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Author Interview about How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends

In this Simon & Schuster interview Don discusses how you can use your conversation skills, online media, and social networks to make new friends and enhance your relationships.

Hospitality Industry Leadership Conference, "Surf's Up! Let's Go Networking" (demo)

This 8-minute demo shows Don introducing his interactive keynote with his ukulele version of "Networkin' USA" (based on The Beach Boys hit, "Surfin' USA"), plus tips and techniques for places to network, breaking the ice, making small talk, remembering names and catching waves of business contacts at networking events.

Don sings "Annoying Networker Blues" at Swap the Biz, New York City

Like most people, Don has met his share of networking sharks, chatterboxes, bores and know-it-alls at business and social events. That's why the audience at the Swap the Biz event in NYC chuckles when he plays his ukulele and sings his original song, "Annoying Networker Blues."

Don conducts his Learning Annex workshop, "50 Sure-Fire Ways to Break the Ice and Improve Your Conversations"

Don interactive workshops present all the communications skills, tips, and strategies you need to start, continue and end your conversations with poise and confidence in business, social, and personal situations.


Networking Keynotes and Workshops

In these fast-paced and interactive workshops, Don Gabor, networking expert and best-selling author of How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends will show attendees how to increase their odds of connecting with colleagues, clients and prospects at company events, industry conferences, and other business meetings.

Don’s programs are designed to help attendees achieve the following outcomes:

  • Build their tool kit of networking skills to establish new connections and deepen existing business relationships
  • Increase their ability to network with confidence, poise and purpose
  • Increase their likability, rapport, trust and credibility with new and existing contacts
  • Develop their ability to assess and adapt to various communication styles when networking
  • Uncover new business opportunities when networking
  • Increase the conversion rate of contacts to clients after attending networking events

Don programs are highly interactive and consist of approximately 40% theory and demonstration, 60% application, practice and feedback of networking skills with specific application to attendees’ networking events.
Don presents these interactive programs in 45-minutes to half-day formats.

Surfs Up! Let’s Go Networking!

In this fast-paced and interactive keynote, Don Gabor, networking expert and best-selling author of How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends,
uses his ukulele and surfer lingo to show you how to swim in a sea of prospects, position yourself as a “big kahuna” (expert) and catch waves of new business contacts.

Topics include:

  • Breaking the Ice and Remembering Names
  • Turning Small Talk into Business Conversations
  • Approaching Other Groups
  • Ending Conversations and Following Up With Business

If you get Don for 1 hour, you’ll soon learn that single hour isn’t enough time to learn all he can teach you and share with you. You’ll also find he’s a very likable guy off the stage or podium, and not only loves what he does, but he’s good at it and has a really good time living life.


Do you have lots of ideas for a non-fiction book but don’t know how to start? Have you written a few chapters but you’ve stopped because you are overwhelmed, off “in the weeds” or have writer’s block? Turn your dream of writing and publishing a book into a reality and your career and professional image will soar!

In this 60-minute, 90-minute, half-day, or full-day program Don will show how to:

  • Define your book’s audience, theme, tone, and purpose
  • Write a book proposal (a must to pitch your book to agents and traditional publishers)
  • Create a Table of Contents and chapter outline
  • Create a writing schedule and stick to it
  • Understand the basic elements of book editing, production, marketing and promo
  • Chose between self-publishing and traditional publishers.
  • How to find a agent and publisher.
“Professional, energetic, funny, yet very approachable; and really good at explaining & demonstrating the important basics and details that really make a difference in meeting new people and conversing in person, whether professionally or socially.”
Andy Schaidler,
Marriott International, Americas – Eastern Region

Speed Networking: Making Profitable Connections in a New York Minute

Comedian Johnny Carson once joked, “A New York Minute is the interval between a Manhattan traffic light turning green and the guy behind you honking his horn.”

Speed networking makes finding new business contacts faster than anyone ever thought possible. If you want the attendees at your next meeting to make the most profitable connections in the shortest time, then consider offering them this “fast and furious” program facilitated by author and conversation expert, Don Gabor. A little like speed dating, here’s how Speed Networking: Making Profitable Connections in a New York Minute works:

After Don gives a few brief and humorous examples of networking “worst practices” (and how to correct them) attendees will have a series of 5-minute, one-on-one meetings where they will exchange cards, share their professional backgrounds, area specialties, products and services, plus their “who-do-they-want-to-meet” wish-list. In addition, Don will show attendees how to:

  • Deliver an effective speed networking “elevator speech”
  • Maximize their networking time and increase profitable contacts
  • Position themselves as a resource to clients, customers, vendors and colleagues
  • Reconnect and reignite relationships
  • Avoid the most common networking mistakes
  • Make mutually beneficial connections that lead to ongoing business relationships
“Don, the First Timers speed networking session was absolutely brilliant. I cannot imagine how you got over 900 first-timers (Tech geeks none-the-less) in a single room to just get so excited and actively participate. It significantly raised the level of participation and interaction by first timers who would normally be intimidated to talk to other people and especially well known community leaders.”
Rushabh Mehta,
President, Professional Association of SQL Servers

Networking to Build Your Business Contacts

In this fast-paced and 2-hour program, Don Gabor, networking expert and best-selling author of How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends will show you how to increase your odds of connecting with colleagues, clients and prospects at company events, industry conferences, and other business meetings. Topics include:

  • Establishing Networking Goals and Preparing for Networking Events
  • Breaking the Ice and Remembering Names
  • Changing Topics and Turning Small Talk into Conversations
  • Ending Conversations to Encourage Future Business Contacts
  • Working the Room and Approaching Other Groups
  • Following Up and Transitioning Contacts into Mutually Profitable Business Relationships
“Having experienced Don’s Networking course both as a participant and as an observer, I’m glad to personally recommend his work to others. Networking comes naturally to many people, but for those that need a bit of help, I believe Don is a great choice. His course offers simple, yet effective and memorable techniques delivered in an energetic and enjoyable way.”
Krzysztof J. Chorzepa,
Organizational Development Consultant, GenRe

5 Seconds to Success: The Art of Remembering Names

Remembering names! There’s no faster way to make a great first impression, yet most people admit to being hopelessly bad at this most useful interpersonal communication skill. If you want to initiate profitable conversations and relationships with potential clients, customers, investors and colleagues, then attend this 90-minute interactive workshop with author and “small talk expert” Don Gabor and learn how to:

  • Focus on the moment of introduction and lock in the name
  • Use ONE association technique to remember the names of 75% of the people you meet
  • Use other techniques to recall the names of the other 25% of the people you meet
  • Remember names when meeting people in groups
  • Tactfully respond when you’ve forgotten a person’s name
  • Improve your ability to recall names long after you’ve met
“Don Gabor has been presenting networking workshops to Marriott’s sales and catering teams for more than 15 years. Don’s recent networking workshop for our Eastern Regional Sales Meeting was a big hit! His delivery was entertaining and interactive, and the networking tips, strategies and conversation skills he taught helped our reps increase their sales. Don’s techniques are proven winners time and time again. He is the only sales communications expert that I would recommend!”
Dee Elliot,
Marriott Culture and Events, Special Projects Manager
Marriott International, Americas – Eastern Region