Is the art of conversation – critically endangered?

Are you ever lost for words?

Do you know people who feel awkward in new social situations and just don’t know what to say?

It’s easy to lay the blame at social media.

A new form of language has grown up full of acronyms and emoticans.

I am an ex-journalist and I was recently talking with the editor of a local newspaper. She told me about one of her reporters who was horrified when she instructed him to telephone someone and have a conversation.

“Why?” he asked “ Can’t I just email them.”

Journalists talk to people. They have conversations and interviews. They ask questions based on replies to earlier questions. It’s what we are trained to do – or at least used to be.

Nowadays, it seems, even that is becoming a dying art.

So it is no wonder that watching a programme on TV recently called First Dates, where people are carefully matched and sent on blind dates together in a restaurant, that conversation is often stilted.

In fact, if it were an animal it would be ‘critically endangered.’

I find it sad watching these people on their blind dates as they sit through embarrassing silences not knowing what to say to each other or make inane remarks almost out of sheer panic.

What an adventure to meet someone new for the first time and to find out about them.
There is so much to learn.

It can be so exciting.

It’s not just young millennials – older people, well educated people and even people from management backgrounds can struggle in new and strange social situations.

I was listening to a leading motivational expert talking about how he was quite relaxed about standing and giving a presentation in front of large audiences. That didn’t phase him at all.

But, put him in a small room where he had to make social ‘small talk’ with strangers and he was way out of his comfort zone.

If you know someone who is more comfortable ‘letting their fingers do the talking’ then they need to have a conversation with me.

Get them to email me, in the first instance, and we can start talking after that. They can find me at:

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