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Let's Talk: How to Have Better Conversations

Nihal Arthanayake

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Business communication & presentation

An accessible, anecdotal and expert-led guide to having better conversations by an award-winning BBC broadcaster.

'Read this fascinating book and you'll become a better listener, a better conversationalist and better company' Adam Kay
'A brilliant book on the art of conversation' Matt Haig
'A compulsory book for these divided times' Sathnam Sanghera
'An intriguing exploration of the importance of a proper chinwag' Sara Cox
'A terrific book from a terrific broadcaster. Worryingly good'' Jeremy Vine
'An insightful, important read' Stacey Dooley
'A genuinely brilliant broadcaster' Matthew Syed
'A masterly book' Matthew d'Ancona
'Brilliant in the year and just as brilliant on the page' Anita Anand
'Fascinating and thought-provoking' Jane Fallon
'Informed, open-minded, fair, astute, caring and funny' Ricky Gervais
'A grand theory of conversation' Dan Snow
'The conversation king' Laura Whitmore

...

How do you talk to someone who doesn't want to talk to you?
What happens in the brain when we're having a good conversation?
What have smartphones done to how we connect?

Conversations are broken. And while effective dialogue is supposed to lead to greater fulfilment in our personal and professional lives, all the scientific evidence points towards us sharing fewer interactions than previous generations. From ever decreasing face-to-face meetings to echo chambers online, we no longer have the necessary tools to talk to each other.

Nihal Arthanayake is bucking this trend. As the world becomes increasingly more fractured, he has built a platform of 1.2 million listeners a week on BBC Radio 5 Live who regard him as one of the best people of his generation at having public conversations. Guests from the world's biggest stars to leaders of inner-city gangs have lauded his seemingly innate ability to stimulate positive discussions without the need for confrontation. Now he wants to understand how he developed his skills, what it exactly means to have a 'great conversation' and, most importantly, how he can teach us to have better interactions in our everyday lives.

Let's Talk blends Nihal's experiences as an acclaimed interviewer with expert and celebrity opinion on the secrets and psychology behind successful communication. From tracing the evolution of dialogue to discovering what lights up in the brain when we're enjoying a good discussion, Nihal speaks to conversational authorities including Lorraine Kelly, former president of Ireland Mary McAleese, Professor Tanya Byron, internationally bestselling author Johann Hari, Matthew Syed, and many more, to find out why good conversation has eroded over time and how we can fix it.

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