Instant Conversation Skills

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Instant Conversation Skills  Dynamic Communication Skills in Less than an an  Hour

Copyright © 2006 by Austin Barnes All Rights Reserved This is not a free e-book and may not be given away nor copies sold. Please visit  Unauthorized duplication or distribution of this material in any form is strictly prohibited. No part of in this publication may bmeans, e reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted any from or by anybe electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior written permission from the author. Some of the concepts including F.O.R.T.H and P.R.E.S.S. were used by license agreement from Conversation Miracle. The author and distributor of this product assume no responsibly for the use or misuse of this product, or for any injury, damage, and/or financial loss sustained to persons or property as a result of using this book. While every effort has been made to ensure reliability ofmisuse the information within, the liability, negligence otherwise, or from any use, or abuse of the operation of any methods,or stagiest, instructions or ideas contained in the material herein is the sole responsibly of the reader. This is not met to be a substitute for professional advice and counsel.


Introduction Good conversation skills are essential to being successful and enjoying life. A person who can confidently carry on enjoyable conversations with people will be able to: Make friends easily. •  Improve their chance of success in business and school. •  •  Leave a great impression with people. Feel confident. •  Conquer shyness. •  Be a social success. •  Enjoy being around people. • 

In the next hour, I want to work with you step by step and show you how to: Instantly appear calm and confident with people •  Confidently start conversations •  Feel calm and confident in conversation •  Leave a great impression. •  Have a likeable personality. Successfully carry on conversations. Become a person who people enjoy talking with. •  •


Think of a scale of 1 to 10. With 10 being excellent at conversations and 1 being not very good at conversation. Where you are at? 7? 3? 5? 1? 8? It does not matter where you are, the next one hour will dramatically improve your skills. The less your current ability, the more improvement can take place. You will learn five principles and be shown how to apply them to conversation. Each principle will have some practical exercises to help implement them. The exercises and reading should take about an hour. Don’t rush. If it takes longer, don’t worry about it. The good news is that each of the 5 principles are very powerful. Just applying one, can transform people’s social abilities. However, with all five you will be on your path to being a social success.


Chapter 1

How to Become a Friendly Person Friendly people generally leave a great impression. The first step towards making friends and being great at conversation is to be a friendly person. One speaker mentioned that friendliness and likeability are essential for success in life.  Treat the Other Person as if they are the most important person in the world. Principle #1: #1: Treat Who is the most important person in the world to you? It could be a movie star, family member, or a special friend. If you talked with this important person, how would you respond to them in conversation? Because they are important, you would probably:  







Listen intently and not be distracted Show warmth and friendliness Be glad to see this person Portray that you are happy to be with and talking with this person Smile Ignore distractions Treat them with respect

Your goal in conversation is treat your conversation partner just like you would this important person. You want to treat them as if they are the most important person in the world to you right now. Doing this will cause you to have a likeable personality. People will enjoy talking with you. You will automatically become friendly and leave a great impression. Why this Works The basic fact of human life is that we like people who like us. We enjoy being around people who consider us important and are friendly to us. When we treat others as important, they feel important. Making a person feel important usually causes them to like us and enjoy our company. This is good news. A great impression is made. We enjoy the conversation and we can easily make friends. What does not work Take the opposite attitude. If we consider ourselves more important than the other person we may treat them in the following way:








Not listening. Interrupting and excessively talking about ourselves. Be scanning the room for someone better to talk with. Not showing friendliness. Frowning and not smiling. Have an attitude that shouts “Stay away”.

How we think about the person and treat them will impact the relationship. Consider them important and you will become a friendly person. There you have it, the first principle:  Treat the Other Person as if they are the most important person in the world. Principle #1: #1: Treat This is simple, but many people do not apply it. Use this action time to help you apply it. Action Time Take a break from reading and use 4 minutes to practice these abilities. Start with practicing with a mirror. Moving on to a friend would be great. 1.  Turn towards the mirror and greet your image in the mirror just as if you were greeting the most important person. Say, “Hi”. Let your face just radiate you are glad to see the person. You will find that a slow smile is good. Do you appear warm and friendly? Tweak your expression and body language until you appear this way. Keep practicing this for a few minutes. Usually, you want to greet people in a similar matter. 2.  When you talk you want to radiate that you enjoy talking with the other person. Using your mirror, share a story about the day. Radiate warm, gladness, and enjoyment. Focus on the person in the mirror. Talk like you would to the very important person. Congratulations you are on the path to experiencing a Instant Conversation Skills in less than an hour.



