The art of conversation, in two parts.

On Sunday morning i was listening to Alain de Botton. He was talking about our conversation skills and why actually some enforced stuffiness/preparation can actually help us engage and make for a better conversation that a turn up and hope for the best conversation. (Click the box below to hear it.)

Alain de Botton on why preparing conversation is as important as preparing a good salad for our summer picnic. He questions why we put so much effort into our social encounters, but leave our conversation to chance. With examples from history and literature, he argues that it’s when there are rules to our conversation that our spirit can best be set free.

then last night I heard Douglas Edwards, who was Google’s first director of consumer marketing and brand management, on BBC Radio4’s midweek programme. He told the story of sergey brin, who would at the end of each interview ask the “Hard” question. “I’ll give you five minutes, and when I come back, I want you to tell me something you understand very well, something very complicated I don’t know anything about, and explain it to me.” His rational was even if the interview was a right off, you could learn something new from the candidate.

With all that stuff processing around my brain about conversation and how we communicate i came across this video of possibly the best conversation ever(in two parts). please watch. you deserve it.