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Monday, October 13, 2014

EwR Speaking - Master Conversation Skills in English (Step 1 of 4)

English with Raymond's
First of Four Steps
to Master Conversation Skills in English

Many students, who are learning English as a second language, feel that their greatest deficiency in using the language is with conversation skills.  Here is the first of four fundamental characteristics of good conversation skills that can help you be a better listener, as well as a better speaker, during a conversation with someone else.


Present yourself in a positive manner, but give accurate impressions of your true self.

In other words, be yourself, and don’t try to be someone else that you are not.  Give honest answers to questions without going into too many details.  If you present your ideas in a positive way, people want to listen to you.  However, if you are always negative, or give evasive answers to questions or make untrue statements, people will not have an accurate impression of you. 

Show your best side when you can.  Noone is the same person from one moment to the next.  We all have moods, but try to discipline yourself and behave in a more positive way.  Don’t fake how you feel; but on the other hand, don’t pretend that you are feeling 100% perfect and that everything is okay. 

Observe your listening partner’s behavior to determine when you should stop talking about something too much.  If the other person wants to change the subject, or finish the one that you are talking about, be mature enough to recognize that and put an end to this part of the conversation.  This is a display of self-discipline and respect for others.  In this way, you are creating a positive setting for the conversation, and the listener maintains interest in what you have to say.  Maybe you would like to say more, but by doing this, you have to accept the fact that you might lose your listening partner’s interest at the same time.  This will probably kill the conversation, as well.

In conclusion, the first step in order to master conversation skills in English is to be positive, but honest about your feelings and ideas.  Show the other person that you are a participant in the conversation, and that you are not trying to dominate or control the situation.  Be respectful and sincere at the same time in order to make your conversation with someone else flow smoothly.

Written by Raymond Bevilacqua, ENGLISH with RAYMOND©, October 2014

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