conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

How Could this Book be More Interesting?

with 2 comments

I’m about to go fishing with my Listentalk book proposal (via How could I make the summary (below) more interesting? Be honest. People respond to these posts by email, on Facebook and occasionally right here at “Engage.” Vent your spleen. I’m listening.

Listentalk: How Simple Conversation Changes Your Life Every Day

Why does one conversation make you scan the room for escape while the next sends you breathless to register to run a marathon—though you hate exercise? Listentalk: How Simple Conversation Changes Your Life Every Day shows how humble, mundane conversations have the power to turn our life direction every single day, by:

  • Reminding us of the pivotal conversations that have shaped and sculpted our own lives. Like the chance comment to your 18-year-old-self from an acquaintance about a “school you should check out,” which sent you a direction that ended in law school, marriage and being appointed as a judge (true story).
  • Showing how God purposefully composed the human condition so that while we are limited, we are limited together. Conversation has a way of bumping out our human limitations in extraordinary ways, so that my lack of understanding leads to a discussion that sheds light on a key topic but also opens an opportunity to pursue the work I love.
  • Exposing the component parts of listening and talking so we can better understand how God speaks to and through us
  • Providing practical insights into how we can listen and speak for powerful good every single day—including wise use of social media

Today’s incendiary and vitriolic talk leaves people feeling weary and soiled. Listentalk refreshes Christian adults, Sunday School classes, small groups and college students by reminding them of the wonder, curiosity and serendipity that have been part of the deep verbal connections that have shaped their lives. These deep connections have often sprung from the unlikeliest of mundane conversations.

Listentalk tells stories of conversations that both suggest and model an extraordinary set of expectations and outcomes for ordinary talk. Listentalk helps people see verbal, visual and other-sensory conversational episodes as the powerful shaping tools they are—and provides suggestions for making them even more powerful. Unlike possibility-thinking, self-help books, Listentalk is grounded in the nature and actions of the conversing God of the Bible who expected and realized world-changing outcomes from each conversational episode. Listentalk frees readers to see daily conversation in a very different light by inviting readers to reach out in trust to each day’s conversational partners—an ever-expanding set of partners due to changing attitudes (about communication, authority and the loss of gatekeepers) and developing technologies.

Listentalk offers a primer on navigating the growing social media space as redeemed conversational partners. Creating communities of target audiences is the new marketing strategy. Leading public conversations by reaching out with dialogue that gifts and blesses is not only supremely Christian, but supremely strategic.


2 Responses

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  1. Hey Kirk. Great summary. I can’t wait for the book to come out. Very original. I hope the book gets wide readership. Thanks for your example, thanks also for persevering in the writing life.


    February 11, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    • Thanks for your ongoing support. It means a lot.


      February 11, 2011 at 11:35 pm

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