How to Keep a Conversation Going
Do you ever have trouble keeping a conversation going? Do you run out of things to say? This happens to everyone, but there are a few things you can do to keep a conversation alive.
1. Pick from one of these topics: Cooking / Shopping / Eating at a Restaurant / Driving / Your First Day at School / Things You Like to do on the Weekends / Hobbies / Sports
2. Start by asking another person (your conversation partner) a question related to one of these topics, such as… What do you like to do on the weekend? What are some things that you know how to cook? Where do you like to shop? Do you have any hobbies? In which area of English language do you have the most trouble?
3. Make sure you ask your partner as many questions as possible as he or she is speaking.
4. When possible, you may interject with responses to things that your partner says, such as: That’s interesting. / Really? I didn’t know that. / How fun! / What a great idea! / I had the same thing happen to me. / You’re so lucky! / I’m sorry that happened to you. I wish you all the best with that. (+ Your ideas here)
5. Be sure to make solid eye contact with your partner, but don’t make it a stare-down contest.
6. If you don’t understand what your partner is saying, ask him or her to repeat what was said: Could you repeat that, please? / I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. / Do you mind repeating that? / Come again?
7. Give compliments to your partner if you run out of things to say: Your English sounds great. / I love your accent. Where are you from? / I love (name of country). / I’d love to visit the country that you are from. / That’s a beautiful…purse, shirt, notebook cover, etc.
8. Look like you are enjoying the conversation. Try to lean forward. Smile occasionally. Nod your head to indicate you are listening. Listen very carefully.
9. Mention current topics or light topics that are not too controversial. How about those Vikings? / This weather has been terrible lately. / I love the weather at this time of the year. / The traffic around town was terrible this morning. / I’m really looking forward to the upcoming ____________.
10. Thank your partner at the end of the conversation: It’s been great talking with you. / It’s been a great pleasure to speak with you. / I really enjoyed our conversation. / You’ve given me some great ideas, thank-you.