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Seven Sins of Small Talk - Speaking for Success

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 213

Are you guilty of practicing one of the seven sins of small talk? They're so easy to do, seem so inconsequential, but whenever we put them into practice, we automatically place a damper on the speaking relationship that we have with the other person. So, what are the Seven Sins of Small Talk?

1. Interrupting the person who is speaking. Interrupting a person in mid-sentence, not only derails the other person's line of thought, it can make it difficult for them to continue past the interruption.

2. Hogging the 'small talk' platform. Although we can have riveting conversations with ourselves, hogging the conversation shows no effort, on our part, to engage the other person. Building a meaningful speaking relationship requires give and take between you and the other person.

3. Appropriating the other person's experience. Sometimes, a person will grab a speaking partner's experience, and interject their own story. A friend of mine was asked about her recent hiking trip. She had barely started her story when the other person snapped the words 'hiking trip' out of her mouth and then, proceeded to upstage her by filling in details about his own hiking adventure.

4. Interrogating your speaking partner. While asking can questions encourage dialogue, asking too many questions one after the other in rapid succession, can put your speaking partner on the defence. If they feel interrogated, they will probably leave you sooner, rather than later.

5. Providing one word answers. Have you ever tried talking with someone who responds with just a word? How's the new job? Fine. What did you have for lunch? Tuna. Where did you go for lunch? Tim's. While there is nothing wrong with the occasional one word, or very brief response, neither one contributes to finding common ground on which to build a speaking relationship.

6. Talking with food in your mouth. When a person asks us a question and we have food in our mouth, we can acknowledge the questioner with a gentle motion of our hand indicating that we have something in our mouth. Finish our chewing; swallow and then speak.

7. Arguing or debating..... While some of us like verbal sparring, it is best left for when we have to fight hostile takeovers, not when we are trying to engage in 'agreeable' small talk.

Avoid these deadly seven sins of small talk and you'll soon develop a reputation for being a brilliant conversationalist!

An accomplished and award winning speaker, Dorothea Hendriks brings you presentations, keynotes, coaching and workshops that engage, entertain and inform. Some say her enthusiasm. Dorothea's expertise is teaching people how to connect, communicate and develop working relationships. Whether you are speaking to a large group, or having a one-on-one conversation, her emphasis on the soft skills of communication, attitude, interpersonal, networking, and conversational development for positive outcomes that will build sales and promote careers. A successful entrepreneur, Dorothea focuses on helping you go beyond your personal barriers, through public speaking, presentation techniques, in order to successfully navigate your networking events with poise, grace and results.

Source: EzineArticles
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Dorothea Hendriks


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