Speak Easy: Mary Lou's Rules for Engaging Conversation

Speak Easy: Mary Lou's Rules for Engaging Conversation

by Matthew Calkins, Mary Lou Walker


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Award-winning teacher Mary Lou Walker presents 10 clear rules to making conversation rewarding and fulfilling in this casual compendium of wit and wisdom. Positing that conversation groups, or colloquies, make the perfect social antidote in today’s culture of tweeting and texting, she infuses each step with valuable life-lessons to help develop character and likability while mastering the art of engaging with others through dialogue. Ideal for starting colloquies in the living room, classroom, or public library, her instructions include: “don’t steal the subject,” “probe, don’t pry,” “don’t take the bait,” and “think before you speak.” Through real-life examples, Mary Lou demonstrates how to “speak easy” with civility on all matters from high brow to low brow, with no topic off-limits.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780979334580
Publisher: Cupola Press
Publication date: 11/01/2010
Pages: 116
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 3 Months

About the Author

Matthew Calkins serves as Rector of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church and holds a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree. He lives in Fairfield, Connecticut. Mary Lou Walker is a retired teacher and recipient of the New York State “Teacher of the Year” award. She holds a Masters in the Art of Teaching (MAT) degree. She lives in Tarrytown, New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1 Mary Lou's Rules 5

Why Rules? 8

Rule 1 Don't Steal the Subject 11

Life Lesson: Civilizing Children

Dialogue: Don't Steal My Vacacion

Rule 2 Rely on Raillery (Wit)

Life Lesson: Humor and Marriage

Dialogue: Politics and Wit

Rule 3 Avoid "I" Statements

Life Lesson: A Disclaimer

Dialogue: A Crazy Rule

Rule 4 Probe, Don't Pry

Life Lesson: Politics and Sex

Dialogue: Small Talk Dancing

Rule 5 Participate, Don't Pontificate

Life Lesson: Less Is More

Dialogue: Human Interest

Rule 6 Discuss, Don't Debate 49

Life Lesson: Going Deep

Dialogue: Don't Take the Bait

Rule 7 Listen

Life Lesson: Good for Business

Dialogue: Stories are Better

Rule 8 Learn

Life Lesson: Use It or Lose It

Dialogue: The Hard Way

Rule 9 Think Before You Speak

Life Lesson: Dignity

Dialogue: Demanding But Fair

Rule 10 Keep Your Cool

Life Lesson: Joy

Dialogue: Balcony View

Part 2 Applications

Starting a Colloquy 87

Table Talk 95

Teaching Conversation: A Sample Curriculum 98

Speak Easy Business Conversation (by Skip Morse) 100

Acknowledgements 105

About the Authors 107

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