A brief report on our conversation about conversations, employing a few of Rob Baedeker's tips for successful conversation:
A conversational gambit should make people a little uncomfortable, but not too uncomfortable, and the person offering it should be ready to fail. But before we get started, what great shoes you're wearing. Where did you get them?
We could tell you all about our conversation, but we'd rather hear from you. What do you think about conversations?
A non sequitur can help start a conversation by putting the other party off balance. What do you think would be a good pastime for David Letterman in retirement?
Yeah, we work at a radio station, but that's enough about us. Tell us about something good that happened to you today.
If we could go ice-fishing on Saturn's moon Enceladus, what would you use for bait? (We didn't make that question up on the spot. We prepared for this conversation in advance, and wrote down topics on index cards.)
Baedeker and Chris Colin wrote a book about the art of conversation. Colin recommends planning for conversations ahead of time:
"You wouldn't go to a dinner party without bringing a bottle of wine," he told the San Francisco Chronicle. "You wouldn't go to a dinner party without some thought in your head. By dinner party, I'm using that to stand for anything — a party, a date, a new job, whatever."