Dos & Don’ts for a great table conversation (video & podcast)

Tonight Umbert is invited to an amazing dinner at Ducasse sur Seine.

Other guests will be some friends but also famous people from the arts and business Parisian scene.

What are the Dos & Don’ts for a great table conversation ?

Umbert gives you the basics so you won’t have a bad experience at your next party. The more you practice, the better you will be.

Benefits of this coaching :

  • Best methodology to become irresistible
  • Innovative technique to unleash your charisma
  • Learn the new etiquette & manners
  • A better lifestyle

« During a conversation, be sure to not have the last word, the first. », Sacha Guitry, French actor

“Dans la conversation, gardez-vous bien d’avoir le dernier mot, le premier.”, Sacha Guitry, acteur Français

In this article :

1) General rules

2) Do not monopolize the conversation

3) Do not be “hypochondriac”

4)Topics to avoid

5) The problem of the « silent” person

6) When can you talk & what can you say

1) General rules

When speaking, just bend your head in the direction of the other person, and not your shoulders, to not turn your back to the other neighbor.

Share your conversation equally between your neighbors on the right and on the left.

Men, besides serving wine, must also speak to their female neighbors.

Try to find out what topics interest them and ask questions. Great speakers open their mind and the conversation. They open the door.

If your neighbors do not speak to you, do not show your boredom (think of your weekend!). If the situation becomes troublesome, ask them with a smile.

Do not argue with a guest at the other end of the table.

Never interrupt, except if the other is rudeness or vulgar. On the opposite, always listen a lot, you will learn something for sure, and the other will feel listened.

Do not say what has to be done or not done. You can argue, but always consider the other point of view.

Do not gossip or criticize on anyone.

Congratulate the hostess for her amazing party.

Warning: if you make a mistake, if the other guests feel offended, this could ruin the party.

2) Do not monopolize the conversation

Whoever speaks only of his work, in addition with technical terms, can quickly become boring. Try to tell a funny anecdote instead.

The sports enthusiast: do not comment on your 18 holes of golf in front of non players.

If this happens, the host must react at the right time, by skillfully hooking up a more general topic : eg Rugby ⇒ travel.

The “Me, I”: The one who interrupts all the time by “me-I”. The host must react and after a while return to the one that was cut “Charles do not finish, tell us Charles stp”.

3) Do not be “hypochondriac”

This is hell for the one who has asked for your news, and for those who are hearing the details of your treatments and operations.

The host must quickly reorient it. Example: “François, you look great, how was your last vacation?”

4) Topics to avoid




The recipe: Shut up or moderate your opinions.

Disagreements can appear. Always start to calm down, listen to the other, agree with him in a way, and tell your argument with moderation.

5) The problem of the « silent” person

If you do not like talking or if you feel strange in this dinner:

Make a very big effort to find a general subject or compliment the hostess.

If necessary, prepare some discussion topics in advance.

6) When can you talk & what can you say

Yes, knowing how to express yourself is an art.

During a dinner, do not monopolize the conversation. It must be an exchange.

You must never interupt.

If you are shy, and someone asks you some questions or invites you to express yourself: go ahead and answer.

If you have to make a speech:

  • Prepare your speech. You’ll feel more relaxed and will avoid any drama. Few good improvisers! 
  • Tell the person organizing the reception. 
  • The speech must be: personal, original, simple, clear and brief.
  • Start with « Ladies & Gentlemen. » If a personality is in the room: Start with its title.
  • Do not stay away from the subject.
  • Stay positive even if it’s about a disaster.
  • Do not talk about yourself.

Umbert remembers you the Dos & Don’ts for a great table conversation.

Tonight he will have once again an amazing time in Paris, especially because the dinner will on a boat, watching all the sparkling illuminations of Paris.

What you must remember : If all the guests feel and stay confortable, the party will be a success. A drama would ruin everything. Stay on general topics, and always give your best original and positive comments.

How to become irresistible ? Download now the free eBook, chapter Behave (only available this month).

Bon voyage !

Umbert De Paris

Don’t talk, you are listened ! (Vidéo & Podcast)


To listen to the podcast click here :



When Umbert is in Paris, he often goes to some very interesting talks about his favorite subjects : travel, technology, startups, emotional intelligence and many more …

Sometimes, he doesn’t really understand everything, especially when it is very technical.

When dining with friends, after several nights out, he doesn’t always know what to say or answer, because he ’s tired. 

Sometimes you start talking and you may notice that your audience is not interested in what you are saying.

