Welcome back to Connect 英会話’s blog. If you are reading this, you must have either read “How to Have a Conversation (part 1)” or you can handle t
he basics of conversation and you want to be able to do more.

how to have a conversation (2)In this article, I’d like to give you some tricks and tips that will liven the atmosphere of somewhere as simple as a trip in the car  with your  friends or something bigger like a party.I recommend you pick and choose what you would like to do and practice  a bit so you can use the language naturally and confidently.

Let’s get started…

Problem Solution
  1. You’re getting short answers.
Open Ended and Close Ended Questions Try asking questions that invite others to give longer answers.

If you ask a closed ended question (a question that gets a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer) be ready to have an open ended question (a question that  doesn’t have a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer.)

And the questions “why?” and “why not?” help a lot.

For example:

A: Did you do anything during the holiday break?

B: Yes, I did. I went to Germany.

A: Why did you go there? Was there anything fun there?

B: No, I went to visit my cousin.

2. Everyone is nervous Have a good joke ready

It’s a good way to open a conversation at times. If they laugh, it would give you a chance to introduce yourself right after. My favourite is when everyone looks miserable in the office, I say ‘ What is this, a funeral?’. But remember to know your audience, this is only for veteran comedians.

3. The person I’m talking to seems bored / distracted. Check and see if the person is interested

This part is very tricky and you have to trust your feeling. If the person doesn’t talk or respond much in the conversation, there is a chance that the person is not interested in the topic, or it’s possible that the person is shy (or both). Asking questions about hobbies and interests is an easy way to open someone up.

4. I want to have some fun / use my imagination. Hypothetical questions

This is my favorite skill to use when I feel the person I’m speaking to is becoming more comfortable with me. It is also a fun way to get to understand how the person thinks and what their values are.

Using a “If (past tense).., would you..?” is a simple way to ask questions using your imagination.

For example:

“If you had a million dollars, what would you do?”

If you have trouble with making such questions, have a look at this article to see more hypothetical questions that could help you with conversations.

 

There is much to learn about having a good conversation. One important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as having perfect conversation skills. The best conversations are had when the people in them are having fun and share experiences and ideas.

If you have any good ideas or questions about this topic, please share them with us here at Connect 英会話 by writing in the comment section below. See you next class!

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