Friday, April 13, 2007

Reading: Save Your Words

A chatter box could be very boring. He or she never runs out of topics. Anywhere and anytime, he or she will talk about anything. We don’t have a chance to interrupt nor to respond. We can do nothing but listen. Most of us have been through such a situation.

The following tips are about how to talk effectively and how to avoid becoming a chatter box.In our daily life, it is inevitable that we meet people with different characters. Each of them has his or her own style and manner in having conversation. Some are talkative, some are quiet, and some others are bossy.

To be a good speaker or conversationalist is not easy. Therefore, this article offers suggestions on becoming a better conversationalist. What is a good conversationalist and how can we become one? To become a good speaker, we have to pay attention to some important points of conversation.

Poh Ai Lin in The art of Conversing puts forward seven points for us to take into account in a conversation. They are as follows:

  1. A good conversationalist is not a person who knows what to say and when to say it. He or she has to learn other social communication skill as well.
  2. Talking continuously is not the idea of successful conversation. Being a considerate and active listener is equally crucial. It takes two to converse. We need to talk as well as to listen.
  3. Express your idea or opinion moderately. Do not sound as if you knew everything. If you have to talk about yourself, do it in moderation.
  4. Avoid being gush. To praise is necessary but do not overdo it. If not, you will sound pretentious.
  5. Avoid being bossy. An attitude of superiority will soon leave you in isolation.
  6. Stay focus. Avoid being too flowery. A person who lacks focus and is easily out of the track could be extremely annoying.
  7. Read your partner’s gestures. Sighs, increasingly longer pauses, restlessness, decreased eye contact and gradual distancing are indications that your partner wants to end the conversation.

There are a lot more to learn to become a good conversationalist. Hoperfully the above tips will be of much help to all of us.

(My article above was published in Dialogue English Magazine No. 1/XXII/1997)


  • chatter box : orang yang banyak omong/cerewet
  • boring : membosankan
  • run out of : kehabisan
  • chance : kesempatan
  • through : melalui
  • avoid : menghindari
  • inevitable : tak dapat dihindari
  • offer : menawarkan
  • take into account : mempertimbangkan
  • attitude : sikap
  • gradual : lambat laun, secara perlahan