Being knowledgeable can help fuel great conversations and make it easier to start them.
If you wish to come across as a knowledgeable, intelligent and stimulating conversationalist the Wealth of Knowledge Database (WKD) will help put you firmly on that track. It involves doing a little research on a wide variety of topics and creating files of condensed information that you may use to refresh your memory or copy and paste parts of it to send to your friends after it comes up in a conversation. I keep these files on my computer and smart phone.
When creating your own Wealth of Knowledge Database consider what kind of things usually come up in the conversations you are a part of and have listened to. Also, what kind of things are likely to come up in conversations during the year? Are there certain things you would like to talk about but aren’t good at verbally expressing your ideas? If so, iron out your ideas in writing and keep it on your smart phone for reference.
Below is a list of things I have compiled information on or am currently working on. Note how my WKD is tailor made for me. Keep in mind that I’m an expatriate living in Asia. I’m a middle-aged man who is married and has a son. I know a number of other couples who also have children. I often meet new expats and know the kind of things they will talk about. I am also friends with some expats who are several years older than me.
* Local attractions and events like amusement parks, museums, memorial halls and parades.
* General places to go with friends including pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants and movie theaters. For some of these I have a copy of the directions in case I want to invite some friends to join me.
* A list of interest clubs including cycling, scuba diving, hiking and board gaming. Some of these have facebook pages which I have noted as well as contact details.
* A cultural file listing many interesting facts about festivals, holidays and other information concerning the country I live in.
* The history of the country I live in and places of interest.
* On the odd occasion I jot something down in my personal history file. For example, events I attended, something funny my son did, new fish I bought and future plans. Sometimes when I think to myself, “What on earth am I going to talk about when I see this friend?”, it helps get me mentally prepared for the conversation and refreshes my memory of recent events in my life.
* A list of bookstores as well as their addresses.
* My interest file contains information about my interests and hobbies. For example, I have five aquariums in my home and I can tell you the names of all the fish I have as well as where they originate from and certain other facts. If guests show interest in my fish I am able to furnish them with information concerning them. I am currently working on a file for investing. Two of my co-workers in particular are very interested in the subject but know little about it. I want to make sure I can pass on to them some sound information on investing and advice about the subject.
* A file containing interesting factoids about upcoming movies and the video games I like.
* A file that covers general information about retirement.
* A list of websites that will be of interest to expats.
* A list of places parents can take their children.
* A list of stores that have the western goodies expats like.
* Funny jokes I can share with my friends. I seldom tell jokes but if the group of friends I’m with start telling jokes I want to contribute one or two. Also, sometimes in a conversation saying a joke at the right time can be so funny.
* Pictures and videos on my smart phone that I might like to show other people when talking about my parties, proposing trips to places or my family.
* Current noteworthy news including technology, entertainment, environment and the world economy.
* Information about the countries around me that new expats often visit. This includes scuba diving information.
* A copy of the subway map on my cell phone as well as information on the high speed rail.
Sounds like a lot of work? Not really. A lot of information is freely available on-line. Some of the lists I have were created by other expats who put it on a forum so others could benefit. I can easily copy and paste any information of interest to another person and text it to him or send it via email.
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