How to Start a
illustrated by Mary Power
A FIRESIDE BOOK
NewYork Published by Simon & Schuster London Toronto Sydney Singapore
A Note from the Author Introduction: Meeting New People and Making New Friends Part I. Starting Your Conversations with Confidence 1 First Contact—Body Language 2 Breaking the Ice and Getting theConversation Going 3 Five Seconds to Success: The Art of Remembering Names Part ii. Continuing Your Conversations with Wit and Charm 4 Keeping the Conversation Going Strong 5 Getting Your Ideas Across 6 Overcoming Conversational Hang-ups Part III. Endinig Your Conversations with a Great Impression 7 Closing Conversations Tactfully 8 Making Friends Part IV. Boosting Your Conversations to the NextLevel 9 Recognizing and Using Conversation Styles 10 Talking to People from Other Countries 11 Customs That Influence Cross-Cultural Conversations 12 Five Golden Rules of Mobile Phone Etiquette
11 13 19 21 35 64 73 75 96 100 113 115 124 137 139 152 163 172
13 E-mail and On-line Chat Rooms: Making Conversation and Friends in Cyberspace 14 Improving Your Conversations 15 50 Ways to Improve YourConversations Conclusion Index
178 190 197 201 203
A Note from the Author
How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends was first published in 1983. Since then, I have written several books and audio tapes, and presented many workshops on conversation skills. Still, even after all my years of teaching and writing about this subject, I realize how much more J have to learn about theart of conversation. The revisions in this book are based on feedback and questions from hundreds of readers and students, plus additional research and personal experience. I have reorganized the book into four main sections: Starting Conversations, Continuing Conversations, Ending Conversations, and Boosting Your Conversations. Included in these sections are new and revised chapters on rememberingnames, conversation styles, talking to people from other countries, mobile phone etiquette, and online conversations. I have also highlighted frequently asked questions (FAQs) throughout the text. Most people want and need human contact, and that connection often takes the form of a simple conversation. The secret to starting conversations and making friends rests on four keyprinciples: 1) Takethe initiative and reach out to others; 2) Show genuine interest in people; 3)Treat others with respect and kindness; and 4) Value others and yourself as unique individuals who have much to share and offer one another. When you apply these ideas and the many other skills and tips in this book, you can become agreat conversationalist. I hope that this newly revised edition will help you achieve thisgoal.
Introduction: Meeting New People and Making New Friends
Good conversation is what makes us interesting. After all, we spend a great deal of our time talking and a great deal of our time listening. Why be bored, why be boring—when you don't have to be either? —Edwin Newman (1919- ), news commentator
The next time you walk into a room full of people, just listen
to them talking!They're all communicating through conversation. Conversation is our main way of expressing our ideas, opinions, goals, and feelings to those we come into contact with. It is also the primary means of beginning and establishing friendships and relationships. When the "channel of conversation" is open, we can connect and communicate with people around us. If the conversational channel is closed, thenstarting and sustaining a conversation can be a real problem. This book is based on my "How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends" workshop, and it will show you how to "turn on" your conversational channel and "tune in" to people you meet. The conversational techniques in this book have been successfully tested in my workshops and proven as methods of starting and sustaining conversations in...