In his book, “How to Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking,” Dale Carnegie offers the following advice for being a good conversationalist:
The reason so many people are poor conversationalists is that they talk about only the things that interest them. That may be deadly boring to others. Reverse the process. Lead the other person into talking about his interests, his business his golf score, his success—or, if it is a mother, her children. Do that and listen intently and you will give pleasure; consequently you will be considered a good conversationalist—even though you have done very little of the talking.
Mr. Harold Dwight of Philadelphia made an extraordinarily successful speech at a banquet that marked the final session of a public speaking course. He talked about each man in turn around the entire table, told how he had talked when the course started, how he had improved; recalled the talks various members had made, the subjects they had discussed; he mimicked some of them, exaggerated their peculiarities, had everyone laughing, had everyone pleased. With such material, he could not possibly have failed. It was absolutely ideal. No other topic under the blue dome of heaven would have so interested that group. Mr. Dwight knew how to handle human nature.
The secret to Harold Dwight’s conversational success was that he developed a genuine interest in other people. And this Dale Carnegie Training Success Principle is just as relevant today as it was in Dale Carnegie’s time.
Here’s an example of this principle in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan:
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