Whether it's a hot new movie, a huge sports event, or a TV show that it feels like everyone is watching, it's no fun to be caught out of the loop during water cooler chats or party conversations. If you want to be a part of it all, let go of your pride and ask some dumb questions about it.
Tagged With conversation
I'm a terrible storyteller. With enough keyboard time I can turn a personal experience into a passable narrative, but in person I fall to pieces. Whenever I try to share a "funny story," even if I've tried following Lifehacker's storytelling tips, I see my audience's faces freeze into a rictus as my story reaches its disappointing climax. So I've abused my power as a journalist to ask some comedians for free advice: How do you fix a funny story that's not working?
In this episode we're talking about the lost art of conversation-making. Joining us is podcaster and raconteur Ken Plume, who has conducted extensive interviews with the likes of Mel Brooks and John Cleese. We discuss how Ken got his start feeling comfortable talking to just about anyone, how he handles the awkwardness of a cocktail party (hint: It involves a fern) - and then we invent an acronym that will help you handle any conversational challenge. (Sort of.)
We've all received the conventional wisdom that filler words such as "um", "uh" and the especially dreaded "like" have no place in conversation. They make you sound dumb! They diminish your authority! But, according to a linguist, filler words serve an important function, and we shouldn't be so quick to try to banish them from conversation.
You have problems, I have advice. This advice isn't sugar-coated - in fact, it's sugar-free, and may even be a little bitter. Welcome to Tough Love.
Next weekend is my family's yearly reunion. It's across the country, so I'm not going, but my father is currently contemplating the trip. When we talked about the event this week, he talked about how he wanted to go and see everyone, but he also wanted to avoid a number of different conversation topics. Like all families, we have things we'd rather not talk about and he was worried he was going to get caught in a bunch of awkward conversations where people asked him about things he didn't want to discuss and he was forced to answer. My advice: Go in with a plan.
At some point in your life you'll have an awkward conversation. Parties, networking events, they're all minefields potentially littered with awkward pauses, regrettable jokes and just plain invasive small talk. You don't have to suffer the slings and arrows of bad conversation. Some tried and true practices to get you out already exist, whether it means bothering a buddy or downloading an app.
I love the concept of ride sharing services like Lyft or Uber, and I use them all the time when I travel or feel the urge to paint the town red. But it's not just because they're convenient; I like to talk to the drivers! And I wouldn't trade all the stories, advice and near head-on collisions for anything.
Your role at the doctor's office isn't over when you describe your problem. You have to understand what your provider is telling you -- and that goes double if you're signing a form to say you understand the risks of a procedure or of being involved in a study.