Tourism Festival Project/Interpersonal Skills/Communication

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Check out the video Why Communication is Important (.swf, 6.5MB) If you'd prefer to read a transcript of this video, click here

What to say in your first conversation

How you start your conversation will depend a lot on what you want from that relationship. If you want a personal relationship, for example, you might start with different things than if you want a business relationship. For the purpose of this article, we’ll assume your goal is to start a friendly business relationship.

Start with their name. It’s tempting to start with your own name, but if you know their name it’s a really nice touch to address them by it. Once they’ve been addressed, then you can throw your name into the mix.

Ask questions about them. Ask them about what they do, what they like doing, their history. Ask anything that’s appropriate to your conversation. In general, people really enjoy talking about themselves, so the more you let them talk, the more they’re going to like you. One caveat to this, however; don’t subject them to a rapid-fire interrogation! Ask slow, thoughtful questions, and then give them a chance to talk for a while. A little down-time can actually be a good thing for a conversation.

Listen carefully, and respond. You may have noticed that the best conversationalists remember all sorts of little details about you and bring them up when the time is right. Your goal in asking questions isn’t just to make them feel good about themselves, but also to learn as much about them as you can. Be a good listener, and you’ll remember a whole lot more of the conversation. Once you’ve fully processed what they said (again, it’s okay to pause and think), you can respond with something thoughtful.

Test your body language - reading face 1

Test your body language - reading face 2

Test your body language - understanding others

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Go to your page and commence a checklist of points to remember when communicating with customers. This will be added to as you work your way through this unit.