Bringing Back the Art of Conversation

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."



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