English Speaking Secrets 😉 How To Have GREAT Conversations!
The 3 SECRETS to Awesome English Conversations might surprise you! These tips will help you have great conversations and create meaningful connections with anyone you speak with!
The Ladies’ Project http://bit.ly/TheLadiesProject
Awesome communication is about MORE than just the words you choose. It also relates to body language, the tone of your voice and other actions that support you as you speak.
In English, we communicate with so much more than words! Practice with me in my latest English imitation lesson: https://bit.ly/mmmEnglishChallenge
Great English speakers (study hand gestures, listen to the tone and the pace of voice, interactions with other speakers)
- Barack Obama on the state of the world: https://youtu.be/td7Dcsco-WY
- Celeste Headlee on How to Have a Good Conversation: https://youtu.be/H6n3iNh4XLI
- Emma & Mark Rosenfeld on love and relationships: https://youtu.be/9zIn8kn8Jwk
- Extended conversation https://youtu.be/W2FPI0k6SHY
- For fun! Study these conversations from friends episodes (In particular, Rachel’s tone and expressions showing frustration) https://youtu.be/MSdN25AaPu0
CLICK HERE to read the full lesson transcript.
Hey there I’m Emma from mmmEnglish! Today I’ve got three things that I want to share with you that awesome English speakers do and I want to show you how you can get good at them too.
This video is perfect for you if you are learning English as a second language and you want to communicate more clearly, more effectively and build good relationships with other English speakers. But these tips are also useful for anyone who speaks English and wants to communicate more effectively because not all native English speakers are awesome at communicating.
Awesome communication is about more than just the words that you choose and today we’re going to learn how this information could change the way that you think about English conversations forever.
Hey ladies, I’m talking just at you for a minute. I know that it’s really hard to find genuine speaking partners to practise with, especially online. So I created The Ladies’ Project to help women learning English to make international friends and practise speaking often no matter where you are in the world.
It’s an affordable way to get a lot of speaking practice, the amount that you need to build up your confidence and your fluency in English.
Maybe you’re living in an English-speaking country but you aren’t getting the daily practice that you need to improve or maybe you want to improve your conversation skills quickly to try and get a promotion at work or because you want to travel more independently. Maybe you just want to immerse yourself in a safe and supportive English-speaking community.
If that’s true, you should definitely check it out. You’re gonna make friends in different countries, learn about different cultures and lifestyles and boost your English speaking confidence.
Now enrollments are opening very soon so if you want to find out more check this link or the link in the description and make sure you’re on our mailing list because places are limited.
During a conversation, if you don’t communicate your message clearly, people feel unsure. They might not know what’s going on. They might misinterpret or misunderstand you. This can be annoying, it can create confusion but even worse, they might start to feel a little uncomfortable or awkward or uncertain and you probably didn’t mean that. You didn’t intend it.
But if they don’t enjoy that experience of talking to you it might mean that in the future, they don’t really want to do it again. They might try to avoid you or perhaps you know, try not to work with you on a project and this makes it really hard to fit in in your new language right and to feel accepted.
So this whole topic that we’re talking about today is quite serious. Good or awesome communication is about more than just the words that you choose. It also relates to the tone of your voice, your body language and other actions that support you while you’re speaking and in English, we communicate with so much more than just words.
So actually, these three things that awesome English speakers do are not just about saying words, these are things that they do during conversations. And this is what we’re going to talk about today.
1. Body language
Starting with body language. That’s eye contact, that’s facial expression, it’s the gestures that you make as you speak.
All of these things communicate messages to the person who you’re talking to. In fact, these are the loudest and the most truthful messages that we use when we communicate. They’re even louder or clearer than the actual words that we use.
In fact, even when you don’t have the perfect words to use, your body language, your tone of voice and other interactions that you have during a conversation can make up for it.
You can still create a really great positive connection that will result in awesome things, even if you don’t have the perfect words to do it.
