A good speech can always be inspiring or enlightening, whether in how to organize a speech, how to structure the contexts, how to perform in the stage, how to think or how to observe in our daily lives. Lately I have attended a speech on “how to start a successful conversation” given by a communication expert in the Grand Hall of our school.
A lady gave that speech. She actually made a living by talking to various people. She was a psychiatrist and it was her job to help people with mental problems live like a normal human being through talking. And by her own words, she was a success.
She started her speech by denying the practicality and accuracy of the so- called golden rules of starting a conversation, and even went so far as to call them “crap”. One rule within the golden rules was chosen to explain why so. The rule was “To show you are paying attention, look into the eyes of the speaker, nod from time to time and ask occasionally some simple questions to sustain the conversation.” On this she said, if you were truly paying attention to the conversation and the speaker, you didn't even need to learn how to pay attention. If you had to learn how to pay attention, you were actually trying to get out of a conversation.
Then she gave some simple rules of how to have a successful conversation, one of which was to ask open questions. She named the questions that could be answered with simply yes or no or one noun or one verb the “Conversation terminators”. I had never heard this before. But after a thought, she was right. I mean, when I ask you “Do you like dogs?” You might answer like “Yes, I love dogs”. And that is it. Suppose the one who answers doesn't want to share more about why or what dogs he likes, the conversation will end. So such questions can’t be good. Instead, we should use more often open questions like “What was like to have a dog?” “When do you think is the best age to have dog?” “Where do you think it better to have dogs, a city or a village?” Basically these questions enabled people to think, according to her. And it was these thinking that could finally deepen the conversation and make it longer.
She was an aggressive one I had to say, and you don't have to agree with what she said. But it was worth listening to.