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The Art of Civilized Conversation: A Guide to Expressing Yourself with Style and Graceby Margaret Shepherd
Synopses & Reviews
In our fast-paced, electronic society, the most basic social interaction—talking face-to-face—can be a challenge for even the most educated and self-assured individuals. And yet making conversation is a highly practical skill: those who do it well shine at networking parties, interviews, and business lunches. Good conversation also opens doors to a happier love life, warmer friendships, and more rewarding time with family.
For those intimidated by the complexity of personal interaction, or those simply looking to polish their speaking skills, The Art of Civilized Conversation is a powerful guide to communicating in an endearing way. In its pages, author Margaret Shepherd offers opening lines, graceful apologies, thoughtful questions, and, ultimately, the confidence to take conversations beyond hello. From the basics—first impressions, appropriate subject matter, and graceful exits—to finding the right words for difficult situations and an insightful discussion of body language, Shepherd uses her skilled eye and humorous anecdotes to teach readers how to turn a plain conversation into an engaging encounter.
Filled with common sense and fresh insight, The Art of Civilized Conversation is the perfect inspiration not only for what to say but for how to say it with style.
"There is so much information in this manual that the easily intimidated may decide that silence is sometimes better than bearing in mind all the rules of conversation. Shepherd, a calligrapher and writer (The Art of the Handwritten Note), covers almost every type of social or intimate situation, including how to make introductions, requests, apologies, and a variety of tips for speaking with children, elderly people and in-laws. Shepherd also addresses those difficult moments when we all have trouble knowing what to say: she advocates first checking when a bedridden friend will welcome visitors and allowing a seriously ill person the freedom to express anger at his or her condition. Not all will agree with her argument that it's appropriate to speak in a louder voice to someone whose first language is not English. Some of the author's 10 rules of conversation are obvious, while others seem based on her own likes and dislikes. And some standard rules that she reiterates — such as not speaking about religion or politics — have loosened up a bit in recent years." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
For those intimidated by the complexity of personal interaction, or those simply looking to polish their speaking skills, this volume is a powerful guide to communicating in an endearing--and noteworthy--way.
About the Author
Margaret Shepherd is a writer, calligrapher, and teacher. In addition to The Art of the Handwritten Note, she has written thirteen books on calligraphy. Each year she speaks at MITs “charm school” about the importance of gracious communication. She lives in Boston.
Sharon Hogan writes books on topics that range from aging to dog training. She enjoys civilized conversations with other authors about book concepts, and she leads workshops on nonfiction writing for physicians. She lives near Boston.
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