Chapter 2 How to Quickly Feel Confident and Be Great at Conversation Feelings are powerful. Many times people allow their feelings to take control. Fear, shyness, and lack of confidence direct their conversations which can sabotage dates and other activities. This next principle is very powerful and gives instant results. Principle #2: Act and think like a confident, friendly person who is great at conversation. Don’t skip this principle. It is life changing. Instead of allowing feelings to control you, you control your actions. You act like a confident person. This principle rests on three facts:  like a Fact #1: When #1: When you are acting like a confident and friendly person you will appear  like confident and friendly person. It does not matter how you feel. If you are acting confident, you will appear that way. By acting confident and great at conversation, you will appear confident and great conversation, though you may not feel like it. Sound hypocritical? The majority of public speakers are battling fear and nervousness, but they refuse to let it show. Fact #2: Acting #2: Acting confident and great at conversation will make you feel confident and relaxed. The father of modern Psychology, William James said this:  Action seems to follow feeling, feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regula regulating ting the action, which is under the more direct di rect control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.

Act confident and you will feel confident. Act shy and you will feel shy. This principle works. I have seen this principle at work in classes on public speaking.. A person can give a speech and do OK. However, take this same person and tell them to act, feel, and think like a confident, dynamic speaker. As they redo the speech the second time, it will look like a miracle has taken place. They will be making eye contact and speaking with enthusiasm. •  They will come across as a great speaker. •  Nervousness will be reduced. •  They will feel more calm and confident. •  Their confidence draws the audience into the speech. • 


When I teach a public speaking class, I asked students who are speaking to rate themselfs on how nervous they felt. On a scale of 1 to 10, one stood for being relaxed in front of a TV and ten was losing lunch in the bathroom. Routinely these high schoolers would give figures of 7, 8 or even 9. On their evaluation sheets I would usually say, “You look like a 2 or a 3”. This was true. They chose act confident when they spoke, and they appeared much more relaxed than what they felt. Don’t worry about your feelings. Just focus on acting confident, friendly, and great at conversation. Fact #3: The #3: The quickest way to being great at conversation is to act confident, friendly, and like you are great at conversation. Again William James said: If you want a quality, act as if you already had it.  If you want a trait, act as if you already have the trait. 

This is incredibly simple, but incredibly powerful. Just start acting like you are great at conversation and you will appear, feel, and be great at conversation. How to Act and Think like a Confident, Friendly person who is great at conversation. Three Keys will help you act and be great at conversation. Key #1: Ask #1: Ask yourself “How would a Confident, Friendly Person Act in this Situation?” Think for a moment of someone who is confident, likable, friendly and great at conversation. It could be a friend, actor, movie star, or celebrity. It may be a character from a movie. Can’t think of anyone? Just imagine how a confident, likable person would act and think. Here’s a description: Makes eye contact •  Voice is clear and does not have a hint of shyness •  Interacts with people •  Walks up to people and starts conversation •  Relaxed •  Moves with a purpose. Not too fast, not hesitant •  Good posture and head up •  Smile on face. No frown or negative expression •  Open body language. This means their body language communicates warmth, likeability, •  and an openness for people to talk. The arms are uncrossed, body is turned towards people, and there is a welcoming expression on the face.


Don’t get me wrong. You are not to shed your unique personality and mimic them. You are to put off any shy, unconfident mannerism like lack of eye contact, etc. Next, you put on your set of confident, likable actions. Whenever you are around people or are tempted to revert back to old behavior, ask this question: “ How would a Confident, Friendly Person act in this situation”. Do this and act this way. You will feel confident.

Key #2: P.R.E.S.S #2: P.R.E.S.S yourself to look, act and feel confident. P.R.E.S.S. is an acronym that stands for. Posture straight Relaxed body. Eye contact Smiling Speak Clearly By applying PRESS you will instantly act confident, look confident, and feel confident. You should use PRESS all the time.  Posture

Straighten your posture and you will feel more energetic and confident.  Good posture produces confidence. It automatically automaticall y makes a person sound more confident. You can have great posture by remembering or applying the following:  

Stand up and place a book on your head. Adjust your posture and head until the book is balanced on top of your head. Let go of the book. When the book is balanced, your posture is straight. Now practice walking around the room with the book on your head. You will look and feel confident. It is the same exercise that beauty queens or actors will

often use to straighten their posture and walk gracefully. More secrets to confident posture: When standing shift your weight to the front of your feet. This automatically gives you •  more energy. Walk with a purpose and don’t rush. When entering a room, have your movements •  purposeful and confident.  Relax

The letter “R” stands for relax. As you move and sit with the right posture, practice being relaxed. Breath. Let your arms swing at your sides. Have a relaxed look. It is a little hard to explain, but practice it and you will master this ability. A couple deep breathes can help you relax before you meet someone.


