James Donovan: Conversational Skills in Business

January 18, 2013

James Donovan, managing director at Goldman Sachs, is known for his down-to-earth approach to teaching as a professor at the University of Virginia.

In one of his lectures, he explained that language and conversational skills are extremely important for a businessman.

“Take classes in the law and business section,” he suggests. “You will learn about the world in which your clients live and you will learn their jargon. This way you won’t be intimidated by the business lingo because it really is just a thin veneer- so learn the language!”

He adds, “Use a pregnant pause while you’re talking to someone- it elicits conversation and feedback from the other side. It also forces you to slow down if you’re nervous.”

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