Monday, 1 August 2011

Conversational Charm in a Capsule.

Here is a round-up of rules to keep in mind when speaking with anyone:

Do cultivate a well modulated, relaxed speaking voice
Do use pleasant, appropriate facial expressions
Do use a descriptive, varied vocabulary
Do be as well informed as possible
Do ask intelligent questions
Do adopt a friendly manner
Do make the other person feel important
Do listen attentively when another person speaks
Do stick to subjects of mutual interest
Do strive to put others at ease

Don't constantly complain
Don't criticise
Don't lecture
Don't boast
Don't argue
Don't ask the price
Don't put "I" before "you"
Don't offer unsolicited advice
Don't belittle
Don't contradict flatly
Don't make sweeping statements
Don't repeat yourself
Don't repeat unpleasant gossip
Don't ask highly personal questions
Don't divulge highly personal matters
Don't use poor grammar, slang, trite expressions
Don't speak in a monotone
Don't speak too rapidly
Don't force a subject others are not interested in
Don't leave anyone out of the conversation

From Secrets of Poise, Personality and Model Beauty by JR Powers. This book was published in 1961 and is so adorable with useful topics, quaint instructions and pretty pictures. It is a little outside my favourite time period but it was such a good find.  This section that I have posted here is a summary of the Charm in Voice and Conversation chapter. 

It seems like such a long list! I do think that much of it is just basic good manners and the rules will be followed naturally. It is interesting to see a list like this where the other person is put first and their comfort is a priority especially as, in the modern world, it is all about me, me, me and my wants, my needs and my interests. 




  1. nice post. It follows much what a Jew is to guard his mouth from saying

  2. Interesting! I like that is sounds so quaint at first and yet can be applied to the modern world.