1. Avoid unnecessary details.
1. 避免不必要的细节。

Don’t sidetrack. For example, if the time something happened isn’t important, don’t waste time getting it right.

2. Don’t ask another question before the first one has been answered.
2. 在第一个问题得到回答前不要问另一个问题。

If you ask how someone’s children are, don’t jump in with your family health before she has answered.

3. Do not interrupt another while he is speaking.
3. 在别人说话时不要打断。

Also, try to make your story short, giving the other person a chance to speak and not interrupt.

4. Do not contradict, especially if it’s not important.
4. 不要反驳,特别是在不重要的情况下。

You are inserting unnecessary details into the person’s story. “The person who contradicts, frequently restates the matter in another way.”

5. Do not do all the talking.
5. 不要只是自己说。

Ask questions to find out what you both have in common.

6. Don’t always be the hero of your story, however, the story should have a hero.
6. 不要总是做你故事的主人公,尽管,故事应该有一个主人公。

Build up others as well as yourself.

7. Choose a subject of mutual interest.
7. 选择一个共同感兴趣的话题。

Draw the person’s interests out and don’t “hinge the conversation on politics when it should be on potatoes or on poetry.”

8. Be a good listener.
8. 做一个好的聆听者。

You will naturally become one if you follow the above rules.

9. The conversation should be in harmony with the surroundings.
9. 谈话应该与环境协调一致。

Do not “talk about cheese when the moon would be a more fitting topic.” Also, don’t discount the appropriateness of silence.

10. Do not exaggerate.
10. 不要夸张。

Not everything is “the best,” “the worst,” or “the funniest.”

11. Do not misquote.
11. 不要错误地引用。

“Use the quotation for the occasion; do not make an occasion for the quotation.”

12. Cultivate tact.
12. 培养分寸感。

Do not be untruthful, but also don’t feel the need to be hurtful. Do not say someone looks unwell, sick, or tired. This will do nothing to further conversation and only make the person uncomfortable. Don’t hint at it either by asking if she had a long night. Remember silence is an option. “Say the right thing, or say nothing.”