SIMPLE TIPS FOR BETTER CONVERSATIONS | Speaking With Native English Speakers

hey what’s up Stephanie the English coach here from English in this post I’m gonna give you some tips to help you have better conversations with other people to help the conversations flow better and to help you feel more in control when you’re there talking with someone in English because when you’re speaking in English you might not feel that confident right you might be feeling like oh my gosh they don’t understand me or they’re listening to my accent or I sound awful or I’m making mistakes you have all those thoughts going on in the back of your mind but then you are also in the middle of a conversation and those thoughts are probably pretty distracting so right off the bat the first thing that I want to say and this wasn’t even on my list it’s just that when you’re in a conversation with someone else you really have to be focused right it is a moment in time where they require 100% of your attention and you require 100% of their attention for this exchange of ideas to happen well and naturally okay so regardless of what you might be worrying about try and set that aside when you’re gonna have conversations with people in English and really focus on the other person okay not yourself that in and of itself will help your conversations go better but anyhow getting to the tips that I actually planned for this post the first one is to just come prepared now in your native language you probably don’t really ever prepare for conversations unless it’s a big discussion like with your boss or if it’s an interview or something like that yeah maybe then you prepare but for a conversation in your native language you’re probably like I don’t need help with that right I was the same way in English I never had to prepare for any conversations and then I went to Argentina I lived there for several years and I went from being this super social outgoing I could talk to anybody kind of person to this total like introvert like I couldn’t even open my mouth even when I had ideas even when I really wanted to say something and that was quite frustrating so finally after dealing with that for years I realized you know what why don’t I just prepare for the conversations that I know are going to happen my husband for examples from Argentina so every Sunday we would get together with his family for lunch Saturday nights we would often get together with his family Thursday afternoons we would get together you know I always knew that these occasions were going to come up but I never prepared for them so then when they would happen you know people would look at me and be like Stephanie like talk share something and I’d just be like I don’t know what to say okay so I was able to totally overcome that issue just by preparing right when I knew I was gonna go to dinner at my in-laws house I’d be like okay think about the week Stephanie what was different this week what was interesting what was good what was bad what can I bring to the table right because when families get together to talk everybody just starts dishing it out they start sharing how their week went what went well what bad and it’s like so natural right except when you’re doing it in a foreign language you totally forget you freeze and you don’t know what to say so I would prepare I would think of what I could share but then I would also think about the other people that would be involved and I would think about their week you know I wonder what they did this week oh I remember they had to go to that doctor’s appointment I’m gonna ask them how that went or oh I remember they were thinking about getting a new car so I’m gonna ask like did they decide on a model right if you’re struggling with conversations and if you feel like a totally different person in your native language and in English when it comes to conversations you might be struggling with the same thing so I encourage you to prepare for conversations that you’re going to have they’re gonna go so much better they’re going to be so much more dynamic you’re going to enjoy yourself it’s gonna feel great and yeah let me know how it goes like try that okay prepare for the next conversation you know you’re going to have go over a few things in your head and and then yeah come to the comments later let me know how it goes I really want to hear about that okay the next thing you need are go to questions now go to questions are questions that you go to in the event that a conversation gets kind of awkward or weird or draw or boring or maybe you’re talking to a person you’ve never talked to before right you need to have these questions where it’s like you already know you can ask them so for example one of my go-to questions for people I know is hey so what are you doing this weekend you know what are your plans that is so easy it gets them talking it gives you time to think and process your ideas that’s just really easy if it’s somebody that I don’t know my go-to questions are usually like where are you from where do you live what do you do for a living there are some articles I’ve seen that hour I don’t know there’s like a debate going on about whether it’s polite or not to ask what people do I just ask anyways because I’m naturally curious and I want to know like your work is such a huge part of who you are you dedicate 40 hours or more a week to that I want to know what you dedicate your time to because hey that might strike up a new conversation and I just find that stuff really interesting I could talk to anybody about their work I love talking about it that’s another thing too when you can get people talking about the things that they know and love that will help your conversations go so much smoother just when you’re struggling to communicate just put the pressure on the next person you know like get them to talk by asking questions that leads us right into the next thing I was gonna say to have better conversations you have to practice active listening and asking questions okay so what is this right now I am doing all the talking because I am literally in a room by myself with the camera if I think about it too much that’s a little bit awkward but I know that