What's going on, guys? So, I'm filming this on the new
Camera that I have on my cell phone
and I wanted to use a microphone except
I realized that the new cellphones don't come with microphone jacks
so, I have to buy some kind of little a jack or dongle or
Converter thing that will plug the mic in. Anyway, we'll see how this goes. Hopefully the audio is not horrible.
Today I wanted to talk to you about how to have better conversations in English
Quite often I get asked by my students. How do I have more natural conversations?
How do I start a conversation? How do I have small talk with people whether it's native speakers or
Whether it is with other learners of English?
And I thought I would tell you about a story that I had when I was on the dating scene
before I met my wife Kel and
I had been sort of trying to look into this as well, trying to research how to have better conversations
I was learning French at the time so it kind of overlapped with that
But as well, I wanted to have more natural conversations on dates
I wanted to be able to be as relaxed as possible, but also
Just have better conversations to be honest with women when you're getting to know them
So I did some research and I found that a video online that was a lecture from a man to a bunch of other men
about how to have better conversations with women
But to be honest what he was talking about applies to everyone and anyone when it comes to good conversation
now the trick really is to be
I'm gonna say that again
You want to be interested?
So, the trick is that you need to focus on the other person and be interested
In that person, you want to be curious about them
You want to find out more information about them, that needs to be your primary goal.
It needs to be that and not to be interesting
I.e. to show off to tell them about you, to tell them about what you've done, where you've traveled, what you have
how rich you are, what job you have. The idea is that you need to
First and foremost be asking the other person about themselves
Which will then lead to them, hopefully,
Responding with questions asking you about you, right? If I had a conversation with you "G,day! How's it going? How's your week been?"
You know, what have you been doing this week?
The person is probably going to tell me I did this, I did this, it's been good. It's been average. It's been bad
What about you? And then they follow up with that kind of question and you? What about you?
So, that is a really, really good trick to having more natural conversations
but you need to ask the person about themselves and
More, more likely than not they're going to ask you the same question back
Anyway, so even if you do want to talk about you quite often by starting with the person
The conversation is going to come back on to you anyway, and seem more natural. You're going to seem less arrogant
You know, you're not going to turn the person off the same way you would if you were to say, you know
Our how's it going? I do this. I am this, I've travelled here, I have this
Ok? So, that was one of the biggest tips and I think it applies to any kind of
language interaction as well,
Whatever language you're learning
If you're trying to have a conversation with other people to practice your English, if you're trying to meet people, if you're trying to talk
To people at work. If you're trying to have small talk with people that, you know, you meet at the bus stop
the key is to ask them about themselves and
Just see where the conversation goes. Now, you might think well...
I don't know what kind of questions to start with, what what sort of things should I ask the person?
Quite simply, usually for me at least, you just start with how are you? How's your day going? How's your week been?
So, you just ask that person about how they are
And then based on what they say to you, how they respond to that question
That'll determine the next question that you ask, right? The person says I've had a great week
So, I just finished work and I went skydiving and you follow that up with
Skydiving? What? How did you get into that? How did you start that?
Why do you do the skydiving? That's really scary and then they'll tell you a story about that. I started skydiving because
Boyfriend gave me a voucher to do it for my birthday, and it was amazing
You know, I did it once and I was addicted and then you can follow that up. Really? Addicted? Why did you like it
So much? So the key here is that
And this is what we would call, what can be called,
Following the breadcrumbs, right? Do you know that
That story about Hansel and Gretel who follow the breadcrumbs
I think, or they leave breadcrumbs when they walk into the forest to try and find their way out of the forest and
The, I think, the birds eat the breadcrumbs and they get lost , but the basic idea here
Is that every time you ask someone a question they're going to respond to it with information
You know, big surprise, you ask the question they respond with information
The next question that you want to ask has to be related to that information
Because it shows that you're listening. It shows that you're curious about that person,
But also it means you don't have to really think too much, you don't have to plan, you don't have to be overly
You know strategic with your conversations
They become more natural, they become more organic and they just go in a natural direction. So, that's the basic trick
That is what I would suggest for having better conversations
Whether it's with your partners
Whether you're dating, whether you're going to work and having a small talk with colleagues,
Whether you're practicing your language with other language learners, whether you meet someone in the street and you want to have small talk
Usually, for me, I just start with how are you? You know, How have you been? How's your day going?
That's a really good one. How is your day going? Yeah, it's really good
I just finished work. Oh, what do you do for work? I work at a bank down the street. Banking?
That's really boring, isn't it? How did do that?
you know, why banking? I started that because bla bla bla bla bla and
That is one of the biggest keys, ok. To having good small talk, good conversations
Just remember, be interested in the person
Have curiosity in that person, want to learn more about that person and don't be interesting. Don't try to be just interesting
I'm this, I'm that, because quite often it doesn't matter who you're talking to if you're only talking about yourself
People were just going to turn off
They're not going to be interested, you know
Especially if they don't know you, if I don't know you they're not going to really care, right?
They're gonna think oh, this person's showing off
but if you're showing interest in that person you make them feel special, they want to talk more and
They're likely to ask you about yourself
So, that's it guys
Let me know in a comment below what kind of tricks or tips do you have for
Having more natural conversations and for starting small talk with strangers or with people, you know when you're practicing
I'm Pete the host of the Aussie English podcast, guys
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Thanks again. See you later!