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Publisher's Summary

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.

In The Art of Civilized Conversation, 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 listeners 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.

©2005 Margaret Shepherd and Sharon Hogan (P)2018 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Not shallow or pretentious, this book, which would also make a great gift, would be an excellent addition to reference collections. Highly recommended." ( )Library Journal)

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed.

I was hoping for more substance and detail on what might make a conversation more riveting rather than a light overview of what not to do in any situation you may encounter. I feel a lot of the ‘what not to do’ is common sense—albeit a nice reminder if it were truncated into a much smaller section. I don’t feel any better off after reading this book when heading into a conversation with anyone. I’m merely freshly reminded of how shallow conversations can be and better equipped to incite all of the self-obsessed comments and stories people tell (myself included) to keep conversation going and to connect with each other.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

pop non-fic

-listen at 1.5x
pros:
-okay narrator
-memorable quotations ("spare thy flood of talk")
-reasonable advice
cons:
-kind of outdated, especially with regards to social media and how socializing happens in the present
-Also a lot of random info bc it tries to encompass a broad range of situations
-not particularly insightful