A few weeks ago at my training in Texas I learned a “new” method of starting conversation with people you don’t know from Katen Consulting. It’s the Eleanor Roosevelt Alphabet Topics method. Essentially, when you meet somebody new, go through every letter of the alphabet and think of a question to ask pertaining to that letter. Here’s an excerpt from Eleanor Roosevelt: Fighter for Social Justice that explains it better.
Franklin laughed. “You make it sound terrible,” he said. “I thought girls liked to go to dances and parties.”
“Well, I don’t.” Eleanor looked very serious. “Anyway, I never know what to say to people at parties and dances.”
Laughing, she added, “My Aunt Maude told me what to do when I couldn’t think of anything to say. She said I should take the alphabet and start right through it. ‘A-apple. Do you like apples, Mr. Smith? B-bears. Are you afraid of bears, Mr. Jones? C-cats. What do you think of cats, Mrs. Jellyfish?’”
Franklin laughed too. “I think you will do alright. By the time you get to Z-zebras, the party will probably be over.”
Weil, Ann. Eleanor Roosevelt: Fighter for Social Justice. New York: Aladdin, 1989. Print. 160-161.
Now, it doesn’t need to be taken quite as literally. For example A can be art, B can be baseball, C can be college, D can be Dunkin Donuts, E can be… alright, well I’m clearly running out of good examples, but I really do like this idea. Let the brainstorming begin!
PS. How often do you get to take advantage of MLA formating? Awesome.