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How To Start A Conversation And Make Friends
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How To Start A Conversation And Make Friends

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  663 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
This revised and updated edition offers easy time-tested ways to improve anybody's ability to communicate in business and social situations, either in person or in cyberspace.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 9th 2001 by Touchstone (first published October 1st 1983)
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Dec 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This is a short book but is packed with useful information. If you are shy, or just not comfortable with socializing, the techniques and information in 'How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends' will give you confidence and specific tools to start and/or maintain a conversation in any situation. The author discusses the importance of body language and gives specific examples for meeting and talking with people that anyone can use right away. The best part of this book goes into learning how ...more
Jan 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Certainly the least useful book I've read in this vein. Didn't provide any real help, most of the information was painfully obvious and skirted any real issues. Often it seemed rather painfully aimed towards single men looking to make some strained contact with a woman they like.

More than that, I consider myself someone with fairly bad social issues - I have a mental illness. But this book is really for people who have absolutely no idea about propriety at all. Not for me!
Jan 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
I listened to this book as an audio book and just recently finished it. It is a very short audiobook which was disappointing but if you are someone who struggles with conversation, I think it can provide some good tips on starting conversations and keeping them going. I tend to be an extrovert but enjoy reading these books to keep me in check and make sure I am not too outgoing. : )) In any case although it was short, I would recommend it to those that are wanting to be a bit more social and the ...more
Haytham Badawey
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I think this is one of the best book is the field of conversation etiquette and skills. It has numerous idea, concepts, tips, and techniques. It answers pretty much all the questions that you'd like to know about conversation skills, tactics and strategies, from romance, to friendships, to business.

This book is similar to the bookHow to Win Friends and Influence People.
Too much generalization, not enough specifics. I found maybe two or three things that would help, and simply the processing of breaking down conversations and analyzing the give and take will be helpful, but most of the book was not. The chapter on mobile phone etiquette was hilarious.
Aug 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Mark by: relatives
I read the older 1983 edition of this book twice. A very short book and an easy read. Some helpful tips and
tricks on starting and keeping conversations going, etc.... but does it lead to friendships ? :-)
Marika Alexander
This was the type of conversational/small talk book that I was looking for. It's very clear and concise and applicable to every type of social situation. The very end of the book has 60 tips, which I'm going to photocopy and start working on. One feature that I found particularly interesting was that there are 4 conversational styles and we can work on our weaknesses and develop our strengths for each style, and learn how to tell what style new acquaintances are so we can more effectively strike ...more
Sep 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: networkers, daters, social awkwards looking to be better conversationalists
Recommended to Josh by: saw it on the shelf @ B&N
not too different from debora fine's "the fine art of small talk" - just a longer, little wordier presentation. this one had more on cross cultural interactions though and the dating portion was a little longer. fine's discussion on professional networking seemed more focused and detailed, this one had more of a generalist approach, even in the networking section, and used techniques that can be cross applied to other situations.
Sehar  Moughal
An OK read - Gabor used too many generalizations. A few scenarios are given - mostly focusing on increasing one's social network in the business world and dating.

Points that stood out for me: Introducing yourself ASAP to avoid an uncomfortable silence, using acronyms to remember names in a group ( I am terrible when it comes to names) and indulging in pointless chit chat is essential to sustain future conversations.
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is so common sense, but for me it's a gem. I do not like talking to strangers, I'm terrible at it. This has given me pointers to be more conscientious of when networking and trying to make friends in my new city.
May 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-book, own
It was a good book to help those that might not find it easy to be in social situations. I am an extrovert by nature and although there were a few things I took away from this book for me it was just ok.
If you want to read something about how to comunicate and some tips for this, this is your book.
It is an easy book to read.
I think it is for people who has problem to comunicate and are searching help to meet new people.
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Words are an art of manipulation. This book reaffirms that. I enjoyed the inclusion of FDR's style of communication. Offer something to the other person and then eloquently ask for something from them.
Mar 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: don-gabor
A really good book. Mostly common sense stuff, but it did make me think of ways to improve. very much worth the read.
Feb 11, 2008 rated it liked it
This was OK. Although, I guess I didn't read the revised edition. The one I have is from 1983...just a tad outdated.
Neil Geisel
Not bad, just very basic. One or two important gems. Read it in one day.
Feb 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Quick, easy read. Some good tips in here too. It is useful for those who really are socially awkward, extremely shy or just want an extra boost in the socializing department.
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a good start for ways to break the ice with other people. I would recommend it for those who are shy or not accustomed to having to start conversations.
Richard Stephenson
Sep 28, 2011 rated it liked it
I liked it.

A quick, top-level overview of all things related to interacting with people. A nice addition to this type of library. Not a stand-alone resource, but a nice addition.
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Sound advice, but advice too common for the book to be memorable.
Mhmd Asa'ad  ElGazzar
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Good book with simple language and lots of Useful and practical information
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Provided many good examples for helping individuals to engage in conversations with others. I would recommend this title for those looking for pointers for meeting new people, but too afraid to approach another person.
Sheryl Kheng
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
highly recommended for introverts :)
Matt Bartley
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Overall, it had good tips and some things I had never thought about.
The section on the internet and technology is a bit dated.
Worth a read, and a good review of common conversation techniques.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Very little value in this book. Some value, but very little. I bought it off a bargain table at BN while in the check out line. There has to be many better book options on the subject.
Paul Bard
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
PRE-READ, I anticipate this will be a good solid 4-star read. I predict it will be pretty good.

The aim of this book is to give instructions on how to talk to potential friends. Unfortunately, I notice also a few "readers" dislike the book because it is not the book they thought it was. This is obviously not a business book, language training book, small talk book, or mental health book. Contrary to other reviews, this book has no information on meeting the opposite sex. This is a book on talkin
A. Uthe
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a very good book. I am a very shy person, and don't have many friends. Once I got my hands on this book, I started reading and found that this book helped me out a lot. I think that this book stood out very well, and had a good way of delivering the message. In my personal opinion, this book helps a lot of people who are shy and don't have very many friends, or at least people to hang out with. This book really helps with that. Another good thing about this book is that it was very cons ...more
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Well written and comprehensive.

One may be tempted to think after reading Dale Carnegie's "How to make friends" there is nothing more to be written.
But there is more. A lot more.

Don Gabor's writing helps establish lasting conversation. It mentions the methods that I personally use for my conversations. The book also covers online networking tools and guidelines.It also gives unimaginable dimension of how different cultures may consider different gestures ( last few pages).

Summing up, it could be
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am horrible at making small talk with people. I took notes as I read this and plan to start implementing his ideas once I'm up to it. We'll see if it works in practice!

Updated: I have been putting this skill into practice the last 3 months. I am getting better at making small talk, but it's definitely not a skill that comes naturally to me. (95% of my brainpower is taken up with figuring out what to say next.)
Mar 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: social, read-in-2015

Good for brushing up and review your conversational patterns. I like the focus on not only mingling and networking (compared to Debra Fine's), but also on handling the maintenance of an ongoing relationship with people, even when it means cutting a conversation short.

I found interesting that it had a chapter on chat rooms, but in the end it was very basic and introductory, like it was written in 1995.

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