later people are going to watch this post you’re watching it right now you’re gonna listen etc this is a lecture basically I am lecturing this is not a conversation in conversations you have to listen actively to what the person is saying and then get ready to ask a question or next tip to share a story right because I like to think of conversations like this think about tennis right the ball goes back and forth and back and forth a conversation should be 50/50 50% of the time you are talking 50% of the time the other person is talking now sometimes I can be a little bit unbalanced like when I’m talking with one of my mentors I don’t do as much talking because I’m sitting there to learn you know because that’s something I enjoy and this is a bit off-topic sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we are with someone who just won’t shut up like they just keep talking and they will not stop and you’re just like I want to ask a question but this person well shut their mouth yeah that’s a hard one I will have to make a different post about how to deal with people like that let me know in the comments if that’s something you’d like to see okay but basically active listening right here’s one of the biggest mistakes that people make in conversations and communication they are listening not to hear what the person has to say they are listening so that they can respond so let’s say you’re telling me about your your latest vacation and I’m listening and I cannot wait to cut you off and be like oh my gosh yeah I went on vacation recently too I went to Miami it was awesome I did this I did Ida that’s not active listening active listening would be like wow that’s awesome I’m so glad you got to go on that vacation what you know what did you guys do yeah I don’t know like but basically asking them a question to go deeper into the subject okay and believe it or not when you do that when you go deeper into a subject with somebody else at some point they’re gonna feel like they’re doing all the talking they might even say that they might say oh my gosh I’m doing all the talking what about you like have you gone on any vacations recently and then that’s your opportunity to share what you want to share right so it’s just thinking about conversations strategically because even if this is easy for you and your native language it might not be as easy for you in English because yeah this is foreign language what we said in the beginning of the post it’s a struggle okay so I already mentioned sharing stories but one thing I want to say about this is there’s basically three things that happen in conversations one you exchange information to you share stories and three you ask questions literally that’s it that’s what a conversation is people are exchanging information like oh did you know that the best place to you know buy fresh vegetables is over here oh no I didn’t know that you know the wall the blah blah blah blah blah right then they have a conversation about it they ask a question and they share a story oh yeah because last week I bought my vegetables over here and this happened and they were not fresh I don’t know you guys I am I am making this up okay I wanted to say something else but it was inappropriate I’m pulling it out of my anyways so share your stories don’t be afraid to get personal with people it can be so easy and you know just say oh yeah last week the same thing happened to me or you know when I was 5 years old that you know I know exactly what you mean because that happened to me or yeah whatever connect when you share a story you’re connecting with other people and it helps them to trust you it helps them to identify with you it helps them to have a good time with you to like you okay the next thing to have better conversations is just to speak but if you’re anything like what I was like in the beginning of my journey of learning Spanish I would I did not speak up you know I would have things inside of me that I wanted to share and I just wouldn’t share them because I was like mm I don’t know if I should what are they gonna think and then the next tip this is all going to come together don’t overthink what you’re going to say don’t sit there and work out the sentence grammatically before you open your mouth because conversations happen so fast and what’s gonna happen is by the time you finally put that sentence together in your head just because you were overthinking yourself not because you weren’t capable of speaking it they everyone has already moved on they’re laughing now at a new topic and that lovely story you wanted to share that anecdote that joke that punchline whatever that was it is lost forever and you’re never gonna get that opportunity again okay so speak up do not be afraid do not overthink what you’re going to say and try to put the words together in your head literally open your mouth and I promise the words will fall out anyhow I hope all of these tips were very helpful let me know what you think of this post in the comments did you already know this stuff already know or not was it helpful do you think it’s gonna help you improve your conversations and you know beyond just thinking about whether it’s gonna help your conversations or not just apply these tips and then let me know what the results were okay because you are she won’t know if it works unless you try it right okay so that’s it you guys thank you so much for watching and I just want to let you know if you are new here I always include a free download in the description the one I’m including today is a free guide on how to practice your English with native speakers no matter where you live in the world just by using the Internet okay how to connect with people how to make friends how to have conversations etc so you can improve your fluency and your confidence through participating in discussions through active learning etc because that is literally the number one way to improve your English okay so I’ll link it in the description this is the number one guide on my website it has helped lots of people and I am confident that it can help you that’s it and I will see you in the next post

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