Sunday, August 5, 2007

how to have a conversation

In this age of conversation, it might be nice to evaluate the pieces that contribute to this art form. I just finished Plato's Symposium, and for anyone who hasn't read it, it is the ultimate conversation book. The topic is Love, but on a larger scale, the topic is discourse. Read it and learn. I will now take this post as an opportunity to expand on what Richard said a couple weeks ago: "great dialogues start with a passionate monologue."

When I came to New York, my roommate gave me some interview advice: Make statements rather than ask questions. Say what? It's important to have a point of view. Someone else told me, "It's easier to react to a statement than answer a question." Interesting.

So when a brand (new or old) comes into the market and starts spouting brand speak, this and that, shouting deals or mantras, or whatever, think about it. If the brand wasn't opinionated or didn't have a point of view, it would be neutral in a sense. And of all things, neutral is certainly not engaging by nature.

To conclude, I'll give you a rough idea of how to have a proper discussion via Plato and his buddies:
  1. fill everyone's cup with wine and refill as necessary
  2. set a topic for the evening and lay the ground with some established definitions
  3. start on the left, do not speak out of turn, and only speak your pov when the person is finished entirely with their own pov
  4. borrow snippets from each speaker to show respect for each and to also help make your point more relevant
  5. sound as wise as possible (i.e. have a point of view and speak with conviction).

1 comment:

KFad said...

So true. Neutral brands aren't engaging.

Or in other words, "Safe is risky."