Here in the Detroit area and across Lower Michigan, the networking events are creating new steam in the chilly air of a Motor City winter. Almost every night there is an event where meeting people is the central purpose.
No one is an island. Others simply get us better. Now, have you ever run into a poor conversationalist? By the Carnegie definition (How to Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking), poor conversationalists are individuals who only talk of things that interest them.
Poor can often rhyme with bore. If you have that tendency (some of us do); realize that it is okay to be human. There is not one of us in the perfect category. Awareness is essential. The Dale Carnegie suggestions are very straight forward and can turn everyone into a pleasant and engaging networker.
Number one is to lead others into talking about their interests:
- What is their business?
- Where do they live?
- What do they like to do on the weekends?
- Where did they go to school?
- Do they have a family?
As you ask these and other related questions, watch the faces of those you are listening to as they tell you about themselves. They are engaged. They feel important.
You have done your job. Actively listening builds relationships. And as we all know, first impressions are everything. By giving another person the chance to talk, you give them pleasure and you will indeed be considered the great conversationalist even though you might have only said a few words.
In Chapter 11 of this public speaking classic, entitled How to Interest Your Audience, the focus is on human nature and how to maximize an opportunity to connect. Although this book was written as a Pocket Book in 1956 and taken from Public Speaking and Influencing Men in Business published by the Associated Press in 1926, it is as current as the New Year. Professionals, both men and women, will find value within its pages. It is a great classic that is meant to be reread over and over.
As was stated in the introduction of the book, professionals can achieve happier and more fruitful lives by bringing out all the qualities they possess. Now that is a Carnegie Value that makes major sense!
Happy New Year everyone!
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @MICarnegie.
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