Now I know you’re thinking “Emma, I’m concentrating enough on finding the right words to say, let alone what my hands are doing and my eyes are doing, my shoulders are doing. I can’t do everything!”
But this is a huge conversation hack to help you build awesome relationships with other English speakers.
If you’re a nervous speaker, if you’re a little unsure about speaking in English, learning more about these nonverbal communication tools is going to help you to create more positive conversation experiences.
Whether you are aware of it or not, your body language is constantly sending information to other people. It’s helping them to trust you and feel comfortable with you or it’s confusing them or offending them in some way which is obviously not what you want.
And sometimes the words that someone is saying don’t match what their body language is telling you and this can be really confusing.
If your colleague said “Hey, a few of us are going for a run around the park at lunch time. Do you want to come?”
And then you said, “Yeah that’d be great.”
They’d probably be surprised or confused and wondering “What does she actually mean? Does she want to come?”
The reason why I want you to think about this is because many of my English students sometimes have quite a serious look of concentration on their faces when they’re trying to listen to someone or think of what they’re gonna say.
And this is totally understandable because they’re doing a lot of concentrating and thinking about what they need to say and how they need to express it and is it the right tense but this can be a problem because it creates conflicting messages for the person you’re talking to.
If you have this confused sort of scrunched up look on your face while you’re listening to them, then that person might feel a little uncomfortable. They might think maybe you don’t agree with them or you know they’re feeling a little uncomfortable and unsure and you know all this means is that they’re probably gonna try and leave the conversation.
No one likes to feel awkward and uncomfortable, right? I mean there are times when you want to send that type of message to someone that you’re confused or you’re lost or you disagree but I don’t want you to do it by mistake and by accident.
Let’s face it. If people enjoy being around you, they’re probably gonna be more polite, they’ll probably want to help you more and want to spend more time with you.
So improving your body language will help you to express what you mean, connect with others in a really positive way and build good relationships.
Now I’ve been part of a lot of online conversations lately, perhaps you have too and this is one thing that English learners don’t pay enough attention to.
This is how you create relationships with your teachers, you make friends and if you’ve ever wondered why you know it’s so obvious and easy for others to create these great relationships, this is what they’re doing differently.
They’re looking at the camera when people are talking. They’re, you know, keeping people interested, they’re nodding and smiling to show that they’re listening, you know, and that they respect the time that you have that you’re sharing with them.
If you’re only half paying attention to someone and maybe you’re checking your phone or checking your emails while they’re talking to you, well, this is what it feels like.
Obviously, you’re gonna get a much better result if you give your full attention to someone. If you look them in the eye, if you smile at them and you acknowledge them and appreciate the time that they have for you.
The tone of your voice allows you to convey meaning too and I’m talking about the pitch of your voice and how it changes. This affects the meaning or the way that people interpret your meaning. Now in lots of other languages, a change in tone might actually change the meaning of a word by definition.
But in English, this isn’t the case. A change in pitch is about changing the attitude or the mood of what you’re saying. It could show enthusiasm or boredom or interest.
In English, it really is not just what you say but it’s how you say it as well. The tone of your voice works in a really similar way to body language, you know. If the tone doesn’t match the words that are coming out of your mouth, then people feel confused or like they don’t really trust you.
Both of these things, tone and body language, they work together like a super team to strengthen your communication but tone is one of the hardest things to master as an English student because there are no clear rules about how it works. It’s just a feeling.
When it comes to tone, louder can be excitement but it can also be anger. Tone is also that magic ingredient in complicated humour like sarcasm.
Yeah, you’d be really good at that.
And it’s also an important part of communicating frustration.
I told you. I’m really busy right now.
These are some of the trickiest parts of English conversation and they’re hugely affected by tone. And while it might sound complicated, as your English teacher I really want you to pay attention to tone and to start experimenting with it.
And I suggest you focus on the positive aspects of nonverbal communication first because these are the most visible or the most obvious parts you know and because it’s positive, it’s gonna help you with your communication.
