I've spoken before about how working in the Press Office helped me exponentially. All of a sudden I was being sent off to places around the country to attend meetings, having to speak to journalists in the middle of night, being interviewed on the radio and doing all kinds of things that made me utterly petrified, but also made me realise afterwards were really not that big a deal. I'm not brilliant now, but I'm a lot better than I used to be. There are a few things I try and remember when going into a situation where I have to talk to someone, or a group of people, I don't know. I thought if I shared them here they might help other people who, like me, haven't always been great at the art of conversation
1. M a k e t h e m f e e l l i k e t h e y ' r e t h e o n l y p e r s o n i n t h e r o o m
|img credit: unknown|
2. W h e n y o u c a n ' t t h i n k o f a n y t h i n g t o s a y , a s k q u e s t i o n s
Caitlin Moran summed this up brilliantly in her recent article 'my posthumous advice to my daughter'. She says: "“Whenever you can’t think of something to say in a conversation, ask people questions instead. Even if you’re next to a man who collects pre-Seventies screws and bolts, you will probably never have another opportunity to find out so much about pre-Seventies screws and bolts, and you never know when it will be useful." Always try and listen more than you talk.
3. B e c u r i o u s
This links to the last point. I love having conversations with people who have amassed interesting stories, thoughts and ideas. This usually comes with curiosity and having interest in the things around you - watching the news, reading, travelling, making things, learning new things, and so on. I love it when I talk to someone I don't know and end up learning a new fact or anecdote to tell.
|img credit: martin hricko|