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Techniques > Conversation techniques > Sustaining the conversation > Topic list

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Develop your own list of things to talk about with other people.

Keep a notepad with you and listen to other people's conversations. Make notes about good topics of conversation. Make particular notes about the opening words.

Carry the list with you and take a secret peek at it when you feel you may be drying up or the conversation needs an extra boost.

Example

Christmas dinner
What would you like for Christmas
I was arrested last week (when I saw you from across the room)
The coffee here is awful - have you tried Carluck's?
The British monarchy
Car racing
Do you speak any foreign languages
...

Discussion

These only give you a few ideas -- there are so many other things that you can talk about. Be ready to follow clues they give you about what they are interested in.

We often run out of things to say not because there is nothing to say but because we are paralyzed by the social situation and are perhaps afraid of saying the wrong thing.

In practice, how you say it is much more important than what you say. Note how some people seem to get away with quite controversial comments -- and how they do so with a pleasant tone and perhaps a wicked but friendly smile.

See also

Topical events, Tell stories, Interest in the person, Plans for the future

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