of you, I have often experienced doubts and questioned myself on the pertinence and the effectiveness of my techniques and discourses when addressing people.
With time, I came up with a list of indicators that are definitely indicating or pointing in the right direction when it is time to find out if I might be boring or interesting someone:
Repeated, perfunctory responses: A person who says, “Oh really? Oh really? That is interesting. Oh really?” is probably not very engaged and hoping for you to go away as fast as possible. The same for the person who keeps saying: “That is hilarious.”
Simple questions: People who are bored ask simple questions such as: “When did you come to town?” “Where do you come from?” People who are interested ask more complex questions that show curiosity, not mere politeness.
Interruptions: Interruptions are actually a good sign. It means a person is bursting to say something, and that shows interest.
Request for clarification: A person who is sincerely interested will need you to elaborate or explain. “What does that term mean?” “When exactly did that happen?”
Imbalance of talking time: Too often during a conversation, many will fondly suppose that if they do eighty percent of the talking, it is because people find them fascinating. This is rarely true. In general, people will want to have their saying, to add their own opinions, information, and experiences to a discussion. If they are not doing that, they may just want the conversation to end faster.
Body position: People with a good connection generally turn fully to face each other. A person who is partially turned away is not fully embracing the conversation. Pay special attention to body position when you are addressing someone. If the person is not sitting forward, looking down at papers, gazing into space, or checking his or her phone instead of keeping their attention obviously focused on you, this person is not interested whatsoever in what you say.
Along the same lines, if you are a speaker trying to figure out if an audience is interested in what you are saying, just remember that people tend to slouch and lean when bored. You can measure the boredom of an audience by seeing how far from vertically upright they are. Also remember that attentive people fidget less than bored people. An audience that is upright and still is interested, while an audience that is horizontal and squirmy is bored.