Economist and humorist, Ben Stein, has put together this list of 10 Conversation Tips for business people you meet. You may remember Stein from recent television commercials parodying his role from the movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Stein says, “In the course of climbing the corporate ladder, or of just managing the little corner of the world you occupy, you have to communicate with people. It’s not always easy, but you have to do it. So I thought I’d offer up a few basic ideas on how to have a conversation with someone you just met.”

The Ten Conversation Tips Are:

  1. Begin by knowing that the people you’re talking to mostly want to talk about themselves.
  2. Establish common ground.
  3. Say kind, generous things to your conversation partner.
  4. Keep your comments brief.
  5. Get back on common ground again as soon as you can.
  6. Don’t brag unless you do it in a funny way.
  7. Unless you’re specifically asked about it, don’t talk about religion at all.
  8. The same goes for politics.
  9. If you talk about current issues, do so in a genial, friendly way.
  10. Make whatever points you need to make in a hurry, and then leave.

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