Or you’ve just realized that what you’ve said is so stupide !!!

Don’t talk, you are listened !

The silence is sometimes better …


“The silence is golden, so I’m silent … « , MC Solar, French singer

« Le silence est d’or, alors je me tais … « , MC Solar, chanteur Français


In this article :

1) Talking

2) Listening


1) Talking

When you are talking, sometimes, it is better to stop.

But when ?

If your speech is too long or does not involve anyone, stop immediately, otherwise the others may leave the room because they are bored, or find you too narcissistic …

If someone interrupt you, let him talk. His attitude is wrong for sure, but the best is to not do the same.

When arguing, know that you will put more pressure, just because what you think and say will be different from the other point of view, and it may disturb him a little or more.

If you have different ideas from the one who talks, let him finish first.

Depending on the situation, you may also think about your answer 24 hours, then come back to it.

Arguing is good, it helps both of you by sharing experiences.

When the debate becomes heated, watch the others, stop talking, it will help everybody to calm down.

On the other hand, If just one of you talk and the other listen, the discussion may be boring, and nobody has time for boring things. 

I know some business techniques teach you that not talking and listening is the best solution. I don’t agree with this, I thinks that if you want a long term relationship, you need to share experiences and talks.

2) Listening

Learn to listen to others. Listening is as important as knowing how to speak.

It also shows that you are interested in the other and what he says.

When you visit a friend who is in pain, your presence is often enough. Words could be misunderstood in a critical situation.

When you do not understand a discussion, or do not know anything about it, it is better to stay quiet so you do not look ridiculous.

When the talking is getting to emotional, it is better to stop arguing a little, to calm down, then restart.


Umbert try to always stay calm, so he can focus on talking smart.

He knows that it is not easy when you’re stressed by your job, or something bad that’s just happened.

That’s why, sometimes, Don’t talk, you are listened ! 

But not always, don’t forget that life is about sharing, and talking is a way to share.

What must be remembered : talk only when you think that what you want to say is important for the others. If you have a doubt it may be that it is better to say nothing.


Quiz : Register to my blog to get regular Quiz and learn more about the New Etiquette


You can post a comment or ask Umbert about your next weekend in Paris, and new etiquette advices, in the section below.

Sign in to download the 1st chapter of New Etiquette , and get the next vidéos, podcasts and articles.

Bon voyage !

Umbert De Paris

15.5 Dos to make people love you (Vidéo & Podcast)


To listen to the podcast click here :


Why 12.5 and not 15 ?

Making friends, or acquaintances, is really going out of your confort zone.

When Umbert meets acquaintances, or new people, he knows that the warm tone of his voice is as important as his laugh and smile.

Umbert wants to share with you 15.5 Dos to make people love you.


“It’s sometimes in the eyes, in a smile, that the words we never knew how to say are hidden”, Yves Duteil, French composer

« Et c’est parfois dans un regard, dans un sourire, que sont cachés les mots qu’on n’a jamais su dire », Yves Duteil, compositeur Français


In this article :

1) Introduce your self

2) Compliment

3) Break the ice

4) Make eye contact

5) Ask questions

6) A warm tone

7) Smile

8) Laugh with them

9) Be interested

10) Don’t interrupt

11) Answer appropriately

12) Don’t do things to deliberately bring them down

13) Ask if they want to hang out

14) Let them do what they want

15) Promote them

15,5) ?


1) Introduce your self

Regarding this part, you can read my article How to introduce yourself according to the New Etiquette (Vidéo & Podcast)

2) Compliment

Immediately find something in their behavior or dress that you can emphasize on, and make a compliment.

This is not lying or being hypocrite, it is just a way to find great things about everybody.

You can even train in the street by looking at the others and find one thing nice with each person you cross.

That way you will find the world and the people much more beautiful.

3) Break the ice

Let the magic do it, don’t try to make too much internet search about the person, because the person may thing that you are playing with her by not being natural.

Try to find something you have in common, or some experiences you can share, without conflict or too much arguing.

4) Make eye contact

Eyes contact in the western world is a proof of respect, interest and trust.

Don’t be too pushy, just consider the person you are talking with.

5) Ask questions

If you ask questions, it will help you have some interest in the discussion.

It will also show that you are active in the talking and interested in the other.

6) A warm tone

The tone must neither be hysterical, nor too discreet, neither choleric, nor too moderate.

I would say be natural, and everything will be fine.

With the elderly : they are people in need of warmth and smiles. Do not be condescending or unfamiliar, but you can laugh, discuss and especially show that the age difference is not important.

