Practising starting a conversation

Starting a conversation can be tricky. It’s important to talk about topics that everyone is interested in.

Here’s a bad example of starting a conversation:

Q & A:

Q: Did the speaker show appropriate conversational skills?

A: No, they only talked about their own interests, which is inappropriate. To have a good conversation, you should talk about something you are both interested in.

Q: What did the speaker do that was good or bad?

A: They showed bad greeting and turn-taking skills. They started talked about their interests immediately. They did not check to see if the other person was interested in that topic. They did not listen when the other person said that they were busy.

Q: How did the other person respond?

A: The other person was not interested. They showed this by looking away (at their phone), making an annoyed face and giving short answers in response. They might think the speaker was being boring or annoying.

Q: What could the speaker do instead?

A: They could greet the other person, ask them about their interests, wait and listen for their response. For example, “Hello, how are you?” (wait for response) “What are you watching on your phone?”. If the other person looks busy, you could come back later when they are free.

Now watch the good example and talk about it. What’s different?

Your turn! Can you show an example of good and bad ways to start a conversation?

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