How do you form a meaningful connection with another person? Well, it starts with simply opening your mouth. From there, my guest says, you want to progress through a conversation, or perhaps a series of conversations, in a particular sequence of stages that will form an effective on-ramp towards a stronger relationship.

Her name is Judy Apps, she’s a speaking and voice coach and the author of several books on communication, including The Art of Conversation. Today Judy and I discuss that art, beginning with why it’s so important to learn. We then get into the different levels a conversation should progress through in order to build intimacy and smoothly segue into discussing the things that matter most. Judy explains how to bring the kind of energy to a conversation that creates connection, and two exercises you can use to overcome the self-consciousness that can thwart that energy. Along the way, we discuss how conversation is both a game that you can have fun practicing, and a dance that can flow into some of life’s most magical moments.

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Show Highlights

Where do most people falter when it comes to conversation?How is conversation like a dance?How should you approach conversation with someone new?Why you need to embrace small talk Thinking vs feeling in conversation Progressing through levels of conversation to get deeper and more intimate Conversational experiments to try out What should you do when you get anxious before or during a conversation?The benefits of thinking of conversation as a game How much tone and body language matters when conversing with people 

Resources/Articles/People Mentioned in Podcast

How to Design Conversations That MatterThe Power of ConversationHow to Avoid Conversational Narcissism How to Start and Sustain ConversationsHow Conversation Builds CharacterReclaiming ConversationThe Art of Conversation: 5 Do’s and Don’ts How to Make Small TalkWhy You Need to Embrace Small TalkHow to Initiate Small TalkWhy You Should Talk to Strangers

Connect With Judy

Judy’s website

Judy on Twitter

How Your Voice Touches Others (Judy’s TED talk)

Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)

Apple podcasts.