Regardless of age or occupation, conversation can be tricky. But like it or not, it's one of the most important things you do on a daily basis. Successful conversations help you advance professionally and make, maintain, and deepen relationships. Moreover, research shows that talking, when done on a substantive level, is correlated with a feeling of happiness and general well-being.
In just six lectures, Professor Curzan teaches you key strategies that can dramatically improve your ability to converse with anyone, from strangers to supervisors. This highly practical course focuses on the fundamental principles you need to become more conversationally aware and savvy at home, in the workplace, and beyond. You'll learn graceful ways of pointing out a mistake, asking someone to do something he or she doesn't want to do, preparing a person for "no," asking for a big favor, and providing information the recipient doesn't want to hear. You'll also learn devices for skillfully opening and closing exchanges, taking turns "negotiating the conversational floor," sending people subtle signals, and sharing the conversational burden to make discussions feel more mutual and enjoyable.
Whether you want to build rapport with colleagues, promote yourself in an interview, give a winning presentation, ingratiate yourself with your boss, or even create a connection on a first date, knowing what to say and how to say it allows for more productive, smoother interactions.Professor Curzan helps you get ahead by outlining simple techniques for accomplishing all of these goals and more.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses
The Professor was engaging and inviting to listen to her lecture. However, the content seemed to jump around to try and reach a wide scope of listeners, from students, to professionals, to single people to married people. The topics always seemed to fall short on following through with the chapter theme. I even listened a second time to see if I missed some of the content, but reached the same conclusion.
The lectures touched on the key points needed for communication and the importance it plays from relationships, to being a parent and surviving in the workplace. Listen.
Having read other books and articles on this subject, I consider this lecture series to be at a beginner level. This lecture series would be good for anyone who daily has problems speaking with others (i.e. an introvert). Extroverts may find this lecture series simplistic or obvious or just a way to identify things they may naturally already do. It may be of some use for young people starting to work for the first time. I didn't hear anything that was ground breaking.
I feel that everyone should take this course just so we know that we're all on the same page when it comes to conversation structure and etiquette. Much of the information was basic and familiar, but Curzan nonetheless finds a way to make it entertaining and insightful. This course isn't necessary if you feel that you are already pretty good at conversation and how to negotiate one, but it does bring interesting linguistic ideas to bear on conversation structure. I do feel an urge to evangelize about how the conversation floor and backchanneling work after listening. Good, short course.
I would recommend this audiobook because it was both highly informative and entertaining at the same time. Prof. Anne Curzan has indeed made a great series of lessons on this topic. But since I have studied some linguistics before, I found the content a little too basic for my needs. It did, however, provide me with some much needed repetition.
absolutely worth listening to, Some of the information in here was new to me, even as a seasoned reader of effective communication books.
My only complaint is that I feel there was a lot more room for expansion on the topics... I believe her knowledge is far from tapped out and I'd love to hear more
i would recomend this book to enyone who has to communicate on a professional level its short, and most of it isn't quite new, most of you will already have heard of it, but it really is helpful to get your self to focus on these things again.
i liked how she engages you as a listener to really try to notice linguistic behaviours and habits that you have and that other use.
I most enjoy reading spiritual books to nourish my soul; psychology books to enhance my profession; & psych thrillers for fun escapism.
REALLY teaches nuances
Some new realizations that I had about how to communicate in ways that preserve relationships--especially given that I am an experienced and effective psychologist. It was great to learn these new things--for myself and to teach my clients.
Able to easily communicate the big concepts AND the trickier ones with ease. Professor Curzan also provided us with clear examples AND in different contexts (for example, within friendships, in professional/business relationships, with "strangers").
Not to overwhelm people with too much information, especially when the content is fairly negative.
I haven't "erased" the book from my library yet, since I want to review it again soon.
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
If you are looking for something short and to the point and how to start or participate in a conversation, you might find this short course just right. Prof. Anne Curzan teaches English at the University of Michigan and is an excellent Linguist. In this course you will not only learn more about conversations, you will also receive some useful tips that will allow you to read a conversation better. I found, for instance, the way that one uses and phrases questions in different contexts very interesting.
So why don't I give it a five... The course though it even contains excellent role plays and is well presented, is in certain ways very basic. It is an appetiser that might be the starting point, but one needs to dig deeper. Still it comes highly recommended.
Your Brother in Christ
Have you ever offended someone with a compliment? Left a job interview with an uneasy feeling that perhaps you crossed a line? Maybe as a manager you've seen another manager work wonders with an employee you couldn't get the time of day from and were left scratching your head as to how?
These six courses are for you. We all have conversations and so know how they work to a point. However, Anne Curzan takes her skills as a linguist to bring out what is going on beneath the conversation and therefore why they don't always work the way we want them to. She gives helpful information on how to size up a situation and what to be aware of as you are trying to navigate dangerous waters. Particularly helpful in these courses is the concept of face, as in "saving face", but here expanded into a discussion about positive and negative face.
I in large part picked up this set of courses after having listened to Anne give another set of lectures on the secret history of words. She has an absolutely wonderful ability to teach and pack information into a course. Her voice is also quite easy on the ears.
While you believe you know how conversations work, this course challenges you to consider how you do communicate. And I found opportunities to become more effective. Professor Anne Curzan is easy to listen to and keeps your attention. The course is entertaining and illuminating.
I know US college education does not have a great reputation and, if this is a fair sample, it supports that view. I do not need a 'Professor' to tell me that we ask questions indirectly, 'Could you pass me the sugar?' to be polite. (A typical five year old will make the same point, but with humour: 'I could, Mum, hahaha!'). I guess if English is not your mother tongue, this might be useful. This book has put me off this whole 'Great Courses' series, which had looked quite promising.
"Good but superficial"
A good introduction to the syntax and semantics of conversation, but very superficial its its coverage of the breadth of scenarios and emotions under which conversations occur
Great for business or private use lecturer very informative and presents her material very well
Really interesting lecture. Didn't think I'd be clever enough to understand a linguistics lecture, but Professor Anne Curzan explained it all very thoroughly and I imagine this would be as interesting to language students as to those just wanted to dip their toe into the subject.
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