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What Do I Say Next?: Talking Your Way to Business and Social Success Paperback – March 1, 1999

3.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Beginning with her observation that "conversation is the core of communication, the key component in leadership and overall success," RoAne provides insights, ideas, tips, and techniques that can make anyone successful in conversation. Successful conversation is within our reach as long as we prepare, practice, pay attention to and respect others, and make a personal commitment to developing conversational prowess. The author teaches that conversation is a function of who are involved, what is happening for each person at that particular moment in time, the chemistry between them, and the lifetime experience of everybody. RoAne concludes with "Ten Commandments of Conversation," which include "Thou shalt prepare for conversation by being well read and well rounded" and "Thou shalt listen, listen, listen (with ears, eyes, face, heart)." This entertaining book offers many words of wisdom and valuable insight that will lead to improvement of relationships as well as self-confidence. The author assures us that those who know how to converse with ease and skill play the game of life better and have more fun. Mary Whaley --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.

About the Author

Susan RoAne is an in-demand professional speaker and the bestselling author of seven books. The self-described Mingling Maven(r), RoAne has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the New York Times, Cosmopolitan and the Financial Times and on CNN, CBSNews.com and businessweek.com. She lives in the San Francisco area.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446674265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446674263
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #749,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Edward J. Vasicek on June 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
"What Do I Say Next" is a book filled with practical tips for improving conversational skills. Although the book is not really designed for the super introvert, it will help typically shy folks to become better conversationalists. It also provides much needed direction for the outgoing but rude. Perhaps the best word to describe Susan Roane's approach is "balanced."
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.
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Format: Paperback
This book was my first -- and only -- purchase on the subject of conversation. In other words, it got the job done. After perusing books on the subject on Amazon.com and at various bookstores, I settled on this book because of its straightforward and commensensical approach. Let's face it, the art of conversation is not rocket science; anyone can do it, they just need some simple tools and some experience. This book provides the tools and the general encouragement to get you into the arena with some confidence.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Heard WHAT DO I SAY NEXT? . . . written and read by

Susan RoAne, its subtitle proves to be an apt description of what

the book is all about: TALKING YOUR WAY TO BUSINESS AND

SOCIAL SUCCESS.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm sorry, but this book is a big disappointment. There are some pretty good suggestions (read the newspaper, practice your jokes, etc.) but you have to wade through thousands of words to find them. And the stories! I felt like I was being dragged kicking and screaming through story after story -- most boring. There is enough solid information here to make a good ten page magazine article. The rest is fluff -- filler. Granted, it's easy to read. It just doesn't say anything. Save your money and buy "How to work a room" by the same author. It has just about everything in this book and a lot of other stuff that's better. And it's not nearly so padded.
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