Conversation is an important part of social interaction around the table. It is perfect for the enjoyment of good companionship and a pleasant meal. A few important tips are:
>Try not to talk too fast or too slow.
>Keep the conversation light. Small talk includes casual, unofficial, interesting things in everyday life, such as the weather, music, upcoming events, movies, or sports.
>Keep topics of conversation safe and non-controversial. Avoid discussions about religion, race or politics, or any controversial issue.
>Avoid health issues, off-color jokes and gossip.
>Answer respectfully when addressed.
>Be mindful of engaging in conversation with a person who has just taken a bite of food. Remember you should not talk with food in your mouth.
>Loud voices/laughter can be disturbing to others. Do not yell, use a pleasant tone of voice that can be heard only at your table.
>Do not use profane, abusive or vulgar language.
>Be a good listener. Give others a chance to talk. Do not monopolize a conversation.
>Pay attention to the person speaking by giving eye contact, do not look at other people when someone is talking to you.
>Do not interrupt. Allow the other person to finish what he or she is saying before speaking. If you and another person start talking at the same time, give way quickly in a friendly manner with a simple, “Go ahead, please.”
>Do not ridicule or laugh at an unfortunate remark or someone’s mistake. Although a good conversationalist does not contradict someone in a social setting, it is okay to disagree. In those instances, start by saying, “I disagree with you because....”