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The Art of Confident Conversation

by Mike Moore

When I first started speaking for a living I had great difficulty with one-on-one
conversation with members of my audience. I could speak before 2500 people and enjoy
every minute of it, but when I was expected to mix and mingle my tongue became all
thumbs. I decided to get to work improving my conversation skills and researched the
topic thoroughly. My efforts paid off for now I can speak with anyone, anywhere for any
length of time. Let me share with you what I learned.

There are three fundamental principles upon 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 favourite topic which is “themselves.” Keep these
in mind and you can’t fail in becoming a great conversationalist.

*Assume the responsibility for starting and maintaining the conversation.
I usually begin with a friendly ” Hi, I’m Mike Moore and I’m from Canada”
Usually the response is ” Hello, Mike I am ____________ and I’m
from___________. (Away you go.)

*Use the person’s name throughout the conversation. It shows that you’re interested
in and focused on the other.

*Let the other be the centre of attention.

*Show a genuine interest in the one you’re speaking with.

*Maintain eye contact.

*Ask questions that require more than a one word answer.

*When you ask a question listen attentively to the answer and be quick to ask
another question arising from the response to the first. You learn what to say by
listening carefully to what was said.

*Put the other at ease by smiling and nodding frequently throughout the conversation.

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

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

GREAT CONVERSATION PHRASES CONVERSATION STARTERS
“That’s interesting. Tell me more.”
“Give me an example of what you mean.”
“How would you like to see it turn out?”
“How did you feel when that happened to you?”
*Give a compliment.
*Ask for advice.
*Seek help with something.
*Give praise.
*Seek an opinion.

 

I keep six honest servants
They taught me all I know.
Their names are what and why and when
And how and where and who.
R. Kipling

This is an excerpt from Mike Moore’s booklet How to Overcome Shyness and Connect with
People
available from http://motivationalplus.com/cgi/a/t.cgi?shy

Mike Moore is an international speaker and writer on humour and human health and relations.