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Conversationally Speaking: Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness Paperback – Apr 22 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I don't normally review books but I feel the need to review this book because it has benefited me. I'm by no mean a social outcast or a timid person. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Maxisexi
This book gives detailed instructions and procedure on improving communication skills that can be followed and practiced with ease. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This book is terribly superficial. I was expecting more than tips like asking open ended questions. Most of the book is filled with things like that. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Silenthunder
I have a little trouble sometimes maintaining a conversation, and small talk really isn't my forte. I don't ordinarily buy self-help books, but I read the reviews of this one and... Read morePublished on Oct. 8 2003 by Dylan Mantini
I'll keep it short. It's one of the best book I'd ever read. While reading it, my personality started to change, for the better. Read morePublished on July 3 2003
If you have problems starting conversations or keeping them going, this is a very helpful book. However, it's not a panacea- to improve your conversational skill you'll have to... Read morePublished on April 25 2003 by James Schoonmaker
I highly recommend this book to people who feel either shy or awkward in social situations. I feel that I have gotten a great deal of useful information out of this book.Published on Feb. 27 2003 by tzefirah
I'm so grateful that I read this book. I think it's way more professional than "The fine art of small talk". It has an inside-out analysis of conversational behaviors. Read morePublished on Nov. 30 2002
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