Be ready for conversations


For a month now, I have been watching Be Care­ful with My Heart, a teleserye (sitcom) on ABS-CBN. Likewise, I am now an unabashed fan of Ryzza Mae and “Pinoy Henyo” of Eat Bulaga on GMA Network. Of course, I could make use of my time better or watch “better” TV shows. There is a compelling reason why I watch these shows.

Practically, everybody everywhere is watching these shows and talking about them. Last December, almost all Christ­mas parties I’ve been enjoyed their own version of the game “Pinoy Henyo” in their program, and even had props similar to the original show. Be Carefulul and Ryzza Mae have become main topics of many conversations in parties, offices, meetings and others. “Pinoy Henyo” is becoming a Filipino symbol of creativity and intelligent fun.

So, if you want to be “cool,” you better watch these shows and have some positive opinions about them. They are very good topics for small or big talk, and as conversation openers even with strangers.  Safe subjects and, feel good, too.

One tool for not disappearing and becoming part of wall decors in your office or meetings or parties, is to be updated on the latest happening around us.  Make sure that before you leave your house for that party or meeting, be informed about the latest news.  Browse a
newspaper or take a look-listen at the news telecast on TV or radio.

My present favorite author Leil Lowndes writes, “The latest news . . . don’t leave home without it. The last move to make before leaving for the party—even after you’ve given yourself final approval in the mirror—is to turn on the radio news or scan your newspaper.

Anything that happened today is good material. Knowing the big-deal news of the mo­ment is also a defensive move that rescues you from putting your foot in your mouth by asking what everybody is talking about. Foot-in-mouth is not very tasty in public, especially when it’s surrounded by egg-on-face.”

Increase your likability by enhancing your conversation skills. Aside from having a broad vocabulary, it is important that you have something to say. In conversations, people who simply listen, nod their head, say “ah-huh,” “hmmmm” “yes,” “no,” and the like are boring and seem ignorant. They soon find themselves alone in a corner. It is not bad breath, it is lack of socializing skills.

In making conversations, follow your instinct and inspiration. Knowing what’s happening around you and the big wide world will help you be an inspiring and engaging conversationalist. I tried to make conversation with one of the delegates to the Employers Confederation of the Philippines National Conference recently held at the Marriot Hotel.

We were both eyeing the exhibit booths while waiting for the program to start. She was a well-dressed, impeccably put-together executive-looking lady and she imme­diately smiled at me and said, “Hi. Where are you seated?  Let’s sit together.” I said, “What was your own take on ‘inclusive growth,’ the theme of the conference? She replied, “Nice.”

I continued the conversation, “Which subtopic is most inte­resting to you?” “Who is the speaker that impressed you best?” “What is one learning you have that you can apply to your workplace?”

She replied with, “I liked all the topics.” “All the speakers were good.” “I already forgot what they said and there are no handouts.”

I persisted, “What do you think of the disaster brought by the tornado in Oklahoma?” She replied with, “When was that?”

She continued to walk with me and I had to tell her, “Excuse me, but I need to talk to somebody. Nice meeting you.” I hope not to meet her again.

What’s happening today—the weather, scorching temperature, coming rainy season, opening of classes, global warming, fires and many others—in our neck of the wood and elsewhere are good conversation openers, and even a little knowledge of these day-to-day topics can help in getting and maintaining the attention and interest of the person we want to notice us.

Even in Facebook, I hate it when somebody simply likes my post or comment with the smiley and love symbols or “nice.”  End of conversation. I hope I don’t get to be alone with that person anywhere, anytime.


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