In this article today, we want to share with you three things that awesome English speakers often and we want to show you how you can get good at them too.
This writing is perfect for you if you are learning English as a second language and you want to communicate more clearly, more effectively and build good relationships with other English speakers. However, these tips are also useful for anyone who speaks English and wants to communicate more effectively because not all native English speakers are awesome at communicating.
What is awesome communication?
Awesome communication is about more than just the words that you choose and today we’re going to learn how this information could change the way that you think about English conversations forever.
During a conversation, if you don’t communicate your message clearly, people will feel unsure. They might not know what’s going on. They might misinterpret or misunderstand you. This can be annoying, it can create confusion but even worse, they might start to feel a little uncomfortable, or awkward, or uncertain. And even you probably didn’t mean that, you didn’t intend it, if they don’t enjoy that experience of talking to you, it might mean that in the future, they don’t really want to do it again. They might try to avoid you or perhaps, try not to work with you on a project.
So this whole topic that we’re talking about today is quite serious.
Good or awesome communication is about more than just the words that you choose. It also relates to the tone of your voice, your body language and other actions that support you while you’re speaking and in English. We communicate with so much more than just words.
So actually, these three things that awesome English speakers do are not just about saying words, these are things that they do during conversations.
And this is what we’re going to talk about today.
3 Secrets To Help You Have Great English Conversations!
1, Body Language
Body language includes eye contact, facial expression, and all the gestures that you make as you speak. All of these things communicate messages to the person who you’re talking to.
In fact, these things are the loudest and the most truthful messages that we use when we communicate. They’re even louder or clearer than the actual words that we use. Even when you don’t have the perfect words to use, your body language, your tone of voice and other interactions that you have during a conversation can make up for it. You can still create a really great positive connection that will result in awesome things, even if you don’t have the perfect words to do it.
Now, you may be thinking “I’m concentrating enough on finding the right words to say, let alone what my hands are doing and my eyes are doing, my shoulders are doing. I can’t do everything!”
However, this is a huge conversation hack to help you build awesome relationships with other English speakers. If you’re a nervous speaker, and a little unsure about speaking in English, learning more about these nonverbal communication tools is going to help you to create more positive conversation experiences.
Whether you are aware of it or not, your body language is constantly sending information to other people. It’s helping them to trust you and feel comfortable with you. Or it’s confusing them or offending them in some ways, which is obviously not what you want. And sometimes the words that someone is saying don’t match what their body language is telling you, and this can be really confusing.
For example, if your colleague said “Hey, a few of us are going for a run around the park at lunch time. Do you want to come?”, and then you said “Yeah that’d be great” with your face showing your boredom and sadness, they’d probably be surprised or confused and wondering “What does she actually mean? Does she want to come?”
The reason why we want you to think about this is because many of English learners sometimes have quite a serious look of concentration on their faces when they’re trying to listen to someone or thinking of what they’re gonna say. This is totally understandable because they’re doing a lot of concentrating and thinking about what they need to say and how they need to express it and is it the right tense. But this can be a problem because it creates conflicting messages for the person you’re talking to.
If you have the confused sort of scrunched up look on your face while you’re listening to them, then that person that might feel a little uncomfortable. They might think maybe you don’t agree with them or they’re feeling, and all this means that they’re probably gonna try and leave the conversation. No one likes to feel awkward and uncomfortable, right?
Let’s face it! If people enjoy being around you, they’re probably gonna be more polite, they’ll probably want to help you more and want to spend more time with you.
So improving your body language will help you to express what you mean, connect with others in a really positive way and build good relationships.
Recently, due to COVID- 19, many of us have been part of a lot of online conversations. How to show appropriate expressions during these situations?
You had better look at the camera when people are talking. You should keep people interested, you should nod and smile during the conversation to show that you are listening and that you respect the time that you’re sharing with them. If you’re only half paying attention to someone, as maybe you’re checking your phone or checking your emails while they’re talking to you, you will certainly make your partners feel distressed, sad, and even quite frustrated.
Contrariwise, you’re obviously gonna get a much better result if you give your full attention to someone. If you look them in the eye, if you smile at them and you acknowledge them and appreciate the time that they have for you.
2, Tone Of Voice
The tone of your voice allows you to convey meaning too. It includes the pitch of your voice and how it changes. It affects the meaning or the way that people interpret your meaning.