 Eye Contact 

Proper eye contact conveys confidence and acceptance of other person. Lack of eye contact tends to show distrust and a lack of interest. Too much eye contact makes others nervous and comes across as staring. How to have successful eye contact

The Rule of 68 will allow you to have effective eye contact. You will avoid the extreme of staring, yet will still display confidence. Rule of 68 Speaking: Eye contact 60% of the time. Speaking: Eye Listening: Eye Listening:  Eye Contact 80% of the time. Both Listening and Speaking: Hold Speaking: Hold eye contact for four seconds and then slowly glance away for a second before coming back. This glance is needs toorbetwo slow and sideways (unless a person eating or has good reason to look down). When making eye contact, move your eyes slightly around the face to keep from having a dead stare.

How to have dynamic eye contact          

Look each person in the eye when saying, “Hello”. Have a slight smile on the face to avoid scowling and staring. Hold eye contact for an extra moment when saying “thank-you” or greeting someone. Always note the eye color when first meeting someone. Move eyes slightly around the eye area to avoid a dead stare or glazed look.

Throw out everything I have said if... You need to be aware of the culture and situation you are in. In the business world, increased eye contact is normal. In some cultures and even places in the US, a lot of eye contact is considered confrontational. If what I told you is making others nervous, change your style to make others more comfortable. Smile 


A smile is powerful. Studies show that smiling can put you in a good mood. Not only this, but it also radiates to others and puts them in a good mood. People with a smile are easy to approach and talk with. Just simplying smiling will make a person appear warm and friendly. So many times I have been at events and see people in the corner by themselves. I Know the people and they would like to talk with others. However, their scowl on their face is shouting, “Stay away”. If you have a chance, look in the mirror and practice smiling. Practice smiling to greet someone. Mastering this simple ability will do wonders.

Speak Clearly

You must be understood. A shy or weak voice can hinder your impression. You want your voice filled with energy and vitality. It must be warm and friendly. The good news is that you can have an energy filled voice in minutes. In fact the following three steps will give your natural energy filled voice.

Step 1: Breath with Good posture A great voice starts with good posture. By transferring your weight to the front of your feet when standing, you will empower your voice with energy. The same applies to sitting. If you lean forward slightly, energy will radiate from your voice. Often people sound weak or nervous because they are talking on little air. Taking a couple of deeps breaths will calm a person down. A short sip of breath before starting to talk will allow your first words to come out clearly. You should breathe from the abdomen. Put your hand on your stomach and breathe. You should feel your stomach moving. Often when we get nervous, we breath from the chest. This makes the voice sound higher, weaker and more choppy. The next time you are in a nervous situation, make sure you are breathing from your abdomen. 2.  Open your Mouth The voice escapes through the mouth and then heads for the ears of others. Sometimes our natural voice is squelched because we only open our mouth partway. Focus on opening the mouth and letting your voice spring forth. An actor once told me about a great exercises for learning to speak through an open mouth. Take a pencil and place it in the mouth with the ends sticking out your mouth sideways. Keep it between your your teeth. Push it as far back as possible. Read a couple sentences and then pull the pencil out and continue reading. Repeat. The difference can be quite plain. It is training you to keep your mouth open and to project your voice.


  3. Pause and pace When people get nervous, they tend to talk really fast and mumble. Pace yourself and pronounce your words clearly. Pause after key points and make sure your partner has caught up with you. If you struggle in this area, apply a simple exercise. Read a few pages from a book every day. This will help you make aware and give you a chance to practice. There you have it! Use PRESS  as much of the time as possible. Get into the habit of PRESS as always making eye contact, having the right posture, and being relaxed. You will feel confident and look confident. A warm personality will make the other person feel comfortable in your presence. PRESS enables you to feel comfortable and confident. Key #3: Expect #3: Expect other people to want to talk with you and enjoy being in your presence. Claude M. Bristol said, “We usually get what we anticipate”. Jerry and Fred are both at a party. Both are acting and thinking differently: Chris thinks: “I am expecting People to want to talk with me and enjoy being around me.” Gets involved in conversations.

Displays confidence and seems to attract people.

Pat thinks: “No one is going to want to talk with me.” Avoids conversations and talking with people because he is expecting them to not want to talk with him Lacks confidence and he will actually repel people.

