Career 2013 At Marina Bay Sands Expo Convention Centre: The Art of Conversation Talk
It’s a different venue and a different crowd this year. But my guiding principles remain the same – to give maximum value to the audience who spent the next one hour listening to me at this year’s Career & Education 2013 Fair: Navigating Your Future. Held at Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Center this year, it’s a repeat of the same topic I spoke last year. At the invitation of the organisers for the third year running, welcome to today’s talk titled the Art of Conversation.
Seats were quickly taken up and others who came after I started joined in by standing at the back. Besides the size of the crowd (which was a pleasure to see on a Sunday afternoon), what I really enjoyed was the energy of the crowd. ‘Tis said that good energy rubs off good energy. And this was what happened.
Normally, my communication workshops run for at least one day. It’s a difficult task to condense everything in the one hour slot I was given as there’s just so much to talk about. Going back to the basis of communication was what I did. Like an onion being peeled to its deepest layers, understanding the 5Ws and 1H of how a smooth flowing conversation works is the key to successful communication.
Using the analogy of breakfast, I asked the audience if they had breakfast. Well knowing their reply, it was an example of a close ended question. I need not be a psychic to know what their possible replies would be. It could only be “yes” or “no”.
Changing my asking tactic this time, I reformulated my question – “what did you eat for breakfast?” The response this time was different as it ran the gamut of possibilities, from Mcdonalds big breakfast to carrot cake to bread with half boiled eggs! In the same vein, I could also have asked another possible question “where did you go for breakfast” and again the response could be something I could not have figured out so easily.
Kicking off on the simple yet often overlooked core of communication (which is to build rapport with others) allowed the audience to be eased in slowly to the various tools which I teach at my communication workshops. Giving a brief but concise snapshot, this included the various communication styles. Stretch out our fingers and you realise that the length of our five fingers are all of dissimilar lengths. In the same vein, people come in all shapes and sizes…and use different modes of communication.
Lest you start to sound the alarm, fret not. Even though people use different communication modes, we can still read them with a high degree of accuracy. I read people based on the way they dress and the way they behave. And then I spin my topics around these observations.
And this was the little secret I let my audience in today…
When you are enjoying what you do, time always passes so quickly. Soon, it was time for me to exit the stage…