In lots of other languages, a change in tone might actually change the meaning of a word by definition. But in English, this isn’t the case. A change in pitch is about changing the attitude or the mood of what you’re saying. It could show enthusiasm or boredom or interest.
In English, it really is not just what you say, but it’s how you say it as well. The tone of your voice works in a really similar way to body language. If the tone doesn’t match the words that are coming out of your mouth, then people feel confused or they don’t really trust you.
Both of these things, tone and body language, work together like a super team to strengthen your communication. But tone is one of the hardest things to master as an English student because there are no clear rules about how it works. It’s just a feeling.
When it comes to tone, louder can be excitement, but it can also be anger. Tone is also that magic ingredient in complicated humour like sarcasm, and it’s also an important part of communicating frustration.
As it might sound complicated, we really want you to pay attention to tone and to start experimenting with it. We suggest you focus on the positive aspects of nonverbal communication first because these are the most visible or the most obvious parts. And because it’s positive, it’s gonna help you with your communication.
Practise making positive exclamations in front of a mirror, focusing on your body language, your facial expression and the tone of your voice.
3, Great Team Players
Awesome English speakers are also great team players in conversations, which means they share the conversation. They listen, they respond, and they help others to participate as well and to enjoy themselves. They don’t dominate the conversation, they don’t speak over the top of everyone. They’re there to participate.
However, just because someone talks a little too much in conversation doesn’t mean that they’re a bad person or they’re a bad listener. But the reason why this is especially important to you as an English Learner is because you want to make sure that people enjoy talking to you when you’re speaking in English.
Sharing the conversation is going to make people want to stay, to talk more, to find out more about you and allow you to build the relationship with them. And significantly, having more relationship means more chances for you to speak, more chances for you to learn, to have someone to speak with regularly. Thanks to this, you might build a closer relationship with them, and they may start helping you and giving you feedback or support you with your pronunciation.
Obviously, you can’t expect random people to do that for you, but if you build a good relationship with someone like a colleague, a neighbour, someone in your class, an online friend, then it might pay off for you. Certainly, this is not gonna be easy but if you think a little more broadly about the benefits and the value of these skills and how they can help you to keep improving your English naturally, that’s interesting and valuable to you.
About this third skill, you may feel lucky as you are not a talkative person. You may think “I always let other people speak. I always listen to them.” However, besides sharing the conversation, you should not keep silent all the time. Instead, you also need to actively practise that curiosity. Be curious about a person and what they’re talking about. Ask questions, show that you’re interested in them and bring them into the conversation. Show them that you’re listening to them as well by making sounds and expressions. Show them that you’re listening and that you’re interested.
How do you work on these skills?
How do you know if you are good at these things or not, and what can you do about it?
It is simple. You watch, you copy, and you imitate an English speaker. Not just any native English speaker, you need to choose someone who is a really positive communicator.
We have collect five YouTube which, in our opinion, are good examples of people who are communicating really effectively:
- Barack Obama on the state of the world: https://youtu.be/td7Dcsco-WY
- Celeste Headlee on How to Have a Good Conversation: https://youtu.be/H6n3iNh4XLI
- Emma & Mark Rosenfeld on love and relationships: https://youtu.be/9zIn8kn8Jwk
- Extended conversation https://youtu.be/W2FPI0k6SHY
- For fun! Study these conversations from friends episodes (In particular, Rachel’s tone and expressions showing frustration) https://youtu.be/MSdN25AaPu0
We want you to watch them, watch what their body does, listen to the tone of their voice and how that influences what they’re saying. After that, record yourself talking about that same topic to see what you look like while you’re talking, consider whether you have a friendly expression, whether it feels positive or whether you feel confused, or uncomfortabl, or awkward. And finally, find the answer to the question “What can you do to change that?”
It might be as simple as trying to smile a little bit more or maintain eye contact while you’re talking. These are really small and subtle things that have a huge impact on the way that you communicate with other people.
So these three things that awesome English speakers do really are hacks for great conversation. Improving these things is gonna help you to have better English conversation experiences. You’ll make more English-speaking friends, you’ll get more speaking practice and ultimately it’s gonna help you to become more fluent and a more confident English communicator. Really don’t underestimate the importance of these things.
We hope that you enjoyed the lesson today! In order to get further explanation and practice your listening skills also, watch the video below. Thank you for reading and see you in the next writing!
Credit: Youtube Channel “mmmEnglish”