Your expectation is important. What you expect will often happen. Why? Your expectations are subtle communicated to people in your behavior. They also effect how you behave. When talking with people, be expecting them want to talk with you. However, if they don’t want to talk, let them leave. Quick Review Principle #2: Act and think like a confident, friendly person who is great at conversation. Key #1: Ask #1: Ask yourself “How would a Confident, Friendly Person Act in this Situation?” Key #2: P.R.E.S.S #2: P.R.E.S.S yourself to Look, Act and Feel confident.


Posture straight Relaxed body Eye contact Smiling Speak Clearly Key #3: Expect #3: Expect other people to want to talk with you and enjoy being in your presence.

What will happen when you have this mindset? You will appear  confident, likeable and great at conversation. •  appear confident, You will feel confident, likeable and great at conversation. •  You will be  confident, likeable and great at conversation. •  be confident, Action Time minutes.   1.  If you voice is not clear, practice for a few minutes.  a.  Read a couple sentences using a pencil in the mouth as talked about earlier. Take out the pencil and read for a sentence or two and then put it back in.  in.   repeat.   b.  Talk about your day out loud with the pencil and repeat.  row.  c.  Repeat the phrase “Unique New York” 10 times in a row.  the three keys, carry on a and conversation with someone a couple thereI 2.  Using is no one, go back to the mirror use the following script for as you applyminutes. the threeIfkeys. know this sounds dumb, but it works. You want to be a confident as you pretend to carry on this conversation.  conversation.  a.   Hello  b.   How are you doing today?   c.   I am doing fine. Yesterday I, ______.   d.   How has your week been?  


Chapter 3

The Quality that Makes People Likeable and Great at Conversation ThereAll is can a secret with people and dynamic at conversation. Some of have it some don’t. havetoit,being manygreat don’t. Charismatic people have this quality. Boring people do not. It comes down to a person’s focus and who they think about in conversation.

Principle #3 Shine your spotlight of interest, attention, and appreciation on the other person. Every person has a spotlight. Not a literal spotlight that lights up a dark stage, but a spotlight that is made up interest, attention, and appreciation. Boring people talk only about what interest them, don’t pay attention, and do not give appreciation. As they shine the spotlight on themselves they will  

Avoid eye contact if it feels uncomfortable. Talk only about what they want to talk about and do not show interest. •  Ignore the other person. •  Increase their shyness because they are focusing on themselves. •  •

If you want to leave a terrible impression, shine the spotlight on yourself. However, by shining the spotlight on the other person, it will create a dynamic conversation. People are craving and interest, attention, and appreciation. If you are giving this to them, they will enjoy being around you and you will have power in conversation. As a bonus shyness will leave, because shyness is often the result of focusing too much on yourself. Shining Your Spotlight Spotlight of Interest.

At one time I was very active in face to face sales. I attribute part of my success to the fact I showed interest in people. When I met people I asked question. I showed interest in them. I listened. I was genuinely interested in knowing more about the person. Interest led to quick friendships and a great impression. I have used genuine interest to talk with everyone from young kids to CEO’s. The results are often the same. People enjoy the conversation and the conversation flows smoothly.


  Your spotlight of interest will enable to talk with people for hours and they will greatly enjoy the conversation. You focus your spotlight of interest on others two key ways: 1.  Asking sincere questions 2.  Actively listening. Asking Questions with sincere interest. “How are you doing?” is a simple question. However, it can be just said as a matter of fact statement, or it can be loaded with interest. People know when a question is asked with sincere interest. They will usually bask in the glow and the conversation will flow (Hey, that rhymed!). Later you will learn how to use good questions. Active Listening: There is a lack of good listeners. If you are a good listener, you will be likable and great at conversation. We have all met bad listeners. The moment we start talking the eyes glaze over. Their mind leaves the planet. Don’t be like that! Apply these practical ideas. a.  Show you are listening. Make eye contact much of the time. Nod your head. b.  Pay attention to key words. Listen for keywords. This will help keep your attention and give you more ammo for conversations. c.  Responded with short statements like, “OK. Wow! That’s too bad.” Also respond to what they are saying with questions. d.  Wait for a count of three after they finish. This will show respect to them. Spotlight of Attention

When we were babies we craved attention. For the most part this has never changed. Unfortunately, people naturally try and get attention through wrong ways. Over talking, being loud and boisterous, interrupting, and putting others down are just a few ways to get attention. These methods may get attention but it sure does not make a person great a conversation or making friends! There is a better way. Give attention and people will give it back.  

