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  • Patricia Simpson

The Art of Conversation...

Having good verbal skills is very important in the professional world. The art of conversation is about not only knowing what to say but also knowing when to say it…and remembering that silence can be one of your greatest tools!

When you want to be engaging, ask open-ended questions (the "Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How" types of questions). You want to get your partner talking, rather than having him/her respond with a yes or no only answer.

Try to listen more than you speak. Of course, that means being genuinely interested and asking follow-up questions. Sometimes, silence really is golden. If you don’t know, don’t speak. It is, of course, ok not to have an opinion on everything.

When meeting someone new, use small talk and general topics to your advantage (stay away from the 'politics/religion/health' issues). Be aware of your non-verbal body language, gestures, and space proximity as well. Smile, make eye contact, and have a firm, one-handed handshake.

Remember, everyone is interesting if you act and are interested!

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