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Maybe you're here because of my talk at Write/Speak/Code 2019--or maybe you're just poking around!
I wanted to turn some of the suggestions from my presentation into actionable materials.
(These are also the kinds of exercises we might work through in person with a longer time allotment.)
I've also added images of key slides into the article below.
Note: I will be revisiting this page to hone content and accessibility as I learn more about how to build a blog myself.
All mistakes are mine, but this is an ongoing priority for me.
Generally, you can anticipate some of the questions or topics that might come up in an impromptu conversation before the conversation starts. That's because topics are usually relevant to the situation and/or your connection to the others in the conversation.
(You can also use this as a tool to start a conversation yourself!)
Note: In my presentation, these avatars represented particular people in a particular context. For now, I'm not sharing that story publicly; I may introduce a new example and/or change the avatars in a future edit.
Not all topics are equally relevant! I've created a triage model (inspired by my own botched responses to tricky questions) to help validate whether a topic deserves a response in this context.
Before the conversation you can prepare go-to phrases to draw from as needed.
During the conversation, you can quickly run through the model if a topic doesn't quite feel right.
Topics that make it past the validation stage deserve an answer--and here's a very simple model for framing your response.
Before the conversation you can prepare and practice responses to questions you expect to be asked (e.g., "What do you do?").
During the conversation, you can build new answers using this model.
Potential Responses to Prepare
If you're not sure what kinds of questions to prepare, here are some examples to get you thinking!"
Questions with Simple Answers
Where little or no evidence is needed to support your point, you can easily provide an answer by optionally repeating the question, making your point, and then optionally asking a question (if situationally appropriate and if you'd like to buy yourself more time before the next question).
Questions with Complex Answers
When you need to provide some evidence to support your point, you can use a similar model, but present these pieces of information after the initial summary of your point. Once you have provided relevant information, wrap up by repeating your point or providing a logical conclusion.