Have a Better Conversation- TED Talk Review

Written by: Katherine Nocera

Hey everyone! Fairly recently, I came across a TED Talk by Celeste Headlee on the subject of “10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation.” I thought this subject was important to write about because, I find that being a young adult now a days, in a technological world, it is becoming increasingly harder to have face to face conversations with people! No need to worry, I’ve got your back. I have summarized five of the ten tips Celeste Headlee gave in the TED Talk. Here we go…


  1. Don’t multitask

Celeste suggests that they key to a successful conversation is to be 100% within the conversation. This tip is very helpful because I find my mind, not all the time, but sometimes drifting away from conservation. You know when you’re talking to your friend about a homework assignment and you start to think about what to eat for dinner? Guilty as charged.

  1. Don’t pontificate

I found this tip very interesting. Celeste says to “enter every conversations assuming that you have something to learn.” I never thought of it this way but it is sometimes better to set aside personal beliefs and absorb what someone else is trying to say. Who knows? Maybe their opinion and idea is even better than your own! 

  1. Use open ended questions

As in true reporter style, start questions with who, what, where, when, how. For example, what was that like? This way the person has to think about a response and it will make the conversation 10 times more interesting!

  1. Listen

Celeste explains that in today’s day and age, people are having trouble listening and instead tend to talk way more. She explains that people should “listen with the intent to understand.” I find this tip very useful especially being university students and having lectures. We should really learn to listen, like Celeste, explains with the purpose of understanding not just because we have to.

  1. Be brief

The last tip Celeste gives is to engage in as many brief conversations with as many people as possible. She encourages people to be interested in other people’s life and prepared to be amazed. I found this tip truly inspirational. It is a privilege to be able to have conversations with people and learn from them. Why not take advantage of that?

Hopefully you all enjoyed my summary of the useful tips to have a better conversation! If you’re interested in the whole TED Talk, check it out here.

Until next time…

Ciao. xx

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