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English Speaking Skills: Tips for Spicing up Conversation

English Speaking Skills:  Tips for Spicing up Conversation


The lovely thing about conversations is that you can add to your skill of making your conversations even more satisfying.

Consider this:  Borrow an idea from professional speakers and develop a collection of attention-getting small stories or quotes to use in conversations.  Gather together these sayings and stories from what you read, see, or from personal experiences.  Our own lives and the lives of our friends, colleagues, and family are full of entertaining and inspiring stories.

I keep a special set of files for articles printed off the internet or cut from newspapers or magazines. My collection includes vignettes or brief stories and favorite quotations.

For example, most recently I found an uplifting quote from Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and author of such books as “Awakenings” (1973) and “Musicophilia” (2007). During his final months with terminal cancer, he wrote a series of essays to share his thoughts.

What was Sack’s most thankful for?  “I have loved and been loved,” he wrote. “I have been given much and I have given something in return. … Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”

In addition to acquiring such uplifting musings and brief stories, I keep a running log of quotations I like on my computer.

It’s fun to attribute or cite the source – “Last week, I saw in the Denver Post…” or, for example, “As St. Ambrose said, ‘Be patient with everyone, especially yourself.'”

The act of collecting also makes you more alert to entertaining and inspiring stories.  Thus as you interact with people and as you read or view portions of the vast media around us, you notice people and their stories, their snippets of wisdom.

Then as you meet up with people, you can draw on these sayings and stories to sweeten and spice up your connections with people.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Check out our new advanced weekly speech tip program, our new subscription called ClearTalk Weekly, www.subscription.cleartalkmastery.com



Rerun from Dec 30, 2015

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