How to Improve Your Conversation Skills P.1
from Touchstone 2 Unit 1
A. Which of these are good suggestions for social conversations?
- Don’t look at the other person.
- Keep quiet when the other person is talking.
- Ask questions that start with what, where, how, or when.
- Have some good topics to discuss.
- Talk about yourself a lot.
B. Read the magazine article. What does it say about the suggestions above? Do you agree with all of the ideas in the article?
How to improve your conversation skills
Do you like to meet new people? Do you like to talk, or are you shy? Whatever your answers, this guide can help you improve your conversation skills.
1. Have some topics ready to start a conversation.
Say something about the weather or the place you’re in. Talk about the weekend-we all have something to say about weekends!
2. Make the conversation interesting.
Know about events in the news. Read restaurant and movie reviews. Find out about current music scene or what’s new in fashion sports.
3. Be a good listener.
Keep eye contact and say, “Yes,” “Hmm,” “Uh-huh,” “Right,” and “I know.” And say, “Really? That’s interesting.” It encourages people to talk.
4. Don’t be boring.
Don’t just say, “Yes” or “No” when you answer a question. Give some interesting information, too.
5. Don’t talk all the time.
Ask, “How about you?” and show you are interested in the other person, too. People love to talk about themselves.
6. Ask information questions.
“What do you do in your free time?” or “What kind of food do you like?” Use follow-up questions to keep the conversation going. But don’t ask too many questions-it’s not an interrogation!
7. Be positive.
Negative comments can sound rude. And if you don’t want to answer a personal question, simply say, “Oh, I’m not sure I can answer that,” or “I’d rather not say.”
Everyone loves a smile. Just be relaxed, smile, and be yourself.
How to Improve Your Conversation Skills P.2
C. Friendly Conversations
1. Do you ever start conversations with strangers?
2. Do you think it’s odd when a stranger talks to you?
3. Are you a talkative person?
4. Do you think you talk too much?
5. Are you a good listener?
6. Are you usually the “talker” or the “listener” in a conversation?
7. What do you like to talk about?
8. What topics do you try to avoid?
Interests from Touchstone2 Unit 2
- A. Match the questions and answers.
- Do you have a lot of hobbies?
- Do you like making things?
- Are you interested in cooking?
- Are you into photography?
- Can you knit or crochet?
- Do you collect anything?
- Are you good at fixing cars?
- Um, no. I’m not really good with my hands.
- Not really. I’m not very mechanical.
- No, I don’t. A friend of mine collects coins, though.
- Well, no. I don’t even have a camera.
- No, not really. I don’t have a lot of free time.
- Not really, but I like to bake cakes and things.
- No, but my sister can. She makes her own sweater.
- B. Hobbies and Interests
- Are you interested in sports?
- Are you into computers?
- Do you enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles?
- Are you good at doing crossword puzzles?
- Can you do anything artistic, like draw or paint?
- Would you like to learn a new skill, like carpenter?
- C. Likes and Dislikes
- I enjoy watching ___________. (a sport)
- I can’t play ________. (a sport)
- I’m good at _________. (an activity)
- I think everybody loves ___________. (a type of music)
- I’d like to play the _____________. (a musical instrument)
- I want to learn (to) _____________. (a hobby)
- I’m interested in reading about ___________. (a topic)
- I can’t stand talking about ___________. (a topic)
- I hate watching ____________. (a type of TV show)
- D. Favorite Web sites
- What’s your favorite Web site?
- What’s interesting about it?
- What other Web sites do you go to a lot?
- Do you ever use Web sites for shopping? banking? doing research?
- Do you have your own Web page or Web site?