Conversation Skills for Success

Today is Thursday, so this post is on communication skills.

All successful people have well developed communication skills in three areas.  They are excellent conversationalists.  They write clearly and succinctly.  They present well — to groups of two or 200.

Today, I’d like to provide some tips on how to become an excellent conversationalist.  It’s not that difficult.

  1. Use people’s names.  Everybody loves to hear their own name.  Good conversationalists take the time to learn people’s names and then they use them.  I’m always impressed when I’m in conversation with people and they say things like “Bud…”, or “As you know Bud…”  I’m as vain as anyone; I like to hear my name.  There is a secondary benefit to using people’s names in conversations – when you use a name, you remember it.  This can save you some embarrassing moments.
  2. Ask questions.  Besides hearing their name, most people like to be asked about themselves and their opinions.  Good conversationalists keep conversations going by asking questions.  Then they follow the third tip…
  3. Listen and respond appropriately.  When you ask someone a question, give him or her the courtesy of listening to his or her response.  Pay attention!  Give them verbal and non verbal cues that you are listening to what they are saying.  Nod your head, smile, say things like “that’s interesting”, or “tell me more about that.”  Paraphrase what you hear the other person saying so that he or she knows that you’re paying attention.

Even though you follow these three simple, common sense tips, don’t expect everyone else to.  It’s sad, but true, most people are not very adept in the art of conversation.  The will forget your name, speak only of themselves, never ask you a question, and respond in bizarre ways to what you say.  That’s OK.  If you follow them, you’ll distinguish yourself as someone with well developed communication skills.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  I had decided to close down my other blog: to concentrate on this one.  However, several people have suggested that I leave it up even if I plan no more posts.  It seems as if they feel that what I’ve written there over the past few years is valuable content and deserves its place in cyber space.  So, I am going to leave up  I may even post there every once in a while.  If you enjoyed it, don’t cancel your RSS feed.  This means that if you want a free ebook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations, you can still get it by logging on to

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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