Ten Ways to Have a Better Conversation

July 29, 2016.
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Celeste Headlee:
10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation

Celeste Headlee. Award-winning reporter, writer and broadcast host of news and talk shows on National Public Radio (NPR), Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and other media channels.

From 2015 new host of the daily news and talk show On Second Thought at Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta. Former Managing Editor of NPR’s Next Generation projects.

160729 C Headlee On Second Thought

Headlee also has several music degrees and is a former soprano at Michigan Opera Theatre—and still performs as a professional singer. She is the granddaughter of William Grant Still (1895-1978), a gifted composer and conductor—and the first Afro-American composer to have a symphony and an opera performed.

What makes for a good conversation? Whether the conversation is with your boss, customer, someone in your team, friends or other people—being able to have a good conversation is often not only important, but sometimes even critical, for a positive outcome and your relation with that person.

And who better to ask that question than Celeste Headlee—who makes a living talking to people; of all kinds: Nobel Prize winners, truck drivers, teachers, billionaires, plumbers.

Little more than a year after the video release of her perceptive and highly entertaining TED talk, it has already attracted 4.5 million views—a strong indication that how to make better conversation is a topic of interest to many people.

TEDxCreative Coast   May 2015  4.5M views

Based on years of experience as a successful radio show host, Headlee provides some great insights in her talk—and 10 rules for having better conversations. Among these, perhaps the rule many of us most frequently fail to observe is to listen—and in her talk Headlee explains why.

In addition to insightful advice on having better conversations, you will also find it instructive to study how Headlee continuously engages her audience with questions and humour throughout her talk.

So, as Headlee says—”Go out, talk to people, listen to people and—most importantly, be prepared to be amazed”.

Headlee has recently published a new book, released in March 2016—Heard Mentality: An A-Z Guide to Take Your Podcast or Radio Show from Idea to Hit.

Apart from guiding you through the process of how to produce a podcast or radio show, talent recruitment and staffing—the book also includes a detailed guide on doing great interviews.

You can find further information about Headlee in an interview with her upon becoming new host for GPB’s On Second Thought program in 2015—which you can read here.

Trond Varlid

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This article first appeared in the EMC Quest newsletter series.

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