A fairly lucid attempt at charting the twists and turns of everyday conversation for those who haven't mastered the art. Alan Garner (Interpersonal Communications, Santa Aha College) directs a workshop network in the subject, so he knows enough to include both simple and complex exchanges. Topics range from getting a conversation started via open-ended questions (rather than those that promote one-line answers), to discouraging the persistent manipulator by repeating your reason for saying "no" over and over again (the "broken record" technique). Readers are encouraged to be as positive as possible, wherever possible (in some cases we can even help another person accept our genuine compliments graciously). The communications-course staples are included--"active listening" by paraphrasing the other person's statement, the rudiments of body language--but the chief attraction is the step-by-step guidance for those who truly have trouble initiating or sustaining a conversation, issuing invitations, and the like. A handy little primer for the terminally tongue-tied.