With children : discuss naturally by showing that you are interested in them. Ask for their name, age, school, classmates, sports, etc …

7) Smile

Smiling is a symbol of seduction and elegance.

I know you have some problems, everybody have some, but when you meet people, try to forget them, just for that moment.

As a training, you can stand in front of a mirror, try several smiles, look at the features of your face, remember the most natural, the one that gives you the most value, and use it as often as possible.

Be carreful, a smile can be heard ! Yes, on the phone, people “hear” your smile. Before hanging on the phone, relax, smile and you will have a warm tone that will be appreciated and effective.

What does the smile mean ? Trust, affection, charm, security and it is disarming (in case of conflict with a person)

When Umbert goes to the Louvre Museum, he is always amazed by the smile of La Joconde. « How do you describe it Umbert ? Enigmatic, reassuring, tender, warm, natural, jovial, feminine …” Umbert is a fan of museums and exhibitions in Paris.

You can find his selection, every month, on this blog, in the Weekends chapter.

8) Laugh with them

If you can reach that goal, you win !

Laughing together is the best way to make friends.

Laugh is the expression of an authentic joy.

Try to laugh not too strong, not too long and not for anything (remember Don’t play !)

Umbert never laughs at the ridicule of others (stupidity, dress, attitude). It would be too easy and nasty.

On the other hand he knows how to laugh and make fun of himself.

9) Be interested 

When you speak with them your entire posture and gesture should show that you are interested.

So focus on what they say and share your experiences.

10) Don’t interrupt 

When you speak to them, let them finish their sentences or argumentation.

If you’ve ever encounter someone who’s always right, and always interrupt you, you know what I’m talking about.

11) Answer appropriately

It is very important to stay natural and say what you think, not what you think the other want you to think.

If you lie or play, the other will feel it, and the discussion will be flat and boring.

On the other hand, don’t argue too strongly, just answer politely.

Make the talk profitable for both of you, by sharing interesting experiences.

12) Don’t do things to deliberately bring them down

You may know some people who always try to control you by bringing you down.

They always try to find some stuff in your life, in what you like, or every where that could embarrass you.

Never do that !!! 

Even if the person will have a nice attitude in front of you, just after leaving the party, she will hate you for the rest of her life.

13) Ask if they want to hang out

If you have a nice talk, ask the person if she wants to hang out sometimes.

Maybe you have a passion. In common, or something you can share.

This is, I think, the best way to make people like you.

14) Let them do what they want

A psychologist that I know always say it like this : « What do you know about their happiness ? ».

Every person is different, with a different past, different goals etc …

Sharing experiences and knowledge is very important to have a great talk, so bring something on the table.

But trying to impose your point of view or way of life must be a disaster, and it’s never appropriate.

15) Promote them

After the meeting, try to speak about them or their business.

Make positive observations about who they are or what they do.

At one point they will hear about it, and will really appreciate.

15.5) Love yourself

Being confident doesn’t mean not being humble. You can be confident and humble.

You don’t want to show off, but being confident makes you a non jealous or envious person.

The other will also feel it, and find « confortable » to be with you. 

You will be a kind of hero who protects them.


15.5 Dos to make people love you, that’s a lot to do to make people love you.

Start step by step, by adding one thing after another, then you will be fine.

You may also read my other article Proper way to talk to seduce everybody (Vidéo & Podcast).


What must be remembered : breaking the ice, empathy and real discussions are key to make real friends or acquaintances. Train by going to random events, and start to speak to some people about anything, then narrow down to what you’ve prepared before.


Quiz : Register to my blog to get regular Quiz and learn more about the New Etiquette


You can post a comment or ask Umbert about your next weekend in Paris, and new etiquette advices, in the section below.

Sign in to download the 1st chapter of New Etiquette , and get the next vidéos, podcasts and articles.

Bon voyage !

Umbert De Paris

Proper way to talk to seduce everybody (Vidéo & Podcast)


To listen to the podcast click here :



Whether in Paris or traveling, Umbert respects the New Etiquette codes of each country.

An essential rule exists everywhere : to avoid vulgar words and vulgarity in general. 

A good orator has a huge power, and if you know how to talk, you will seduce your audience.

There are many events nowadays where you can mingle with others. Follow those advices to attract most of the people.


“Everything is understood except vulgarity », Louis Pelletier-Dlamini 

« Tout peut se comprendre sauf la vulgarité », Louis Pelletier-Dlamini


In this article :

1) The basics

2) The art of speech

3) Avoid rude words

4) The worst is the vulgarity

5) What about the familiarity ?


