Berger Leadership Blog

Communication Jun 09, 2017

Making great conversation

Conversation
Talking with a conference attendee at a past Annual Conference.

As I prepare for NAFCU's 50th Annual Conference and Solutions Expo next week in Honolulu, I look forward to the many, many conversations I'll be having with the association's members and conference attendees.

But whether catching up with an old friend or meeting someone for the first time, guiding a comfortable yet memorable conversation is a skill. In a recent blog post, Inc.com contributor Jessica Stillman notes some habits that can spark a really great conversation. She takes her tips from public radio host Celeste Headlee. The lessons include:

  1. Don't multitask.
  2. Don't pontificate.
  3. Use open-ended questions.
  4. Go with the flow.
  5. If you don't know, say you don't know.
  6. Don't equate your experience with theirs.
  7. Try not to repeat yourself.
  8. Stay out of the weeds.
  9. Listen.
  10. Be brief.

Even if you have charm and wit on your side, learning to be interesting while also bringing out the best in someone else takes practice.

I look forward to seeing many of you next week! Follow me on Twitter (@BDanBerger).