In an age with more competent texters than talkers, we thought a refresher course was in order, so we called in Local Etiquette Expert Melanie Perko.
Here are her tips for carrying on a good conversatoin:
- It's easiest if you know to whom you are speaking. Do some preliminary homework (i.e who will be at the party, their title, why they are there)
- For children, help them get ready for the sports banquet or family party with background on people who might be there
- Go to web sites for information, read up on individuals or their company
- Listen while people speaking to you
- Look at the person to whom you are speaking
- Ask them about themselves with open ended questions
- 3 very good words to remember: Tell Me About________ (fill in the blank): yourself, what you did over the holidays, how long you have been with the company, how you know the bride, etc. people like to talk about themselves
- Use humor
- Eliminate the word "I" as much as possible in your conversation
- Never chew gum around others
- If you yawn during conversation, cover your mouth!
- Include others in your conversation, and brief them so they may follow along: (Helen, Tammy was just telling me how she ........)
- Steer clear of the obvious taboos and don't gossip, discuss politics, off colored jokes, racism, religion
- Have great posture and understand body language (i.e. no crossing arms while talking to others)
- Act confident (even if you are not)
- Never interrupt
- Enunciate and speak slowly
- Know how to end the conversation "It's been so fun speaking with you Tammy, but I must excuse myself and let you go."