Theme Thursday 22
It turns out that the very first Theme Thursday link up I joined was back in 19 May 2011, when the theme was Male Person, though I waited until a whole month later to tell you about General Douglas MacArthur. If I hadn't already done this theme, I'd probably be telling you what I really think about Donald Trump. (Gasp!)
He's really not today's topic, but some time after he kicked off his campaign, I learned that there is a book that he and I have in common as an influence. I haven't had a chance to reread it, but I did find another by the same author that happens to fit the 26 May 2011 theme to perfection.
The reason so many people are poor conversationalists is that they talk only about the things that interest them. That may be deadly boring to others. Reverse the process. Lead the other person into talking about his interests, his business, his golf score, his success--or if it is a mother, her children. Do that and listen intently and you will give pleasure; consequently, you will be considered a good conversationalist--even though you have done very little of the talking.
This is another book I found in my office's "library." My job is the sort that lulls people to sleep, and the team leaders are frequently thinking of ways to keep everyone alert. I guess someone thought we'd be more likely to stay awake if we had interesting things to read at our workstations, and more likely to have reading material if we found it there waiting for us than if we had to walk a couple of metres to the filing cabinets to get them. This was how I discovered Mary Higgins Clark (who has already inspired one Reading Diary entry) and rediscovered Dale Carnegie.
Several years ago, a short-term colleague told me, at the conclusion of our project, that he knew within the first day of dealing with me that I had read Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. Never mind that I had only read it once, back in high school, and barely remembered it. Apparently, its lessons had stuck. (I wonder, however, whether my word for 2014 finally got it to unstick.)
This time around, what has stuck with me most is how much overlap Carnegie's advice to public speakers has with Khatzumoto's advice to language learners. All the practical steps Carnegie recommends for refining your use of your L1 have, we might say, separated-at-birth identical twins in all the practical steps Khatz recommends for mastering your use of L2. The main difference between them is Khatz's open awareness that he has not simply learned to speak Japanese, but has practically become Japanese. If Carnegie also understood that you cannot become better at speaking (an action) without also becoming a very different person (an actor), he kept it quieter.
So what is your favourite tip for improving public speaking or conversation skills? =)
Image Source: How to Develop Self-confidence and Influence People Through Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie