How to Have a Good Conversation | Celeste Headlee | TEDxCreativeCoast

  • Published on May 7, 2015
  • When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have great conversations - and most of us don’t converse very well. A great conversation requires a balance between talking and listening. This balance is important because bad communication leads to bad relationships, at home, at work, everywhere.
    Celeste Headlee has worked in public radio since 1999, as a reporter, host, and correspondent. She was the Midwest Correspondent for NPR before becoming the co-host of the PRI show The Takeaway. She also guest hosted a number of NPR shows including Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, Weekend All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

    Celeste holds multiple degrees in music and still performs as a professional opera singer. She's the granddaughter of composer William Grant Still, the Dean of African American Composers. Celeste is an avid hiker, biker, paddler and dog walker.
    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Comments • 1 885

  • P2000Camaro
    P2000Camaro 20 hours ago +1

    Sorry, I kept having to go back and watch parts again cuz I wasn't really listening...
    What is this talk about, again?

  • maju
    maju Day ago

    at first when i watched this video for the first time i thought i needed this but now i think everyone should watch this and learn bc the ammount of people that doesnt actually know how to have a conversation is incredible

  • Quamruddin Ahmad
    Quamruddin Ahmad 2 days ago

    Well that's the awesome.
    I like to conversation with someone everytime bcoz I wanna learn something new from others.

  • Sally Bowles
    Sally Bowles 2 days ago

    I am a wonderful conversationist, think Bridget Jones at a posh party

  • Jazmin WithaZ
    Jazmin WithaZ 2 days ago

    How do I get your job? Lol

  • Chris J
    Chris J 2 days ago

    Was it a real conversation? Or did you just get lectured?
    Maybe you feel like you just sat through lecture (yawn).
    When you walk away from having had a conversation with someone, how do you feel? Was it nice to talk to that person? Do you feel they heard and understood you?
    Do you think they felt understood? While they were talking were you thinking only about your reply?
    Or was it "Two people shouting out barely related sentences in the same place."?

  • Becky G
    Becky G 2 days ago

    Anti-vaxxing.....maybe you should look into the topic before laughing it off. Vaccines do carry risk, so research and choose wisely.
    Did you know that some vaccines can shed the virus, which could spread to immunocompromised people? So, after receiving a live virus vaccine, it's best to stay away from cancer patients, infants, and anyone else medically fragile.

    • Ace
      Ace 20 hours ago

      Oh no, not you people again.

  • Roger Ferrandis
    Roger Ferrandis 2 days ago

    Thank you, Celeste.

  • mr ff
    mr ff 3 days ago +1

    bill nye the science cuck? bye im out

  • Dennis Bourgeois
    Dennis Bourgeois 3 days ago

    Its easy for me..I can listen because I have nothing left to say...Three times this year someone asked me for directions and after I spoke they insalted me...

  • Ed Kwock
    Ed Kwock 3 days ago


  • Mike Ivsin
    Mike Ivsin 3 days ago +3

    Bill Nye is an actor by profession pretending to be a scientist. That's all I need to know about Bill Nye. He is a pundit as well. Exit 6:10

    • mr ff
      mr ff 3 days ago

      exactly... too bad this video was from 2015, he aint a cuck then preTRUMP

  • Connor Oswald
    Connor Oswald 4 days ago


  • C G O
    C G O 4 days ago

    Honestly listening is too easy a task. How to get people engaged in a history _you_ wanna tell them?

  • Bosse Linder
    Bosse Linder 5 days ago

    Good rules, but I had hoped for something a bit different. Like:

    How to be part of a good group conversation.

    I already follow most of these rules, and most one-to-one conversations I have are good (I think...), but being a good listener means I don't take much space when talking with several people, and because of that I feel a bit left out.

    • fast9881
      fast9881 5 days ago

      The problem is when you're the only one applying those rules when in a group. I usually have to break some 'rules' from time to time because i come to realize i'm the only one applying them, like waiting for someone to finish or like giving everyone the chance to talk, to express themselves. What saddens me is it's becoming really rare nowadays to find someone, especially in groups, who will take the time to listen and elaborate what you told them before responding

  • Hadeel Abdulmotteleb

    greaaaaaaaaaaaaaatttt talk

  • loot Scapes
    loot Scapes 6 days ago +1

    i almost thought this was michelle obama when i was listening but couldn't see the video lol

  • Cam Van Le
    Cam Van Le 7 days ago

    Everybody is an expert in something.

  • Aaron Corley
    Aaron Corley 8 days ago

    Bill is not a scientist.

  • Kasey May
    Kasey May 8 days ago +10

    Good gracious! That might have been the best TED Talk I've ever heard.

  • Yashoda Pokhrel
    Yashoda Pokhrel 8 days ago

    Mouth shut and mind open. Beautifully versed.

  • Sandrine G
    Sandrine G 9 days ago

    This great but is there also a version for people struggling with ADHD? most things from this 10 point list are extremely hard for us. (Like paying attention and listening in general)

  • Cher Jay Lee
    Cher Jay Lee 9 days ago

    So good!

