How to Speak so People Listen is filled with specific concepts and models. To make a valuable resource for readers, and to introduce non-readers to some of the core concepts of the book, I have created a dictionary. As a bonus, this dictionary also contains additional terms and ideas that are not contained in How to Speak so People Listen. It is in 16 parts and has around 100 entries. If you like dictionaries -�take a look too at The Yes/No Dictionary based on my earlier book, The Yes/No Book.

Part 13: Casual Conversations

Last week we looked at the different types of conversation. This week we will look at words relating to Casual Conversations. Next week, we will look at words relating to Complicated Conversations.

A reminder…

Casual Conversation (noun); A conversation with low stakes and little contention, held between two people who respect one another. Casual conversations pass easily and comfortably.

Complicated Conversation (noun); A conversation with some combination of contention, consequences, emotional baggage, polarity of views, and fear. Complicated conversations are necessary but difficult to hold.


Art of chat (noun); Collection of skills and techniques that make you good at chat (qv) and able to do it effortlessly.

Chat (noun); Informal, relaxed conversation.

Conversational hooks (noun); When I speak or answer a question I will usually give a little bit more information than you asked me for. That extra snippet gives you a hook onto which you can hang another question, to open out the conversation.

Grice’s Principle (noun); An expression of the way that we co-operate with one another:�’speaker and listener co-operate to move a conversation forward’. Expressed by language philosopher Paul Grice.

Stretch questions (noun); A question that tries to stretch out a terse answer.

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