1) The basics

When he meets a friend or an acquaintance, Umbert always tries to be warm and respectful.

Articulate, be audible, do not speak too fast or too slow, and pronounce all the letters of a word, are also important.

We must use a language accessible to all, knowing who we speak to. Do not use technical words related to your work because it is often incomprehensible to the uninitiated.

Keep a measured, not peremptory or insulting tone.

Before talking about yourself, ask others about their job, what they like, the news.

Never start a sentence with “Me, I …”, but by: “It seems to me that …”.

Ask often “What do you think?“, then listen, it is a mark of respect. To know how to listen is a proof of greatness. Never cut the talk.

To argue is advised, it is a proof of sincerity and respect for the other. On the other hand, do it with a moderate tone, making logical remarks, and respecting the point of view of the other. Nobody know the truth ! Look for the compromise.

Do not mention disasters, financial difficulties, illness, conquests, and avoid talking negatively about others. Try to find some entering matters.

If a discussion about a political or religious subject goes wrong, you must know how to stop.

If you are an adult, avoid using the language of teenagers, it is ridiculous. The vocabulary of adolescents belongs to them. They do not expect you to copy them.

You must know how to end a conversation, when you detect in the interlocutor some signs of trouble : yawning, look at the watch, a hand that strikes …

Remember to always end the conversation with a polite and friendly phrase like : “I was delighted to be able to talk to you, I hope we will have the opportunity to meet again”.


2) The art of speech

Never improvise, be brief, clear, simple, do not speak too fast, but also be original and personal.

If a personality is present, you must talk to him/her with his/her title.

Remember to have the right posture : keep the bust straight, hands flat (it is a sign of insurance, knowledge of the subject), not in the pockets.

Look people in the eyes, to seem more sincere, and show that you are interested in them.


3) Avoid rude words

The evolution of the manners makes the use of the bad words very current nowadays.

Sometimes no one pays attention. But precisely, you have to stand out to please.

This is why, in all circumstances, Umbert tries to never use rude words.

The use of bad or vulgar language is ridiculous for adults.

In a company, it can shock, or not, according to the habits.

This is worse in front of children, where you should never use rude words, even to laugh. If this happens, then you have to explain them that it is a mistake.

Umbert remembers a father who had said a rude word to his son, in front of his friends : the child cried because his friends laughed at him. We must think of the reactions of other people.

When he is alone, he does a very simple exercise : replace a vulgar word with another prettier one. Umbert advises you to do this exercise, which will quickly become a game and which make you a person whom ones like to frequent.

Nevertheless if you say a bad word, and it will happen, the tone on which it is said is also important : humor, rebellion, rebellious, yes ! But never aggressive!


4) The worst is the vulgarity

There are different forms of vulgarity, other than language.

The tone is important. So it must be laid, avoiding excesses in emotions : for example screaming even if one is angry.

The posture is also important : always straight, even sitting or standing, but easy. Even when you walk, it  is also important to respect the codes.

Always dress with good taste. For exemple you can read our article Don’t dress like a rock star, especially for a date (Vidéo & Podcast).

 In other words, avoiding vulgarity and adopting good taste is a general attitude, and you can work on, step by step, following Umbert’s advices.


5) What about the familiarity ?

The familiarity is more and more practiced by the youngest from the first meeting.

Some people are not comfortable with familiarity. This is not arrogance, but often a mark of education or shyness.

Do not force someone to call you by your first name if the other person seems discomfort or reserve.

Someone can use the first name with you, especially if he is an old person, or someone with a higher social position.

Never use the first name for an older person or a superior, unless they ask you.


Umbert tries to respect those New Etiquette rules the most he can. Of course, sometimes, he gets angry. We are all human so not perfect. 

Be careful to the manipulators who try to provoque and upset you. Their goal is to push you in the vulgarity and rude world.

Travelling is a good option to learn more, because you will have to act correctly to not shock the locals and not get any problems. You may also discover that some other behaviors and cultures are more respectful than others. You will have to stay tolerant and open minded. 

What must be remembered : the best solution is to exercise when alone, so it will become more natural. Vulgarity is the worst, you have to really work on it.


Quiz : Register to my blog to get regular Quiz and learn more about the New Etiquette


You can post a comment or ask Umbert about your next weekend in Paris, and new etiquette advices, in the section below.

Sign in to download the 1st chapter of New Etiquette , and get the next vidéos, podcasts and articles.

Bon voyage !

Umbert De Paris