Are You A Conversational Gymnast?

Funny gymnastic_1[1]If you’re a small business owner like me and you want more clients, like it or not-you’re probably talking to a lot more people than you ever did in your life! I talk to clients, I talk to potential clients, I talk to other small biz owners, I talk to people who might hire me to speak for their associations. I talk and talk and talk. If you’re in the same boat, maybe you’d like to figure out how to do it well. Here are a few suggestions below that might help you at your next networking event.
Sweetest Word In Any Language
When I was 15, I read my Mom’s book by Dale Carnegie about how to make friends and all that. I never forgot what he said about the sweetest word to anyone in any language being their own name. Now I have a very difficult name to remember so I am DOUBLY impressed when someone repeats it in a conversation. So listen to Dale, he knew what he was about, use and abuse the person’s name over and over until they either fall in love with you or move on desperately to the buffet in haste. Either way, you’ll be memorable!
Develop Self Amnesia
At one networking meeting, a woman I spoke to seemed to turn all threads of conversation to herself and what her business was about. After a while, people in our group stopped smiling at her and started to look around at other groups to move on. Please stop talking about yourself. Start being curious about others. The conversation will flow on when you do.
Go Ahead And Gossip
Bet that surprised you! Everybody loves to gossip but the only kind of gossip that I can ever stomach is gossip about public figures and celebrities. While I do feel sorry for these people sometimes for not having a private life, for the rest of us they provide perfectly respectable and acceptable common ground. So yeah, go ahead and gossip about public figures to make the chatter more interesting. I mean come on- who wasn’t shocked about the ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius offing his girlfriend after achieving such enormous fame and success despite his handicap!
Shut Up
Perhaps the most important trick to becoming a conversational gymnast is to do a lot more listening (hence shutting up) than talking. In professional coaching, we are trained to speak only 20% of the session and are graded accordingly during our final panel exams. I don’t have to tell you that it’s a tough one to maintain for most people and especially for me.
If you already consider yourself quite the Mary Lou Retton of conversations, I’d love to meet over a cup of coffee. On the other hand, if you’d like to pick up your game and polish your convo skills, I hope those tips were valuable.
Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!


  1. aviralkulshreshtha

    Nice article Chala..As you mentioned Dale Carnegie’s book, I too read that and its really very important to remember names..I liked this the most and I always keep repeating names with those I talk. Mentioned nice techniques to remember names. I have also read that we should never talk or mention about someone’s Religion, Relationship and Disease as these are sometimes very delicate issues to talk about. What you suggest?

  2. Chala Dincoy

    Hi Aviral, how are you? I agree with you about the deadly R, R and D avoidance in a conversation. That’s why I said to gossip about celebrities instead. You’ll be sure to find common ground then. Just make sure what you’re saying isn’t judgemental, just information based.
    Take care, C

  3. toric contact lenses reviews

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    • Chala Dincoy

      Thanks! I hope you do come back..


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About Chala

Chala Dincoy is a Marketing Strategist who helps B2B service providers reposition their marketing message to successfully sell to corporate clients