Acknowledge them. When someone enters a circle of people, acknowledge them. Possible nod to people as you pass them. Say “Hello”. Eye contact.  contact.  •  •



Include people in conversation. If conversation. If you are in a group, include someone through eye contact and by bringing them in with a question. Listen •  Give time. •  There are many ways to give attention. Focus on doing it and it will happen. People will bask in the glow. •

Spotlight of Appreciation

William James said “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” Appreciation means to give value or increase the value of something. When people feel that we are adding value to them or making them feeling valued, they enjoy being around us. In a sense we will be more likable. As a bonus we will feel good because we are helping others out. Here are three practical ways to shine your spotlight of appreciation on a person:  

Show appreciation in your body language. Listen and act glad to be with them. Call positive attention to what they have done or said. When they make a good point say •  so. Show admiration for their accomplishments.


Thank people and show appreciation.

 Benefits When you shine your spotlight of interest, good things will happen. Friendships can be quickly made. I saw it had tremendous power in sales. •  Shyness will be conquered. Focusing on others is one the best ways to combat •  fears of shyness. Make friends. “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested •  in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Dale Carnige

4 Minute Action Plan 1. Talk with a friend over the phone or in person. Shine your three spotlights of interest, attention, and appreciation on them. 2. Practice listening. If you do not have a person close by, turn on the radio and listen and watch the mirror. Focus on keywords. Lean forward. Pause afterwards.

Chapter 4:

Starting Conversations Starting conversations can be tough. However, if you are applying the first three principles, conversations will almost automatically start. This next principle will make it easy.


 Easily start Conversations with the CQ method as you Go Forth into Conversation. Principle #4: #4: Easily Starting conversations is quite simple. CQ Stands for Comment Question Simply you make a comment and then you ask a question. A comment can be: A greeting. “Hi” •  An observation. “The Weather is nice.” •  An expression of gratitude “That is a nice car.” •  A story about yourself., a news story, or other interesting information. •  The comment breaks the ice. Sometimes you may follow up with a second comment After the comment, follow-up with a question. Any question spoken with interest will do; however, some are better than others. Remembering the term FORTH will help you as you go FORTH into conversation. F.O.R.T.H is an acronym. Family. How are your parents? Occupation. What work are you involved in? How’s work going?  Recent events. The most recent event is what was just said by that person. It also includes news, recent activities by both of you, etc. Did you hear about the ____ on the news? How was the party this weekend? Things. Look around you and ask or make a comment about something.  Nice car! Which dealership did you get it from? I noticed your English book. How are you enjoying the class? Hobbies Every situation is different, so it is hard to give blanket conversation starters. In the Appendix I do list over 30 conversation starters. What works well with strangers, is to ask about things around you or make comments about the event that you are both at. Here are a few. Some would be more appropriate with stranger   How is your day going?   What   How   What   How   What

is new with you? are you enjoying this ___ (party, shopping, trip, tr ip, etc)? have you been staying busy with lately? are things going in your life? big events are going to be happening in your life.


Don’t get hung-up with asking the exact question. You shining your spotlights, acting friendly, and considering the other person important, will make conversation almost nearly happen automatically. Action Plan Use this principle to start a conversation with someone. Call a friend. Speak to a stranger. Before hand choose a follow-up question.


Chapter 5

How to Keep a Conversation Flowing Smoothly  Conversation is like a quick burning fire. Unless fuel is added, it will die. Free nuggets of information is what keeps the fire of conversation going. going. Free nuggets are keywords, facts, statements, or any information. When properly used, a conversation will flow smoothly.  When not listening Give, Use, and Ask for Free Nuggets of Information. Principle #5: #5: When When a pause shows up in a conversation, you have three options: 1.  Give information (Yesterday, I….) 2.  Use information (Comment on what they just said or ask about it.) 3.  Ask for information (How did you spend your day yesterday?) Often you will use a combination. You share and then ask a question about what you just shared. Observe the following conversation: Janelle: How are you doing? Janelle: How  Fine. Last night I went bowling with some friends. Sarah: Fine. Sarah:  Bowling! (Said with interest) Janelle: Bowling! Janelle:  Yeah, about 5 of us were over at the Bowling center. Sarah: Yeah, Sarah:  Bowling Center? I have never been there. (Her voice and manner show sincere Janelle: Bowling Janelle: interest.)  It is pretty decent and a good atmosphere! Sarah: It Sarah:  Tell me about it. What is it like? Janelle: Tell Janelle: This is the start of an interesting conversation. In this conversation Sarah, used, gave, and asked

for free information. Let’s illustrate.

Using Free Nuggets During conversation be listening for information or keywords that you can use. Generally every sentence contains at least one free nugget of information. There are three ways to use free nuggets: 1.  Repeat the nugget back Notice how Janelle repeated the word “Bowling” with interest. This caused Sarah to give out some more free information. You will find that repeating a word or phrase back to a person will cause them to continue to talk about that subject. This is powerful for continuing conversation.


  2.  Comment on the nugget Janelle said, “Bowling Center. I have never been there!” This sparked more conversation. Commenting shows interest and shows you are listening. 3.  Ask a question. Janelle asked an open ended question about the Bowling Center. “Tell me about it. What is it like?” The free nuggets resulting from this question will give her more fuel for conversation. Just using a few nuggets will transform a dull, meaningless conversation into something exciting! Try it and see the results. Just listen for free nuggets and use them by showing interest. You don’t have to say lot to be great at conversation. Just listen and use free information. Actually, it is often good not to say too much!

Giving Free Nuggets Tennis requires two people hitting the ball back and forth. A conversation conversation which builds rapport and develops friendships must have both people contributing. You should still listen more than you talk and focus on showing interest. However, throw out some free nuggets about yourself. It will help build friendships and evaporate pauses. Often when people discover the importance of listening and showing interest they will focus too much on asking questions. They may feel guilty talking, and thus never open up. This person may quickly answer a question and then ask another. Doing this hinders conversation and is an obstacle in building good friendships. To build friendships and keep conversations flowing, a person must throw out free nuggets. This is what will happen as you give free nuggets:  

It will give the other person something to ask about.   Others will feel compelled to give more nuggets of information.   Both parties will get know one another.   It adds fuel to the conversation and keeps it going.

Let me explain when and out how to give out free nuggets. Give out Nuggets When Asked. Asked. Spike the one word answers to questions! Many people starve a conversation by not giving good answers to questions. A fire cannot start without fuel and a conversation cannot get going without the fuel of nuggets of information.


  Look at this conversation: You: Hello ____ You: Hello  Hey! Good to see you. How are you doing? Fred: Hey! Fred:  Fine. How about yourself. You: Fine. You:  Could not be better. Fred: Could Fred: Look at this conversation with free nuggets. You: Hello ____ You: Hello  Hey! Good to see you. How are you doing? Fred: Hey! Fred:  Pretty good. Thanks for asking. I spent the afternoon studying for a test and You: Pretty You: test and talking with friends. How friends. How about yourself?  Good. I spent the afternoon looking for a new car. (Notice how Fred is obligated to Fred: Good. Fred: answer more.) Now you both have free nuggets of information to ask about. This technique of giving and using free nuggets is powerful and will dynamically enhance your conversations. Volunteer Free Nuggets to Break Pauses Eventually subjects will run out and there is a pause in a conversation. You need a spark to ignite the conversation. Again a free nugget will do that. Later the 55 Principle will help you out. Anything will work:  

 Last week I saw this advertisement on... Story: Last Story:    News item:  item:  II heard that taxes...   Fun fact:   I heard that 70% of all statistics are made up... fact: I   Personal fact:   I am planning to buy a new....   fact: I When you learn the 55 Principle, you can learn some interesting info. Remember the acronym FORTH FORTH?? This works great for thinking up free nuggets. Family: My brother's wife just had a baby. Occupation: Yesterday at work, something really interesting happened. Recent events: I read in the paper about… Things: That's a nice shirt. Where did you get it from? Hobbies: I just picked up this new computer game... To be safe you could throw in a question after you share the nugget:


 I just bought this computer game which is really cool. It is called ca lled ___ and the object is to _____. (If no one says anything, ask a question.) What computer games do you enjoy?

Hint: Prepare yourself before you go to social functions or meet people. Read the Hint: Prepare newspaper or listen to the news. Think about some personal facts which would be of interested to those you meet. Asking Questions: Asking questions is a great way to show interest and keep a conversation flowing. A couple facts will be of big help. There are basically two types of questions: open-ended questions and closed ended questions. Closed ended questions result in just one or two word answers Some examples:  

 Do your enjoyayour Yes  Did you have goodcareer? day?  Yes    Are you enjoying the party? Yes


Here the speaker is showing interest. However, conversations will not last long, unless the person is real talker. Open ended questions result in several sentence answers.   How

did you get started in this career? Back in…   What are you enjoying about the party? The food is pretty good. I did meet this interesting guy...

Look at the above. Open ended questions fuel a conversation and are a quick way to  jump-start a conversation.  jump-start conversation. These These questions questions also give give you keywords keywords that you you can follow follow up on with more information. Open ended questions are good, but don’t throw away close ended questions. They are useful for gaining specific information and setting up an open ended question. Often the follow up method is good to us. I will ask a closed ended question and then follow it up with an open ended question. For an example: Where are you going to college? Oklahoma University .  How did you decide on this college?