  • Laura s
    Laura s 9 days ago +1

    This is going back in time ... we are real divided now

  • Laura s
    Laura s 9 days ago

    Its about respecting each other

  • PrimBiscuit7822
    PrimBiscuit7822 9 days ago

    the ticks from her bracelet is annoying me so much

  • diagoumistis
    diagoumistis 9 days ago

    2015, hmm who was the worst president in US history at that time?

  • Imran khan Sadri
    Imran khan Sadri 10 days ago

    When you are talking, you are repeating what you already know, but when you listen, you might learn something new. Rule no. 9: Listen, is the most most important one.

    ANGST 11 days ago

    Yeah, good luck with that.

  • Fathieh Saber
    Fathieh Saber 12 days ago +1

    One of the most inspiring speakers ♡

  • Anuna Ticova
    Anuna Ticova 12 days ago

    don't be on drugs ... not to forget

  • Molly Smith
    Molly Smith 12 days ago +1

    I liked this a lot. Thank you.

  • sarahzant
    sarahzant 12 days ago

    No.6 oh how I hate it when people do no.6 😬🤨

  • Vaidyan AKHIL JACOB
    Vaidyan AKHIL JACOB 12 days ago

    Wow what a message

  • John Harvey
    John Harvey 12 days ago

    If you get in a taxi 🚖 and you don’t want to get into a conversation should you just say ‘’I don’t want to talk’’ ?

    • Agnes Låby Selberg
      Agnes Låby Selberg 10 days ago

      That might come off as rude. Just keep the answers to the driver's questions short, if you don't want to talk.

  • Charlie Angkor
    Charlie Angkor 13 days ago

    how many of you have unfriended someone because you asked him something twice and he read it twice and hasnt answered the question?

  • James Martin
    James Martin 13 days ago

    I think she makes some good points, but I disagree with the you're not supposed to talk about the same subject point. I mean imagine if two people are Hunters and you didn't want to tell your bucks story because somebody else told there's doesn't make sense

  • AwsumSauce
    AwsumSauce 14 days ago

    How are you today
    kids 2019

  • Mark Blake
    Mark Blake 14 days ago

    This generation needs " How to have a good text"..

  • Robert v.d. Vlist
    Robert v.d. Vlist 14 days ago

    I used to throw a lot of own stories in that were related to the other persons talk...

  • J Br
    J Br 14 days ago +22

    The good news is everybody is now ready to listen.
    The bad news: nobody wants to talk anymore. 😂

  • Vikas Bhardwaj
    Vikas Bhardwaj 15 days ago

    Good job....

  • Becky Walker
    Becky Walker 15 days ago

    Charming, but so misguided. Communication evolves constantly. Just because you don’t understand the current generation’s way of communication doesn’t make it invalid.

  • Robert Book
    Robert Book 15 days ago

    I get what she is trying to convey here, but what if the person you are talking to, also saw this TED talk and is wanting to listen intently to you as you are to them? Wouldn’t that be a stalemate if you both are talking less and listening more to NOTHING because no one is talking.

  • Abu Aesa
    Abu Aesa 16 days ago


  • e schwarz
    e schwarz 17 days ago +4

    nope, this was 2015; 2019, were way more divided now; maybe people should have listened to this talk

  • Abbas Khatami
    Abbas Khatami 17 days ago

    So true on all accounts. Great speech 👌

  • Janetta Jackson
    Janetta Jackson 17 days ago

    Her: If you're paying attention, you don't need to show your paying attention."
    Whereas I'm the type of person who always says "yeah, uh huh" like 5 times while listening. R.I.P.

  • J T G
    J T G 17 days ago

    Oh the innocent days of 2015.

  • Loto
    Loto 17 days ago

    Be prepared to be amazed...That is what I should do when I'm told a joke and I know it won't be funny or I won't understand it. Tired of fake laughs !

  • Nicholas G
    Nicholas G 17 days ago

    All 1.9 thousand dislikes are pontificates.

  • Lewis Lister
    Lewis Lister 17 days ago

    He who speaks much knows little.

  • M
    M 18 days ago

    I love when she starts talking about how no experience is the same and to not compare your experience to others. That is such a problem now a days even with the littlest of things. People are always trying to relate and wait for their chance to talk, when they should just listen and try and understand

  • Alexander Fresh
    Alexander Fresh 19 days ago

    She is talking about convo

  • Teresinha Santos Da Costa

    A very interesting and inspiring talk. Thanks for sharing.

  • Matini R
    Matini R 20 days ago

    Love this!

  • Valeria B
    Valeria B 20 days ago

    beautiful speech

  • Garrett 88
    Garrett 88 22 days ago

    another liberal talking head

  • Getting the steps
    Getting the steps 24 days ago

    If we are all listening, who are we listening to ? ...

  • New Thought
    New Thought 25 days ago

    100% wonderful advice and guidance. We are SO narcissistic and self absorbed, that we feel the need to broadcast our opinions when someone is talking with us. LISTEN!!!!