Bringing Back the Art of Conversation

      In an age with more competent texters than talkers, we thought a refresher course was in order, so we called in Local Etiquette Expert Melanie Perko.

      Here are her tips for carrying on a good conversatoin:

      • It's easiest if you know to whom you are speaking. Do some preliminary homework (i.e who will be at the party, their title, why they are there)

      • For children, help them get ready for the sports banquet or family party with background on people who might be there

      • Go to web sites for information, read up on individuals or their company

      • Listen while people speaking to you

      • Look at the person to whom you are speaking

      • Ask them about themselves with open ended questions

      • 3 very good words to remember: Tell Me About________ (fill in the blank): yourself, what you did over the holidays, how long you have been with the company, how you know the bride, etc. people like to talk about themselves

      • Use humor

      • Eliminate the word "I" as much as possible in your conversation

      • Never chew gum around others

      • If you yawn during conversation, cover your mouth!

      • Include others in your conversation, and brief them so they may follow along: (Helen, Tammy was just telling me how she ........)

      • Steer clear of the obvious taboos and don't gossip, discuss politics, off colored jokes, racism, religion

      • Have great posture and understand body language (i.e. no crossing arms while talking to others)

      • Act confident (even if you are not)

      • Never interrupt

      • Enunciate and speak slowly

      • Know how to end the conversation "It's been so fun speaking with you Tammy, but I must excuse myself and let you go."