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English Speaking Training- Opening a Conversation— Top Tip!


English Speaking Training– How to Start a Conversation– The Top Tip!

Approximately 2010, I read a newspaper article that changed overnight my typical greeting to everyone.

The article’s topic was how to talk to a person who has recently suffered the death of a loved one—- spouse, partner, parent, child, relative, friend or for many, pet.

The article pointed out that the typical greeting is “How are you?” For a person suffering the loss of a loved one, the truthful answer would be “bad” for a considerable amount of time. The author reminded the readers that in North America, the expected answer is “Fine.” But that answer for people in grief is “a lie” and not at all accurate.

So the article suggested “How are things going?”. Then respondenta can answer the typical “Fine,” or “OK,” because for the “things” in their life — daily activities– those are “OK.” Emotions not fine but activites are OK. Noteably, the respondent has not been forced to lie or be untruthful.

Body language and tone of voice will reveal a great deal about the current well-being of people. Be alert to those.

For communication interactions where the other person is not grieving for a loved one, the question of “How are things going?” makes it easier for the respondent to immediately describe a recent significant happening in their life. For example, “I just got word from the programmer who developed the coding for my research for my PhD that there is an error in the code.” Or, “I had to let go the nanny for my child.” Those are real life examples.

The specific words of a question go a long way in determining the depth and quality of the answer.

Why would you want to know the current state of well-being of the other person? So you can determine how to proceed with the upcoming communication or task. If the other person had a car accident the previous day, then your proceeding forward with discussion of complex tasks could be modified to take account of less than optimal well-being.. Also, you could do follow-up questions to determine the current physical and emotional status of the other person. Follow-up questions show that you care. For relationahip and rapport, caring is the foundation.

For improving your pronunciation and diction for clear American English, practice with our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos.

Check out our subscription called ClearTalk Weekly,– weekly English intelligibility and pronunciation tutorials — video audio, and extra reading aloud exercises. Use the subscription as a first time learner with Clear Talk Mastery or as a refresh for your learning in the coached course. Just so you know, people’s pronunciation can drift from the great accuracy achieved during the coached courses. Click here for information about the subsripiton www.subscription.cleartalkmastery.com

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