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What Do I Say Next?: Talking Your Way to Business and Social Success Paperback – March 1, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
Unlike some books about conversation which are highly manipulative, this book is designed for both business and social conversation. Its direction is useful for almost any situation.
The book is written casually. Although it is not disorganized, its casual manner with numerous case studies (these are great stories illustrating specific points) means you can pick up a paragraph here or there and find a complete thought.
Much of the material in this volume sounds like common sense. After many of Roane's suggestions, readers might think, "Of course. That's obvious. Why didn't I already know that?" She offers practical, down to earth, and realistic advice.
The author reinforces her main points with a helpful synopsis after each chapter. For shy people, she encourages them with studies that show 75 per cent of good conversationalists consider themselves shy. Her solution: use the "OAR" approach (Offer an observation, Ask a question, and Reveal your thoughts, ideas, or opinions). But do not drive people crazy with a barrage of questions, she warns us.
It is this kind of sensibility and balance that makes this a useful book. It is a practical self-improvement book, not a detailed analysis. Good conversationalists will find a useful pointer or two, weak conversationalists will be overwhelmed with a wealth of advice (and will struggle as to what to do first). Although I did not agree with the author on every point, I recommend this book heartily.
The great thing about this book is that it avoids the false dichotomy that I saw in a lot of books on the subject: conversation as manipulation or as self-abnegation. The former approach teaches you how to insincerely steer the conversation to your purposes; the latter resigns you to the role of passive agent of others' whims. Susan Roane takes the high road of letting you be yourself -- and letting others be themselves.
Ms. Roane's approach is refreshingly proactive: if you want to be a good conversationalist you need to work at it. She lays out important principles and ideas that have substance. For instance, she sets you at ease by reminding you that there is no shame in small talk; that small talk is a large part of making a connection with someone, whether you've known that person for thirty years or for thirty seconds. After all, do you and your closest friend talk about deep issues twenty-four hours a day? Or do you never, ever mention the weather with them? So don't feel that you have to present a dissertation on quantum physics to make a strong impression, let alone to break the ice! Nor should you regard discussing the weather as hopelessly gauche. Ms.Read more ›
Susan RoAne, its subtitle proves to be an apt description of what
the book is all about: TALKING YOUR WAY TO BUSINESS AND
There are many fine ideas presented here, all designed to make
communication just a little bit easier . . . many of them I've heard
before, yet even those I've too often forgotten.
I guarantee that by listening to or reading RoAne's work, you'll get
at least one tip that you can begin applying in a work and/or
home situation . . . to cite a few for your consideration:
Prepare for conversations by talking to yourself first. Make sure
your conversations are positive.
Always have a 7-9 second introduction for yourself.
Put your nametag on your right side. This makes it more visible
when you shake hands.
Make nametags large enough so all can read the names.
[if you forget somebody's name] Stick out your hand when you say
your name. People respond in kind 90% of the time.
Never ask, "Do you remember me?"
Conversations should have a non-compete clause.
People who say they are brutally honest are usually more
brutal than honest.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am reviewing the audio book version. I see the book as most valuable to a late teen or young adult who grew up in the nerd crowd, addicted to Warcraft, or maybe experiencing... Read morePublished on July 30, 2009 by B. Miller
A very pleasant book to read, filled with many good tips.
For instance, I plan to implement the "ice melter" by wearing an interesting or funny tie to get the... Read more
This is a good guidebook in learning how to easily converse with strangers by focusing on them and not us, another variant on helping others before we can help ourselves. Read morePublished on April 11, 2007 by Chuck Brooks
This book might be the worst book I have read in years. Susan Roane has filled 240 pages with more or less obvious information like OAR approach. Read morePublished on August 14, 2006 by J. Ohman
Those trying to network and build business or social relationships would benefit from reading Susan RoAne's book, What Do I Say Next?. Read morePublished on May 5, 2006 by Josiah Mackenzie
I'm not a great conservationist although as a scientist giving talks at public forums and meeting with people professionally and socially I have to be reasonably effective. Read morePublished on March 28, 2005 by Jaco's Friend
This is one of my favorite books.It is easy to read and teaches the reader what to say in every situation. Read morePublished on September 11, 2004 by Richard H Frishman
The book provides lots of common sense tips which we easily forget during daily life, e.g. use 'and' instead of 'but' when disagreeing with people; ask 'how' instead of 'why' to... Read morePublished on July 9, 2001
I found the book to be very simplistic. There seem to be a lot of words, without much being said. Her main advice seems to be, prepare a list of stories to tell in advance, and... Read morePublished on June 12, 2001 by Brad Edwards