What makes a great conversation?

I recently had a coffee with a friend that I met at a networking event last year.

After an hour and a half of talking about all sorts of things (except for work) we parted ways and both commented it was nice to have a conversation about things that matter.

I go to quite a lot of networking events and I do find that enjoyable conversations stand out, because most are merely transactional: “What can you do for me?” or “Here is what I can do for you” zzzzzzzzzz. Uninteresting, uninspiring, unmemorable. This isn’t the case with all networking events, some naturally breed better conversations, like Freshwalks.

I am by no means an expert in communication, nor do I think I am the most engaging person in any room, but I have made it an aim of mine to have better conversations, so I’ve done a bit of research on it:

These are a couple of really good TED Talks I’ve listened to that aim to help you have better, more meaningful, conversations. Celeste Headlee’s ’10 ways to have a better conversation’ offers a few (10) useful tips to help you go beyond small talk, and Julian Treasure’s How to speak so that people want to listen’ highlights seven deadly conversational sins, things like gossiping and being negative, that you should avoid when speaking to others.

Have a listen to both if you get a moment and let me know what you think…

So, what was the last conversation you had at a networking event like? Did it matter, or did it leave you feeling flat?