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Are you shy and want to confidently start conversations? Or perhaps you're trying to overcome being an introvert and would like ideas for how to get speaking practice. These conversation starters will help. Speaking conversationally is usually just about knowing the right thing to say in any given situation.
That's rarely taught in classrooms. You'll learn questions, phrases, and expressions that you can use to confidently start conversations with anyonein any language. I've also included specific phrases and expressions based on the context of where you're speaking.
Lastly, these phrases will be in English, but use them as ideas for what phrases to look up and translate so you can start conversations in any language. Using these phrases will improve your conversation skills, so practice them and soon you'll be starting conversations in English! Before we get into the thick of things, I'll let you in on the mindset you need to have when starting up a conversation.
Of course, this very rarely happens in real life! To be honest, I still experience moments of fear when I start conversations in a language I'm learning. It sometimes takes me a few minutes to get into the flow. Just know that this feeling is totally normal. Try to accept it as normal, and not to worry about it too much. The first key to feeling relaxed and getting over your fear is to have a good time and be friendly. Smile and enjoy the experience of meeting someone new. If you can relax and enjoy getting to know someone, then that will be felt by the other person and it will put them at ease.
Talking with someone who is super serious and has a grave expression is rarely enjoyable, so why put someone else through that? Relax your face and turn that frown upside down! A lot of fear around starting conversations comes from putting pressure on yourself to have a certain result from the conversation.
Don't expect anything from yourself or the other person other than getting to know them a little better. Also, don't force a topic or be aggressive in what you're trying to say. That type of energy is a turn-off to someone you've just met. Let the conversation flow naturally. Finally, realize that you don't need to become best friends with your conversation partner. There are millions of native speakers out thereso becoming friends with this one person won't determine your success. If the conversation doesn't go well, that's okay.
Don't make the conversation only about yourself. Try to ask questions about the other person's life. Only interject things about yourself when they are actually relevant to the topic. Often people ask questions they secretly want to be asked themselves, so turn the question around and see what your conversation partner has to say.
The most important thing is to not be forceful or seem desperate. Bring things up naturally and casually. People should never feel pressured to talk with you, so help them feel comfortable. When asking questions or talking about something, don't make something up just because you memorised a particular phrase. A conversation has specific phases that it goes through. These include starting the conversation, elaborating on a topic, inviting a longer conversation, changing the topic, and closing the conversation. When talking to someone one-on-one, you'll find it helpful to look at each phase and figure out your approach for the phase to figure out what to talk about.
The best way to start up a conversation with someone you don't know is to ask a question that's not too personal. Even better, start a conversation by noticing something about the other person and commenting on it in a nice way. Here are some examples:. Note: whatever you see in [brackets] can be substituted for something specific to your conversation. Now that you've started talking, you will need to elaborate on the established topic and continue talking. If they answered your question, you can ask one or two follow up questions to get more details, such as:.
Next, provide some context as to why you asked them the question in the first place. You can usually tell when a person is losing interest in a conversation. Doesn t any one chat first you reach that point, then excuse yourself and be on your way.
However, if you feel like the person may be receptive to a longer conversation, then why not talk a bit more and get to know them better? Each of these questions can be used to extend the conversation and learn more about the other person. The idea here is to find common points of interest. When they mention something that relates to you and your life, this gives you an opportunity to explore that topic more fully.
When your conversation arrives at a topic that you're comfortable speaking about in your target language, then this is your chance to discuss it in more depth. As an example, let's say that you discovered your conversation partner has a cat. You have a cat, too.
Time to show some photos of your cat on your smartphone! Or, if the person mentions they are a vegetarian and you happen to be vegetarian, now you have something in common. Why not ask about their favourite vegetarian recipes? The idea here is to let them know you share a common interest, then ask them to share more details.
For example, instead of going off on a long tangent about your favourite recipes, ask them for theirs. Everyone has an opinion on something, and many people like Doesn t any one chat first share them with others. Once people start sharing their opinions, you open up the door for a whole new area of conversation. If you sense your conversation partner is losing interest in talking about your impressive collection of snowglobes, it's probably time to change the topic!
Use conversational connectors to do just that. After about 10 or 15 minutes, it's worth checking that your conversation partner wants to continue talking. Get a confirmation that they want to be in the conversation so you can be sure they aren't just being polite. These sorts of expressions show that you are being considerate of your conversation partner's needs. When the conversation ends, find a way for them to get in touch with you in the future. If you feel like they might want to chat again, you can give them an opportunity with some of these phrases:.
Not all your conversations are going to be a one-on-one encounter. Sometimes you will be ing a group where others are talking. The most important skill in group situations is listening. Pay attention to the conversation and interject only when it is relevant. Many of the phrases you've learned so far in this article can work in group situations. You can also add to a group conversation with other types of phrases, such as sharing your experiences or thoughts, asking questions to the group, or making connections between two people.
You don't need to share too much, but let the group know that you have more information to add. If they want to know more, they can ask for details. If you notice that some people in a group aren't participating as much in a conversation, you can ask questions for the whole group. Or, you can direct it to an individual. Just be sure not to single them out in an uncomfortable way.
You may realise that two of the people in the group have something in common. You can make people feel included and connected by sharing these observations with the group. If you have to get going and want to excuse yourself from the group, here are some quick and easy ways to do so:. Whether you're in a restaurant, the airport or on the job, you should have some phrases handy to start up a conversation that relates to your location.
Here are phrases and expressions you can use to start and maintain a conversation in a restaurant or cafe:. If you're visiting someone's home you're in luck! There are an endless supply of possible things to talk about. Just look around the house and you'll see many things to bring up and discuss. Sometimes you bump into someone when you are out and about. They might be sitting on a park bench, or waiting in line at the bus stop.
You rush through customs or security only to sit at the gate waiting for your plane for several hours or longer if it is delayed. This is a great chance to chat to someone in English. Here are some phrases that can get things started:.Doesn t any one chat first
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Why can't I start a conversation with somebody I've swiped right on?