A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue. That’s why there are so few good conversations

due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet

Truman Capote

In the series “The Undercover Boss USA”, (BBC Entertainment), if you would

have noticed, the CEO (the undercover boss)
of the companies makes it a point to ask about the families of their staff. You may also observe that the moment you ask about someone’s family, one’s face lights up like a 100 watt bulb and there is a lingering smile at the corners of one’s mouth.

People love to talk about themselves. Listen to them. A good conservationist should listen patiently to the others and then talk. A good conversation starts from there. When you listen to someone, then that someone will readily listen to you too


  1. Conversation is like using grammar: Metaphorically speaking, your conversation should be grammatically correct, just like your writing is. When someone interrupts while you are talking, you should put a comma on your talk and should listen to him. When you complete your sentence, insert a period and listen to the other person’s response and so on.

Listening within a limit: Conversation should not mean listening to someone indefinitely: Some people just need a chance to open up and you will never see an end to their talks. If the conversation is not a two way street, you may as well square off the meet nicely and move on.

Compliment people: One of my friends always starts her conversation with, “You look nice”, this lipstick looks great on you”, “you have a lovely bag” etc. She always finds something to compliment about the other person, before starting the conversation. She has the knack of getting into a person’s heart and the other person is won over, hands down by her technique. Anything she says after that is always being listened to carefully. Compliment people!

Conversation with strangers(How to start a conversation): If you are in an art gallery, an exhibition, the museum or any such public places, you may always start talking about the art, the exhibition and museum pieces and the works. If you are in a party, the host can be of the subject of interest apart from the nice food, good atmosphere, great coffee, a mutual friend etc. However, a woman should always be careful on her conversation with the strangers. She should know when to stop and move on out of that place.

Body Language: In most of the office meets, people start fidgeting after a couple of hours, may be even before so. While a lengthy presentation is going on, some people yarn, some people engage themselves in an animated conversation with their colleagues, some people will be looking everywhere except on the podium etc. This makes the presenter to feel uncomfortable. Your body language depicts your interests, your focus, your involvement, your carelessness and your disrespect to the person who is trying to talk to you. Pay attention to the person on the other side of your conversation, so that he shall pay attention to you when you would be talking

Conversation starters: Weather of course is the major conversation starter. For a woman, a conversation starter could depend upon the familiarity of the person to whom she is talking. If he is quite known to her, she can starts and ends with any subject like work place, family, friends, TV serials, movies, sports etc. Conversation with less familiar people should be kept at that; less familiar, till the time she is sure of the person’s behaviour, character, the reliability factor and the reference of a friend or of the family.


Q Some people are uninteresting and are also so dumb that they don’t ever understand when I give one excuse after the other, to cut short their conversation and move on. I can’t be rude on their face. How to go about this?

To share a secret with you, a lot of us find ourselves in such a situation. People are the same everywhere. When you see such person from a distance, try calling someone on your mobile and start talking; say a few pleasantries while crossing your would be tormentor and continue to walk; you should show a serious expression on your face. This is one of the tricks that work for me every time.

Q Sometimes I meet people who answer in Monosyllabic language. Its difficult to converse with them after a point. how do you keep a conversation going?

The best way to deal with this problem is to ask open-ended questions. Like, if a women whom you are conversing with is fond of cooking, then you can ask her recipe of her favourite dish or request her to give you some quick tips on cooking. These common interest questions help a person to be at ease and to speak more.


Conversation is not about your talking with others, it is mainly about your listening to the others.

“Conversation should be like juggling; up goes the balls and plates, up and over, in and out, good solid objects that glitter in the footlights and fall with a bang if you miss them.”

-Evelyn Waugh.