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Conversationally Speaking: Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness Paperback – Apr 22 1997

32 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (April 22 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781565656291
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565656291
  • ASIN: 1565656296
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #62,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
"Scott, a 52-year-old construction contractor, reporting on his efforts to talk to his neighbors: I tried, I really did." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Luscious Luke on April 6 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the first book I've read that covers the difficult art of conversation. This book contains information just unobvious enough to not be common sense to most people so it is worth the money you will pay for it, but don't expect it to turn a person lacking conversational skills into Mr. Popular.
My main problem with the book is that it gives plenty of tips on getting others to talk and listening carefully to what they say, but lacks in its information on your ability to communicate what YOU want to say in a way that will get people interested in what you have to say. There is nothing in there about improving your conversational wit.
But an even larger problem I have with this book is that there is absolutely no information about humor. I believe humor is one of the most important skills a good conversationalist can have. In other words, even if you perfect every skill in this book, you will still be a fairly boring person. You may sound intellectual and be able to follow a conversation effectively, but you will still sound like a robot.
The communication this book teaches just sounds too formal to be completely realistic. People just don't talk like the examples seem to suggest in informal situations like parties, bars, restaraunts, etc. This is all coming from a college sophomore who is looking to become "cooler" and make more friends, but this book does little to improve that aspect of my life. Therefore, my opinions may not apply to everyone and an older person who isn't concerned with such things may find this book quite a bit more useful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Drensek on March 29 2003
Format: Paperback
The book is direct, clearly written, with many practical examples. There are books on the market that are more detailed in specific topics such as active listening, but as an overall practical guide to improving social effectiveness through starting and maintaining conversations, this is excellent.
The key to good converstation, per the author, is asking open ended questions that focus on the other person. Be actively engaged in the conversation through active listening.
The book also goes into how deliver honest positives, even when that is difficult. You could call this "spin", but it is spin in the more positive sense, as opposed to what some politicians have performed.
The book also deals with how to communicate personal information to maintain and develop the conversation, use of body language, active listening, issuing invitation (conversations and other), handling criticism, defusing difficult situations, and requesting change of behaviors in others.
As I said, the book is well written, covers each subject well, with plenty of useful examples. If you liked Covey's "Seven Habits", you'll like this book. I plan to make use of many of the techniques.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Dec 23 2000
Format: Paperback
I have been shy most of my life and until I read this book I felt totally socially inept. I had no idea of what to say to people or how to say it upon first meeting them and I would let others take the risk of introducing themselves to me. Now my shyness is gone and I can approach anyone without any fear of rejection, this book has saved me from a life of abject loneliness and made me into a social STAR. By using the tools Alan Garner gives the reader, one is able to create deep meaningful relationships. Conversation is the fabric of human interaction and questions are the foundation of conversation. Through asking the correct type of questions one is able to discover exactly what type of person they are dealing with. I went from having non-discovery conversations lasting only a few minutes to deep meaningful conversations lasting all night. If you want to have friendships of value this book is for you. I am amazed at how much people reveal about themselves to me, people are no longer a mystery to me, they are a treasure chest of information and excitement.
If you are shy as I was this book and Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers will help you become the person you were born to be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jon on Nov. 29 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book as a person interested in meeting other people: I wished to make my communication easier, especially when with handsome strangers and unfamiliar acquaintances! Without doubt this book has been a great help, however, be warned its focus is on Prolonging conversation, primarily by getting others to talk: The crucial issue of making conversation Stimulating is left vaguely in the subtext. The book may not help with specific problems of self-confidence; e.g. fear of asking personal questions, difficulties in taking issue with people (and solving issues) or trouble with putting personal problems into words (i.e. open forum), and it certainly won't provide you with a sense of humour. All of these, I believe, are the oxygen of close relationships and personal charisma.
After reading this book you may find, like myself, that you are complimented by friends for being able to talk to people, and for Knowing lots of people, yet you may still hold up your hands and say "I have talked to many people but made few close friends". I would have also liked to see more specific ideas for conversational openings (for which you may like to investigate "The book of fabulous questions"). Whatever Conversationally Speaking has to teach, I believe that spontaneity; the ability to speak the impulsive thoughts in ones mind, is the key. What this means is that when issues are raised in your thoughts, instead of going away and trying to solve them by reading self-help books (which personally effective people don't read!) or by thinking it through on your own: Raise the issue immediately with the person you have it with! Your 'issues' (often issues of personal failing) are the seeds of what you have to talk about.
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