“I just need to talk more.”
That’s what students tell me.
But is it true?
Will talking make you a better talker?
Yes and no.
It’s like saying, I just need to exercise more and eat less.
That’s true, also.
But truth doesn’t always get results.
The truth plus a simple plan… that’s a different story.
In this article you will discover five conversation topics you can practice with your private teacher.
When you master these conversations, you can talk about anything with anyone.
CONVERSATION TOPIC #5: The Weather
I hate talking about the weather.
It’s so boring.
But it’s absolutely necessary.
Because unfortunately, most English speakers love to talk about the weather.
It’s probably the #1 conversation topic.
And the news.
In English, we call these topics “small talk.”
And it’s how most conversations begin.
So if you can talk about one or more of these topics, then you can be comfortable beginning almost any conversation.
CONVERSATION TOPIC #4: Your Weekends
English has 16 verb tenses.
Does this fact make you nervous?
If yes, let’s make it simpler.
Can you talk about what you did last weekend?
“How was your weekend? What did you do?”
And can you talk about what you’re going to do this weekend?
“I heard it’s going to be sunny on Saturday? Any special plans?”
If you can talk about last weekend and this coming weekend, that means you can talk about the past and the future.
And that’s more or less 66% of every conversation!
Ok, now what about the other 33%?
That takes us to…
CONVERSATION TOPIC #3: Right Now
Now that you can talk about the past and the future, how about this:
Your phone rings.
“Hey, it’s me. What are you doing?”
This is the third time you need to master: now.
There may be 16 verb tenses, but there are only three times: past, present and future.
Make life, and conversation, easier for yourself.
Talk about one time at a time and you’ll master each faster.
CONVERSATION TOPIC #2: What You Need To Talk About
“I’m only able to talk about my job,” says my typical student. “I’m not able to talk about other subjects.”
Well, guess what?
I can’t talk about physics. Or football. Or chemistry. Or a hundred other topics,
It’s not because my English isn’t good enough.
It’s because I don’t work in those areas or I’m not interested in those subjects.
So I never talk about them.
And because I never talk about them, I never think about them, read about them, or watch YouTube videos about them.
Therefore, I don’t have the words to talk about them.
I don’t feel bad about that fact.
And neither should you.
But if there’s a topic you know you’ll have to discuss soon…
If your boss has asked you to join him at dinner with the client from London who loves to talk about politics…
If you’ve got a team-building weekend coming up with the office in Leeds and you know you’ll be ordering from a British menu and discussing rain and clouds…
Then read about, watch videos on, and listen to podcasts about those topics you’ll need to talk about.
And finally, when you have the words, practice talking to your teacher about these topics and you’ll be a master at talking about what you need to talk about.
CONVERSATION TOPIC #5: Your Teacher
Yes, you want to do most of the talking during your lesson.
After all, that’s what you’re paying for.
But when you can talk to another person, and talk about the other person, then you have rapport and you can talk with anyone.
Dale Carnegie wrote the classic on conversation, How To Win Friends And Influence People.
In it he said:
Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.-DALE CARNEGIE
Ask your teacher questions.
Get good at questions.
Get good at listening.
Get good at developing an interest in other people.
And when you master that, and your boss asks you to join him at dinner with the clients visiting from the US, and you sit next to Jacky from Dallas who has three grandchildren, loves to garden, and just had back surgery.
And you’ve never been to the US, you have no kids, and your hobby is video games…
You’ll be able to talk with her all night.
In fact, you’ll be able to talk to anyone.
And you may even make a friend.
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.dale carnegie