  When I first learned about showing interest I did not understand about the two types of questions. Often I would ask closed ended question. It would sound like I was interviewing a person! I solved this by asking open ended questions which promoted conversation. Also I learned how to share information more effectively (covered later). What to ask about? Again, as long as you are showing interest, the question is not real important. However, great questions will make you you awesome at conversation. One little question can spark 15 minutes of conversation. Remember the Acronym FORTH as you go FORTH into Conversation. 2.  Family. How are your parents? How many kids? How is the health? Is your family going to be ttaking aking a vacation? 3.  Occupation.  How’s work going? What do you enjoy about your job? 4.  Recent events. The most recent event is what was just said by that person. It also includes news, recent activities by both of you, etc. Did you hear about the ____ on the news?  How was the party this weekend? 5.  T hings. Look and ask or make a comment aboutHow something.  Nice car! Which dealership didaround you getyou it from? I noticed your English book. are you enjoying the class? 6.  Hobbies. What hobbies are you involved in? How did you decide to get into this hobby?  How do you like to spend your time? Review

 When not listening Give, Use, and Ask for Free Nuggets of Information. Principle #5: #5: When

Action Plan a.  Talk with a friend or make a phone call. If you cannot do this at this time, turn on the radio to a talk show. As you listen be mentally thinking of what info you could have used if you were talking with this person. b.  Do the same with free information. Think of free information you could have thrown in. c.  As you listen being thinking of questions you could ask. So far you know the mindset of acting, thinking, and feeling like a confident person. You know to have your spotlight of interest, appreciation, and attention focused on the other person. It is time to get practical. Here is a technique that will revoltionize your conversations and give you confidence.


Chapter 5 Unlocking Your Conversation Skills with one Technique The 55 Principle is what I call the missing link. It builds on what we learned and will transform conversations. Principle #5 #5:: Always be Prepared for conversation with the 55 Principle. The 55 principle means that before you talk to an individual or attend a social event, you have five conversation topics/free nuggets and five questions. This only takes a minute or two and can be the key to unlocking a successful evening. You are walking in prepared. When a silent pause creeps up, you obliterate with the 55 Principle. Conversation Topics / Nuggets

Nuggets of information conversation topics can be from the following sources: •






Recent experciences that happened to you. Think F.O.R.T.H. News stories. Look at the news paper, TV News or an internet site. You can use this info to ask questions about someone. Interesting facts and stories. News of the Weird are true stories that are stranger than fiction. Check them out:   Aiken’s One Liners will send you five one liners every day be email. Sprinkling in a couple of these every day will spice up conversations.    General news from the area. If you are a joke teller, there are different daily joke lists. However, do not tell jokes if they fall flat when you share. Stimulating questions and topics: o  Would you sell an eye for a Million Dollars? If you were going to be on a deserted Island for a month with all your food and housing provided, what three things would you bring? o  If you knew you only had 24 hours to live, how would you live the final 24 hours (5 hours, 6 months, 3 years).  


Usually I have a few news stories in mind, some personal experiences to share, and interesting facts and stories. Unless you will be talking for a couple minutes, even boring facts can ignite a conversation. You could say, “I took my car to the mechanic last week for an oil change.” Depending on who you are talking with, they may ask some questions or make some comments. You could  just follow up with a question, question, “What “What Mechanic do you like to use?” Conversation Questions


  When you walk into conversation, you need to be ready with around five questions. A good question will ignite conversations. Every situation is different and you will have to tailor you questions. Below I have a few different categories of question. Just select a few you would like to use. In the appendix there is a longer list. Remembering F.O.R.T.H. (Family, Occultation, Recent Events, Things, and Hobbies will help you think of questions. Use the following questions to ask about F.O.R.T.H. 1.  Any Questions about F.O.R.T.H. a.  Do you have any family? How many siblings? How many kids? Ages? b.  How do you like to spend your time? c.  What are your hobbies? d.  What do you do for an occupation? e.  What have you been busy with lately? 2.  What do you know about ______ (Recent news item, etc)  

3. 4.  5.  6.  7.  8.  9. 

What is What donew you with enjoy_______? about ________(Raising kids, working in Management, etc)? How did you get involved in ________(career, meet your spouse, etc)? What do you find challenging about…. (raising kids, your job, college, etc)?  etc)?   How is your ______ (family, mother, friend)? What do you think about _________? Tell me about __________.

This will instantly make you great at conversation. Just pause to think of a few questions and topics before chatting with someone. As time passes, you will become better at this. It will automatically happen Action Plan Think of five conversation topics and five conversation questions. With these you are ready, for conversation.