Practise making positive exclamations in front of a mirror, you know, focusing on your body language, your facial expression and the tone of your voice.
Wow, that’s amazing.
Wow, that’s amazing!
I’ve got some good news.
I’ve got some good news!
Hello, I need your help.
Hello, I need your help!
Of course, getting a really strong feel for this, a natural feel for it is gonna take practise and if you want to keep practising with me, my imitation lessons are a really great place to practise vocabulary, facial expression, tone, body language, all of these things together through storytelling. Check out my latest lesson up here.
3. Great team players
Awesome English speakers are also great team players in conversations which means they share the conversation. They listen, they respond and they help others to participate as well and to enjoy themselves. They don’t dominate the conversation, they don’t speak over the top of everyone. They’re there to participate.
Now just because someone talks a little too much in conversation doesn’t mean that they’re a bad person or even that they’re a bad listener.
Some of the kindest, loveliest people that I know still struggle with this, with talking over the top of others but the reason why this is especially important to you as an English Learner is because you want to make sure that people enjoy talking to you when you’re speaking in English.
Sharing the conversation is going to make people want to stay, to talk more, to find out more about you and allow you to build that relationship because that relationship means more chances to speak, more chances to learn, someone to speak with regularly.
And I mean who knows, you know, you might build a relationship with them where they start helping you and giving you feedback or supporting you with your pronunciation.
I mean obviously, you can’t expect random people to do that for you but if you build a good relationship with someone like a colleague, a neighbour, someone in your class, an online friend, then it might pay off for you.
And I’m not saying that this is gonna be easy but if you think a little more broadly about the benefits and the value of these skills and how they can help you to keep improving your English naturally, well that’s interesting and valuable to you.
Now I don’t care if you say “Emma, I always let other people speak. I always listen to them.” because people who talk too much and they don’t share a conversation usually never even notice that they’re doing it.
They don’t mean to do it but you need to actively practise that curiosity. Be curious about a person and what they’re talking about. Ask questions, show that you’re interested in them and bring them into the conversation. Show them that you’re listening to them as well you know by making sounds and expressions like… ahh, uh-huh, mmm, wow!
Show them that you’re listening and that you’re interested.
So how do you work on these skills? How do you know if you are good at these things or not and what can you do about it?
So it’s simple. You watch and you copy, you imitate an English speaker. Not just any native English speaker, you know you need to choose someone who is a really positive communicator.
I’ve added five YouTube videos down in the description above that I think are good examples of people who are communicating really effectively, you know and I want you to watch them, watch what their body does, listen to the tone of their voice and how that influences what they’re saying.
And then record yourself talking about that same topic to see what you look like while you’re talking you know, do you have a friendly expression, you know, does it feel positive or do you feel confused and uncomfortable or awkward.
So what is it that you can do to change that? You know, and it might be as simple as trying to smile a little bit more as you’re talking or maintain eye contact.
These are really small and subtle things that have a huge impact on the way that you communicate with other people. And often, these things are different between languages and cultures, right?
So the way that we do this in English might be a little different to the way that you do it, you know in your native country.
So these three things that awesome English speakers do really are hacks for great conversation. Improving these things is gonna help you to have better English conversation experiences you know. You’ll make more English-speaking friends, you’ll get more speaking practice and ultimately it’s gonna help you to become more fluent and a more confident English communicator. I mean really don’t underestimate the importance of these things.
I hope that I’ve given you some interesting ideas to think about. Let me know your thoughts about this video in the comments below and give it a like if you enjoyed it. Make sure you subscribe to the channel and head over into one of these lessons here if you want to keep practising with me now. I’ll see you in there!
Links mentioned in the video
Telephone Conversations: 45 Essential Phrases To Speak On The Phone in English
SMALL TALK | How to keep a conversation going in English
Discourse Markers: Sound Fluent & Natural in English Conversations