Image Management

Conversations, Coffee & Books | Surabhi Mehta

“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.” ~ René Descartes

I have been practicing Image consulting since the last 5 years and have met a lot of people who have asked me to help them improve their conversational skills.

Apart from a few tried and tested tricks my one and only consistent advice has been – Just read !

It could be anything ranging from current affairs to sports to fiction. Catch your interest and then build from there.

Reading books is as good as relaxing and learning at the same time

With an array of general benefits, It will be surprising to know how reading books will improvise your conversations.

Enhance your vocabulary and avoid unnecessary words and grammatical errors

The best side effect of reading a lot is to end up with a rather large vocabulary. And that keeps increasing exponentially the more you read. With more and more of reading, your vocabulary gets stronger and so do your sentences in your conversations.

Improve your expression for creative ideas

Being able to better communicate your ideas will give you confidence in them and when you have confidence in your ideas, you have a great foundation to speak it out. Since words foster creativity, having more words at your disposal will make you a better communicator.

Gain Cultural Knowledge

Books are a window to the world. A glimpse into to cultures past, present, and future, as interpreted by their authors and filtered through our own imaginations. Reading exposes you to multi-culture environment that you wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. Reading gives you a context with which to view other cultures, thus consequently making you more intelligent, tolerant, and capable of embracing human differences.

Improve your knowledge base

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~ Dr. Seuss

Reading enables lifelong learning and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. You can discover an amazing amount of information about what’s been, what’s going, and how things work. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to share. You’ll be a better conversationalist, a quicker thinker and a better problem solver. Your huge array of discovered knowledge will help you to become more involved in discussions and also able to instigate much more diverse and interesting levels of conversations. Ultimately, this will make you a much more appealing and refreshing person to be around.

Acquiring more information will give you an individual advantage over others because you will have gathered a wider understanding of varied subjects and topics of conversation. Limited knowledge may hold you back and leave you feeling left out in certain social situations.

Here are few books I recommend that will drastically help you with your conversations and social skills:

The Art of Storytelling by John Walsh

Tongue Fu!: How to Deflect, Disarm, and Defuse Any Verbal Conflict by Sam Horn

‘Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion’ by George J. Thompson

‘Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way we Live’ by Brené Brown

Just Listen: The Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone’ by Mark Goulston M.D.

Intelligence refers to one’s ability to learn. Therefore, what better way is there to learn than to read? On top of the numerous health, psychological, and creative benefits of reading books, they’re just plain fun. Train yourself to a daily habit of 30-minutes of reading. Turn off everything but your brain and soon see yourself improvise conversationally!

During my last visit to Paris I visited a beautiful  concept store called Merci which has a little cafe with an amazing collection of books.

Hunt down libraries and book stores during all your travels and stay inspired !

Another gem in Santorini  (Greece) is the Atlantis Book store. We spent hours looking at a fabulous collection of books , maps and collectables. A must visit and we give it a 5 star rating !

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