Chapter 6

Releasing your Abilities

In the last hour or so, you have learned five principles. You may feel a little overwhelmed with the info. This section should help. Step #1: Understand #1: Understand that you will probably not be able to apply everything you learned right away. It will take some practice. However, remember that just applying any of these principles will improve your abilities instantly. Step #2: Review #2: Review the principles and understand how they operate in conversation. As you approach and greet the other person you are applying Principle #1 and Principle #2:  Treat the other Person as if they are the most important person in the Principle #1: #1: Treat world. Principle #2: Act and think like a Confident, friendly person who is great at conversation. Key #1: Ask #1: Ask yourself “How would a Confident, Friendly Person Act in this Situation”? Key #2: P.R.E.S.S #2: P.R.E.S.S yourself to look, Act and feel confident. Posture straight Relaxed body Eye contact Smiling Speak Clearly Key #3: Expect #3: Expect other people to want to talk with you and enjoy being in your presence. Now you continue to apply the first two principles and add the third. Principle #3 Shine your spotlight of interest, attention, and appreciation on the other person. Somewhere you apply the next Principle:  Easily start Conversations with the CQ method and using FORTH. Principle #4: #4: Easily Family  Occupation  Recent events  Things  Hobbies 


  After the conversation is going, apply the next principle to keep the conversation flowing.  When not listening Give, Use, and Ask for Free Nuggets of Information. Principle #5: #5: When Before the conversation, you should have had your 55 Principle ready.  Use the 55 Principle with your 5 topics and questions. Principle #6: #6: Use

You are now equipped. Use them. You will see a noticeable difference right away. However, this is just the start. As you continue to use these principles, you will become more proficient. To continue to improve, spend 10 minutes a day focused on talking with an individual or the mirror. This will unlock your abilities. From the Author: I want to help people improve their conversation skills. If you have any ideas or feedback on this book, please drop me a note at: [email protected]   Austin Barnes



Appendix: Questions to Start Conversations and Keep them Interesting.    

What have you done for fun lately?  Did anything interesting happen this

   

week?  

What are you doing to stay busy

 How did you end getting into this career


What are major challenges you face in parenting these two kids? (Working at this job, doing this  project, etc.)


What books, movies, tapes,


 How do you spend most of your time?


 If you could live in anywhere which

   

Who is one person who has had a lot of influence on your life? Why?



 How was work?


 Have you seen any movies recently?  How did you like it/them?

 Have you been to _________? What kind of foods do you like?


Where are you from?


Where did you go to school/college?


 Have you read any good books lately? What did you enjoy about them?


What do you normally do for fun?


 Do you like (an interest of yours)?


 If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

   

You look really nice, where did you get ________?

What did you do this weekend (week)?


would you choose and why?  

What sports do you play or like? How long have you played for?

magazines do you like? Why?  

 Ask if they saw an interesting TV  program.

these days?  

What kind of music do you listen to?

What place do you want to visit most?  If you couldn't do what you are doing for a living, what else would you do?


 If you could interview anyone living or dead, who would it be?


 If you knew then, what you know now, what would you have done different in  your teen years?



 If your house were on fire and you, your you r


yourself what would you change?

 family and pets were all out safely and  you could only grab 3 things to take out,


what would they be? 



What is your earliest childhood memory?  If you were to describe the perfect





do with your time or where would you


What childhood games do you remember  playing?







Describe your perfect day.


What job would you never want to have?



your life?  

If you could change one thing in the

Would you rather mow the lawn for 8 hours or r give a book report in front

What are some of your greatest

What has been the happiest day of

Who is your best friend? Why are they your best friend?

of 500 kids?

fears?  

What is the best thing about being  ______ years years old?

 If you could be invisible for a day, where would you go, and what would you do?

What is the hardest thing about being _____ years old?

 If you knew you had 24 hours to live what would you do?

What is your favorite book of all time? Why?

go?  

What is your favorite movie of all time? Why?

 I you knew you'd be financially taken care of for the next year, what would you

What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?

 If you wrote a book, what would it be about?

What is the most important thing in your life?

marriage in a few simple sentences, how would you do it?

If you could change one thing about


What’s your favorite car and why?


Who would you most like to meet?


In what other country would you most like to live?

world what would you change?  

What things don’t boys understand about girls?



What things don’t girls understand about boys?


What embarrasses you the most?


If you could take a family vacation any place in the world, where would you go?


If you had three wishes, what would they be? (You’re not allowed to wish for money or another wish!)


How do you know the host here at the party.

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