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How To Start A Conversation And Make Friends Paperback – January 9, 2001

3.7 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


The New Yorker A gifted conversationalist. -- Review

About the Author

Don Gabor is a “small talk” expert, communications trainer and the author of seven self-help books and audio programs. He shows people how to network and use conversation skills to build relationships in business, social and personals situations. Don is a frequent media guest and the 2010-2011 president of the New York City chapter of the National Speakers Association. The New Yorker called Don “a gifted conversationalist.” Visit him at www.dongabor.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Revised and Updated edition (January 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684868016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684868011
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #943,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Edward J. Vasicek on February 21, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a pastor who has a gift of gab and a number of friends, some of them close. My sister (who is the ultimate friendly person) and I were raised by parents who knew how to converse well, so we picked up these skills in a natural setting. We are both real schmoozers. My wife is also highly relational. So, unlike many self-help book reviewers, I am reviewing from a different perspective: I did not read this book for personal growth reasons (I do read books on other subjects to address my weak spots, however), but to try to help instruct others who struggle here.
For many years, I have dealt with folks who wanted to learn to converse and make friends. When one is brought up with those skills, it becomes difficult to enumerate exactly what it is we talkers do. When I read, "How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends," I said to myself, "Yep. This is a lot of what we (and many other people strong in this area) do." Gabor has organized and put into outline form the most basic principles of conversation and friendship initiation. And that is a whole lot more helpful than saying, "I don't know. We just do it!"
Gabor also allows for differing personalities and relational styles. Although we may have to leave our comfort zone (in time, change becomes comfortable), we need to be who we are and converse with others based upon who they are.
Please understand that this book is limited in its scope. It can help people initiate friendships, but it does not direct one toward relational depth. This book can help folks make a number of casual friends but not necessarily close friends. For deeper communication, I suggest William Backus' book, "Telling Each Other the Truth," a volume that addresses matters like conflict resolution, honesty, etc.
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Format: Paperback
Now before anyone can change how they are they have to accept they have a problem and to really want to change it. Once I realized that I had few friends and I had trouble commmunicating with others I went on a journey to find help. I found help in this book.
"How To Start A Conversation And Make Friends" explains all of the simple things which can be done to have an outstanding effect on your relationships. With this book you learn how to master the art of conversation. By doing this you get to have more friends and better friends. People will like you more and you will find people you like.
I noticed that I was being a much better conversationalist after reading the first few chapters! The book is very easy to understand and I flew right through it. Although it is easy to understand it has a lot of info so you have to pay attention to every tidbit. I reviewed a few chapters cause I felt I may have missed something important. When reading the book I found myself saying "Why didn't I think of that?". Everything just seems so logical. We have so many opportunities we just miss and we make people think we don't want to talk and we fail to see how foolish we are. Who would have thought that a smile, a nod of the head, and having open arms would make people approach you! Its so simple and yet we fail to do it. Why didn't I learn this in school?
I often feel like I am talking too much about myself. I will ask questions to show interest for other people, but I still feel like I am being egocentric when the conversation ball is in my hand and I am talking about myself. I don't think the book addressed this..
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By A Customer on November 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book based on the recommendations I read here and I was not disappointed. The book is easy to read and I finished it within an hour. After reading it I can definitely say that it provided me with some tips on improving my conversation skills. I found the section on how to start conversations very useful. The book also covers how to become more receptive, how to keep a conversation going, how to keep a balance between talking and listening and also gives ideas on how to meet friends.
One concept the book does not cover is how to deal with folks who interrupt you. At my workplace, it is common for 2 or 3 people - at a meeting - to continually interrupt me or whoever is talking and provide their input. At times you can have several different communication threads going on because of this. The book also does not cover how the tone of your voice can effect your communication. If you speak to softly or with a monotone voice, others can find you boring. Overall, this book is a great starter book.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an example of how easy it is for people to get into deep conversation simply by being polite and saying hi. Don's advice probably won't help those who need a little more help chatting up a storm. This book does not deal with how to surmount communicational obstacles except for language differences. The book is geared towards the socially groomed person who just needs a tad push into social situations; when to smile and shake hands. This book makes a great starter for explaining the beginning mechanics of conversation, nothing too deep.
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