15/08/06

“An awkward silence” is an uncomfortable pause in a conversation or presentation. The unpleasant nature of such silences is associated with feelings of anxiety as the participants feel pressure to speak but are unsure what to say next… Source: Wikipedia

Check out: 7 Ways to Eliminate Awkwardness From Conversations With New People

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Glossary

  • start off on the wrong foot – to begin things incorrectly
  • slip-up – a minor or careless mistake
  • flatter – lavish praise and compliments on (someone), often insincerely and with the aim of furthering one’s own interests
  • nod – lower and raise one’s head slightly and briefly, especially in greeting, assent, or understanding, or to give someone a signal
  • momentum – the impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events
  • quirk – a peculiar aspect of a person’s character or behaviour
  • abundance – a very large quantity of something

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Think about it

Answer the questions below.

  • Why should compliments be honest and specific?
  • What is the Ben Franklin effect?
  • How can you make sure that you’re listening actively?
  • What does the author say about silence in the middle of conversations?
  • Why is it not such a good idea to get prepared for conversations?

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Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the correct forms of the words in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Conversations are the ________ FOUND of any relationship, whether it’s the beginning of a friendship, a romance, a professional ________ PARTNER, or a consumer-brand ________ CONNECT. Starting things on the wrong foot, with awkward slip-ups or painful ________ SILENT, can compromise your chances at building something ________ MEAN. To the social anxious or ________ EXPERIENCE person, attending a professional networking event or going on a first date are two versions of the same hell–just waiting for the moment when the smooth conversation gets awkward, and everybody wants to leave.

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Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words. Use ONE word per blank space.

Compliments work ____ a number of reasons. They serve to flatter the person you’re talking to, setting the conversation ____ a positive course. They open up the conversation ____ something specific–for example, if you compliment a person’s shoes, you can talk about where he/she got them. And they add ____ degree of warmth and familiarity to the interaction. Just be sure that your compliments are ____ honest and specific–general comments, like “you look good” aren’t necessarily bad, but they don’t provide any specific direction ____ the conversation. Insincere compliments, too, can be easily detected, and may set the conversation ____ in a negative direction. As a side note, it’s also a good idea to learn ____ accept compliments gracefully.

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