The Art of Talking to Anyone

From the author of How to Say It, the million-copies-sold bestseller
If you want to improve your conversational skills–and achieve greater levels of personal and professional success–
The Art of Talking to Anyone is the ultimate book. Rosalie Maggio has built a career on teaching people how to say the right thing at the right time–and she’s made her techniques available to you.
This essential communication handbook includes: Sample dialogues, topics, and responses Quick-reference dos and don’ts Tips for handling special situations Confidence-building advice and quotations Key words that get to the business at hand

Whether it’s small talk or big, social or work-related, The Art of Talking to Anyone gives you all the tools you need to speak up with confidence, to charm and persuade, and to talk your way through any situation–successfully.
From the Back Cover Yes, you can learn to talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere. And here’s how. Conversation is one of the most decisive factors in our success in business and in life. It’s also an art anyone can learn—with the help of a few simple tips, guidelines and techniques.
The Art of Talking to Anyone makes it easy. Using sample scripts, real-life situations, and surefire strategies, this all-in-one handbook provides everything you need to become a more successful conversationalist. Whether you’re chatting with co-workers at a conference, meeting new people at a party, or just talking on the telephone, this confidence-building guide can help you jumpstart your own unique skills and make a positive, lasting impression. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to express yourself, how self-assured you’ll feel, and how well people respond to the right words at the right time. Filled with ready-to-use conversations and useful suggestions, this life-changing book shows you:
How to be universally liked How to listen successfully How to keep a conversation going…and how to end one How to ask and answer questions How and when to tell jokes How to deal with difficult conversations How to charm and persuade others.

The Art of Talking to Anyone by Rosalie Maggio has good advice on conversational people skills for any situation. The book covers general conversation principles plus how to talk to anyone in the workplace, meetings and conferences,  business-social events, public places, the telephone, in times of trouble, family and friends and romantic encounters.
To succeed in any conversation, start to finish:
Decide you want to go to an event/place and be convinced of the reasons for doing it.  Have something to say. Take your best self with you. People will catch and mirror your emotional states. Remember people tend to behave as you expect them.
Check out your body language. Your posture… stand up straight, sit up straight. Avoid blushing, facial contractions, fiddling, crossing arms, clearing throat a lot and blinking too much.
Smile frequently to meaningful comments. A good smile works miracles used well.
When introducing someone to someone else, add how you know them. “We worked on a project together.”  “He’s my neighbor and makes the best home made pizza.”
Shaking someone’s hand will give the person the first impression of you. So work on a good handshake. Be the first to reach out your hand to shake the other persons. Avoid the finger grabbing handshake, and reach back to the web between the thumb and index finger. Be firm, hold for a second and look directing into the person’s eyes.
Basic conversational principles. 1. The goal of the first few seconds of someone you don’t know is to find a few things out about the other person, tell a few things about yourself, find some common ground between you. When you find common ground build on it.
2. A conversation should be back and forth. Not short quips like a tennis match, but more like golf. One hits the ball and the other comments on it, and back to the other person.
3. Vary the contributions to the conversation. Make a statement, ask a question, offer a piece of information about yourself, ask something(not too personal) about the other person. Use this as a pattern to go over and over again, and you will see a nice conversational flow.
4. A frequent way to start is to ask about a person’s work, or if not special activities they are part of. Set the tone by sharing some things about yourself, they can then match it to their own life.
5. Use the “you” word more than “I”.  “How did you get into this type work?”  And with other people as part of the conversation, bring the other person in too by asking them a similar question. Try to be a moderator when more than one is in the conversation and bring someone into it who may not speak as much.
6. When someone brings up a subject you don’t know much about, it is a good time to get them to share more or elaborate. “Honestly, I don’t know much about gardening, tell me more about what goes into it.” Most people love to explain what they do and love doing. So it’s a great time to let them tell you the intricacies about it.
7. Use details, precise descriptions, colorful nouns when explaining something. For example instead of just saying I’m a chef, go on to say for whom, and what you are good at preparing, and why you like it. Think about details of what you do and analogies you can use so others understand it.
8. Try to establish a feeling you are on the same wavelength. It’s finding that common ground and building on that.
9. Pick up the other person’s rhythm of speech and speak in the same way and style.
10. Match posture and mannerisms the other person uses.
Use touch to connect stronger. A handshake with a hand tapping the shoulder as you release a handshake. Touching the side of the arm as you speak. Tap on the shoulder as you depart. Or in some cases a squeeze on the upper forearm to show appreciation.
Ending the conversation Always express appreciation for the time to talk, and make a reference to something said.
Listening This is the most important part on your part. Listening is showing you are interested by being attentive, nodding or saying “ah-hah” occasionally. Keeping good eye contact, but not a fixed stare.  Model the other person… smiling, frowning, laughing when they do. Repeat back to them what they said in your own words so they can clarify it, if it is not what you wanted them to hear.
Keep the conversation moving with conversation fillers… phrases such as “and then what, oh, no kidding, how did that go, who, how does that work…”  It shows you are listening and encouraging more. Ask probing, expanding, clarification questions.
Asking good questions are important in a conversation. Bad questions are judgmental, or aggressive, intrusive, numerous, too broad, why, or something too personal. Good questions relate to what the other person just said, help you find the all important common ground, move the conversation along, lead to more detailed answers, are sensitive and neutral and concrete. When a person asks a bad question, divert to a question that a lot ask you that you want to answer, or have another story in your belt to tell them. “First, let me share a story with you.”
Rosalie Maggio continues on in her book to give guidance on telling jokes, dealing with conversation predicaments, being an unpopular conversationalist; and she explains the specifics of conversing in the workplace, meetings and conferences, business social events, public places, telephone, friends and romance.
More from Rosalie at

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connie dello buono

Health educator, author and enterpreneur motherhealth@gmail.com or conniedbuono@gmail.com ; cell 408-854-1883 Helping families in the bay area by providing compassionate and live-in caregivers for homebound bay area seniors. Blogs at www.clubalthea.com Currently writing a self help and self cure ebook to help transform others in their journey to wellness, Healing within, transform inside and out. This is a compilation of topics Connie answered at quora.com and posts in this site.

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