Talking Easy
Stories or anecdotes to spice up a speech or presentation
Click on the buttons for anecdotes on each topic
Conversation
What makes a good conversationalist has changed little over the years. The basics remain the same as when Cicero became the first scholar to write down some rules: "Speak clearly; speak easily but not too much, especially when others want their turn; do not interrupt; be courteous; deal seriously with serious matters and gracefully with lighter ones; never criticise people behind their backs; stick to subjects of general interest; do not talk about yourself; and, above all, never lose your temper." But Cicero was lucky: he never went on a first date with someone more interested in their iPhone than his company.
Need to prepare a speech or presentation?
click here for 'What rules you need to follow' 'How to structure' and 'Samples of each type of speech as well as help to make it interesting

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BitsofBooks.com
Bits of Books - extracts which let you pretend you've read these contemporary books

click here to go to Bits of Books (opens in a new window)
Longer Articles
Longer extracts on each topic

click here to go to Articles web page (opens in a new window)
Quotes
Bits of wisdom on each topic

click here to go to Quotes web page (opens in a new window)
What To Talk About
Try not to be boring ....

click here to go to Dave Barry's suggestions (opens in a new window)
What Not To Talk About
Try to avoid being a Know-It-All

click here to go to Answer Syndrome (opens in a new window)
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A is for ANIMALS
Do you have pets? Did you grow up with pets?

Cats are the animal equiv of footballers wives - pretty, well-groomed - but ultimately all they want is for you to provide them with a lifestyle

click here for more anecdotes about animals
B is for BOOKS
What sort of things do you read when you have time?

Margaret Mahy "Books are the outlines of a thousand narrow doors, each one leading to a different kingdom"

click here for more anecdotes about books
C is for COMPUTERS
Do you ever read blogs? What's the best thing you've seen for wasting time ?

Bank sent out form letter to some of its best customers. Unfortunately they missed one final cut-and-replace and they all wentout addressed to "Dear Rich Bastard"

click here for more anecdotes about computers
D is for DRINK
What's your favourite drink?

They say alcohol the saviour of civilization because it saved us from contaminated water. Asians never evolved the gene that tolerates alcohol so they developed tea instead

click here for more anecdotes about drink
E is for EDUCATION
Did you go to school here? Do you ever go back for reunions?

Kings College (Auckland NZ) in 1992 headmaster caned 150+ boys at morning assembly (as punishment for sneaking into staffroom to get an early preview of their reports. He nearly expired with the effort - even not guilty boys were joining the queue just to see if he could get through

click here for more anecdotes about schools and education
F is for FOOD
If you could choose anyone alive or dead who would you invite to dinner?

Perth waitress fired after diner complained that not enough meat on a dish - she brought it back with dead mouse on it

click here for more anecdotes about food
G is for GENEOLOGY
Anyone famous in your family tree? Do you know much about where your ancestors came from?

Long Beach Highway patrolman suspended from duty after giving his m-in-law 48 tickets in 2 months. She claimed he'd wait outside her house and follow her every time she got into her car

click here for more anecdotes about families
H is for HAPPINESS
What do you do to cheer yourself up?

click here for more anecdotes about happiness
I is for INFIDELITY
Ever been caught? Or have you ever been the victim?

click here for more anecdotes about infidelity
J is for JEWELLRY
What do you want? Or what does your wife want?

click here for more anecdotes about wealth
K is for KIDS
Do you think parents influence them very much?

click here for more anecdotes about children
L is for LAWS
If you could pass one new law what would it be?

In Sheffield England a PD gang sentenced to plant bulbs along motorway divider. In spring the bulbs flowered - all in 4 letter words

click here for more anecdotes about law and lawyers
M is for MEN
One woman writer reckoned ideal man should have the body of Keanu Reeves and the mind of Billy Connolly

click here for more anecdotes about men
M is for MIND
The railway track Q: Train rushing down track is going to hit 5 people who can't get away; but you can press a button that will switch the train onto a siding where just one person is trapped - do you switch? (What if one of the people is your child?

click here for more anecdotes about mind and memory
M is for MONEY
What's your 'drop dead' number? (How much do you need to retire and live HEA?)

click here for more anecdotes about money
M is for MUSIC
What sort do you like?

click here for more anecdotes about music
N is for NAMES
Do you think we judge people by their names?

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O is for OLD AGE
Where do you want to spend yours?

click here for more anecdotes about old age
P is POLITICS
Who do you hate most?

click here for more anecdotes about politics
Q is for QUESTIONS
What's the most important thing in your life?

click here for more conversation about politics
R is for RELATIONSHIPS
Do we expect too much?

Met a woman with a 106 point check list of potential partners - what sort of expectations do you have?

click here for more conversation about relationships and divorce
R is for REVENGE
Ever come across any really good revenge stunts?

click here for more anecdotes about revenge
R is for RELIGION
Do you think it's good or bad?

click here for more anecdotes about religion
S is for SEX
Did you hear about the 58 year old German woman working in 'mature women's ' brothel - husband didn't like it but wouldn't have sex with her, so he had to put up with it

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S is for SPACE
Have you ever wanted to go into space?

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S is for SPORT
Still doing anything?

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T is for THERAPY
I read an interesting suggestion that you don't need a therapist to make soothing noises when you're unhappy, you just need a tough minded friend who'll tell you when you've stepped out of line

click here for more anecdotes about therapy
T is for TOILETS
Have you ever seen really outstanding public toilet, like Hunterwasser ones in Kawakawa NZ?

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U is for URBAN LEGENDS
Did you hear the one about the hospital intensive care ward that was losing a patient every Friday morning until the noticed that that was when the cleaner came in and needed somewhere to plug in her polisher ...

click here for more anecdotes about urban myths
V is for VACATIONS
Where would you like to go? Do you have a list of 100 Places To See Before You Die?

click here for more anecdotes about holidays
W is for WOMEN
What do women want? Would you swap sexes?

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W is for WORK
What's your idea of best/worst jobs?

Heard about the Mexican sewage divers? They work in pressurised diving suits completely in dark, clearing blockages just by touch

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X is for xTREMELY DANGEROUS IDEAS
10 year marriage licences? pregnancy permits?

click here for more anecdotes about dangerous ideas and the strange way people behave
Y is for YEAR
What will you be doing in a year's time?

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Z is for ZEST
What gives you your get-up-and-go? Or has it got-up-and-went?

click here for more anecdotes about happiness
William Flew Over One
How To Persuade

click here for ways to rethink your persuasive strategies
William Flew Over Two
William Flew Over Collecting

click here for more bits about William Flew over death
William Flew Over Three
William Flew Over Death

click here for more bits about William Flew over sport
William Flew Over Four
William Flew Over Drink

click here for more bits about William Flew over drink