Thursday, February 02, 2006

Review: How to start a conversation

I write reviews for books I read/listen to for a few reasons. First, and foremost, I am always frustrated when I read/listen to an interesting book, get an opinion or learn something new, and within a few months forget it all. Putting a review on my blog lets me remeber what I was thinking at the time. Secondly, I suppose my reviews could be useful for someone reading or consider reading a book that I've finished. Though, to my knowledge, this has never happened.

Why do I mention this? Because I just finished a book, and I'm not sure I have anything to report. But I'm going to try anyway.

The book is a single tape on how to start a conversation. This is your basic advice, ranging from smiling and making eye contact, to making sure you let the other person get a word in edgewise.

The first example is the author showing how to talk to a girl at a sports club. Yes, he ends up getting a date. Though the rest of the book is pretty plain.

One interesting suggestion for starting a conversation is to start with a comment, followed by an easy to answer question.

Something like: 'I saw your blog today, how cool! Why did you decide to start blogging?'

Not a bad formula, I guess.

The author also makes it clear that you have to use smalltalk as a device to learn enough information, so you can have a real conversation. So, during smalltalk, listen to clues about what you can really talk about.

If you've never heard any formal advice on starting conversations, I guess this would be a painless place to start.

Now look at that, will you? I guess I did learn something after all!

Total score: 4/10 - it does no harm, and is short.



  1. cool, someone may now feel the need to come up to you and say "I saw your blog today, it's cool. When did you decide to start taking pictures of bookcovers while you're driving?!

  2. Hey Blondie,

    And yet, nobody has :-(.

    If they did, I'd probably tell them about how I'm a big fan of using my camera to capture all sorts of odds and ends that others would normally write down (like say, a picture of a white board). I may also discuss how I think blog entries can be enahnced by a photo, by not requiring the user to enter as much context.

    Then, I'd turn the conversation over to you by asking if you blog, listen to books on tape, or if you enjoy road trips.

    Yeah, it'd be a fun conversation to have one day.