The art of safe conversation

When I started speaking for a living, I had great difficulty conferring one-on-one with members of my audience. I could speak to 2500 people and enjoy every minute, but when I was expected to mix and mix my tongue became all thumb. I decided to get to work

improving my conversation skills and researched the topic thoroughly. My efforts paid off, for now I can speak to anyone, anywhere and for any period of time. Let me share with you what I learned.

* There are three fundamental principles on which good conversation is based. 1. It is better to be interested than interesting. 2. There is nothing as flattering as the undivided attention of another human being. 3. People long to talk about their favorite topic, which is “themselves.” Keep this in mind and you won’t be able to stop yourself from becoming a great conversationalist.

* Take responsibility for starting and keeping the conversation going.

* I usually start with a friendly “Hi, I’m Mike Moore from Canada.” Usually the answer is “Hi Mike, I am ____________ and I am from___________.

* Use the person’s name throughout the conversation. Show that you are interested and focused on the other.

* Let the other be the center of attention.

* Show genuine interest in the person you are talking to. Maintain eye contact.

* Ask questions that require an answer of more than one word.

* When asking a question, listen carefully to the answer and be quick to ask another question that arises from the answer to the first one. Learn what to say by listening carefully to what was said.

* Make the other person comfortable by smiling and nodding frequently during the conversation.

* Speak in terms of the other person’s interests.

* Don’t feel the need to disagree until you get to know the person better.


* “That’s interesting. Tell me more.”

* “Give me an example of what you mean.”

* “How would you like it to turn out?”

* How did you feel when that happened to you? “


* Give a compliment.

* Ask for advice.

* Seek help with something.

* Give praise.

* Ask for an opinion.

I have six honest servers

They taught me everything I know.

Their names are what, why and when

And how, where and who.

R. Kipling