talk yourself into a good conversation

Talking Yourself Into A Good Conversation

Years ago, the writer, Vanessa Van Edwards (self-acclaimed ‘Modern-Day Dale Carnegie’) gave us no less than 33 pointers on the mechanics of successful talking.

All well and good. 

Devil’s advocate! point for point:

  1. Vanessa Says Be Anti-Boring. I Say Be Anti-Everything

Don’t bother asking someone what they do for a living. Who cares.

Start off with, ‘Why get up in the morning? Give me a reason, one good reason, to get out of bed. If you do, I’ll buy you a drink’. (Incentive to the listener to talk).

  1. She Says Start off Strong – I Say, Just Start Off

You know what, it doesn’t matter a jot how you know the host of the party, and who’s business is that anyway? Why should you have to cover up the fact that you and your host met via a well-known chat line and later had a secret rendezvous in the back of an Uber. Forget all that, just say, ‘Yeah, we know each other pretty well,’ and head for the Quiche Lorraine. (rhymes with?)

  1. Talk About Trips and Adventures? Really?

Listen, who has the time or the money these days for ‘exciting trips and adventures’. Don’t embarrass people by asking them if they’ve been anywhere interesting lately. Talk about the belly dance you once did at the Egyptian Hall in the British Museum, do it again, invite them along, it’s wild!

  1. Excitement?

What’s up lately? Not much. You could mention your booster jab.

  1. Stories

Don’t tell boring stories. It’s painful pasting a grin on your face while some moron tries to ‘entertain you’ with a carefully contrived anecdote. Just let it all hang out like random brain matter.

  1. Break it Down ?

Talk about your recent meltdown, that always gets the ball rolling. And it makes people feel more at home I always find.

  1. Vanessa Says, ‘Be the Highlight’!

What is this? Celebrity Apprentice? Forget it. Don’t ask some poor party-goer about the ‘highlight’ of their day, give space for a moan and groan. They’ll thank you for it, especially if they’ve killed their mother.

  1. The Handshake?

Never! Do you know where that hand has been?!

  1. The Eyes Have It – Power Gaze

Don’t freak out your listener by staring at them like Marty Feldman! But throw an indecent wink if you feel like it.

  1. Power Pose?

Who needs a power pose? Prop up the bar with your elbow, look as if you are about to fall down. It’s cool, it’s casual, some asshole will think you’re easy and buy you a drink.

  1. Like-Dar


  1. Smile

Sure, but keep it loose and crooked, there might be spinach on your teeth.

  1. Authenticity?

No way. Stride like Alonzo in Training Day, shimmy like May West. Real? The heck you are cowboy!

  1. From the Heart

Authentic compliments from the heart as a sales pitch? How fake.

  1. What Can I Do For You?

I prefer the dyslexic equivalent, ‘What can I do you for?’

  1. Warm it Up!

Vanessa says ‘include an actionable question at the end of your call or email’. For example, you could say, “Could we jump on a call to discuss your goals with time management?”

Oh pulleese. I’m never out of bed before 12 and I never answer my phone. So forget it.

  1. Your Feet

Vanessa says ‘point your feet at the person you want to hone in on.

It shows that you’re in tune with what that person has to say.

Aim your Addidas elsewhere, buster!

  1. The Head Tilt

This could go very wrong.

WTF! Why are you staring at my crotch! I hear the listener enquire.

  1. The Face

If it’s pretty show it off, if not wear a mask. Simple

  1. To Fist Bump or Not to Fist Bump?

No, use your butt to bump, it’s good vibes.

  1. Vanessa says – beware sweaty palms

Listen. I have hyperhidrosis. Okay?

  1. Vertical

Hold your hand out and move it up and down with the other person’s hand.

What!? How rude?!

  1. By the Bar…
talk yourself into a good conversation
An original artwork by Alice Frances with the help of a robot

Vanessa says, ‘at any event, situate yourself right where people are exiting the bar with their drinks.’

God no, stay close to those ENTERING THE BAR and engage them in conversation. They’ll need to buy you a drink just to get rid of you, but don’t worry, once the bevvies are in, everyone starts to relax.

  1. … or By the Food

Vanessa says, ‘sit down where people are eating too. As soon as they put their plates down, shake their hands and start talking to them.’

I hate assholes who interfere with my eating! That’s no way to make friends Vanessa!

  1. Vanessa says, Don’t Fidget!

Hell yeah! Fidget like Travolta in flagrant delicto! And what about people with Parkinson’s eh Vanessa, have a heart? Soooo insensitive.

  1. Watch Your Nerves

Own up. Your nerves are shot to hell. Chances are you have a crappy job and a psycho boss. So does your listener. Great ice breaker.

  1. Alpha Behavior

If they irritate you with boring talk, head butt them. Simple.

  1. The Power of the Lean

If you’re in a group setting and trying to focus on connecting with one person, lean in when he or she talks. It shows, “I want to be with you and talk with you.”

What if he or she has bad breath?

  1. Display Confidence?

Have you ever tried keeping your head held high and your chin up while guzzling a dirty martini? It ain’t easy, but you can talk about the scientific impossibilities of keeping up appearances.

  1. Vocal Power

So scream if your stressed. It’s a great way to loosen up, and people do take notice.

  1. Remember to Breathe

Like, heavy breathing? What are we talking about here Vanessa?

  1. Be Passionate

Where? On the dance floor?

  1. Growth

And finally (Christ I never thought I’d get to the end. Pure torture!)

Vanessa says, if you’re in a group and you want people to pay attention to you, use the nonverbal hand signal for growth. This involves raising your hand in an upward slope. You’re showing people using your body language how successful you are. Of course, we’re all attracted to successful people and want to start conversations with them.

Listen Vanessa, after what you put me through reading this shitty list, I know a good hand gesture I’d like to show to you!!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner