Starting an Informal Conversation
English Speaking Topic
Nick and Becky have come to a college to enrol on an evening course in Spanish. While they are waiting to enrol, they start up a conversation.
Useful tips to start an informal conversation
Successful small talk or informal conversation isn’t about saying brilliant things. It’s about commenting on and asking about ordinary things with interest and enthusiasm.
- Try to find something in common with your listener.
- Try to match the mood of your listener. Don’t try to be light-hearted if they seem serious.
- Don’t answer in one-word sentences. Try to give more information or say something interesting about where you come from, your job, etc.
- Remember to ask questions too – don’t just talk about yourself.
Be aware that different cultures have different ways of making conversation, i.e. the pauses between what one speaker says and the response of the other speaker are not always the same length. What may seem like a very long silence to you may be quite normal in another culture.