EC Montreal’s academic extras include conversation clubs. It is sometimes difficult to break the ice with people and get the conversation going. The Business Insider has come up with some tips on how you can have a conversation with just about anyone! If you follow these suggestions, you will become a natural conversationalist.
The more conversations you have, the more practice you will bet with the language. Eventually, you will be completely bilingual and be able to converse without any difficulty or apprehension.
Here are 7 of the tips from the article entitled Start a Conversation with Absolutely Anyone:
1. Ask for their opinion. Everyone has one! For someone you don’t know well, start with light subjects like the food, the music, the atmosphere, etc. “Do you like your Margaritas with salt or without? Do you watch horror movies? Do you like this song?”
2. Ask for their advice or recommendations. This works very well when commenting on someone’s outfit or accessories, as in “What a great t-shirt! Where did you get it?” or if you are at restaurant looking at a menu “Everything looks great, what are you having?”
3. Ask them a question that is easy to answer. This is great when you know or find out that a person has expertise in a particular field. Avoid asking anyone to explain something super complex or involved; if that’s where the conversation leads, great, but asking a really complicated question up front can feel demanding.
4. Comment on the environment. No matter where you are, there are things to comment on: the music, the food, the lights or the guests, for example.
5. Ask for an update. If you know someone a little or know them by reputation, ask for an update on something you know they’ve been doing, for example, “Oh, Mary mentioned you were taking salsa dance lessons. How’s that going?”
6. Ask open-ended questions whenever possible. If your question can be answered with a simple yes or no, don’t be surprised if that’s what you get. Having follow-up questions ready can also help the conversation flow. If you are asking what kind of food they’re having, for example, you might follow up with, “That sounds good. Do you know what kind of wine would go well with that?” Almost everything can be followed up with, “Why?”
7. Ask a hypothetical question. These can be great conversation starters, but try to tie them into something happening at the event or in current events to avoid seeming too random. You might say something like, “I just saw this movie where all the laws were revoked for one day. What would you do if there were no laws for a day?”
We hope you have found these suggestions by the Business Insider helpful and can use some of them during our conversation clinics at EC Montreal.