How to be a Great Conversation Partner

I have a confession to make.
For many years, I’ve felt like I have nothing meaningful to say.
That I was boring, unintelligent and I have no idea what’s going on in the world.
I felt that every time I would start a conversation,
heavy fog would cover my brain, and I couldn’t articulate my thoughts clearly.
And to be honest,
I still feel that sometimes.

Because of that,
I made a subconscious decision of speaking as little as possible
in any given situation, especially in English.
I would speak, yes.
But I became the best person to speak TO.

I developed wise and subtle skills to deflect any question,
​turn it around,
and get other people to speak.
I became an excellent listener ​so I don’t have to do all the talking.

And you know what,
I really enjoyed it.

Over the years, this skill has turned me into a good teacher as I easily get my students to talk.
But also, by doing this,
I have learned so much about people and behaviors
that I started having things to say about almost anything.
And now, I really can’t shut up.

Sometimes, we, as speakers of English as a second language,
are so preoccupied with what we are going to say,
how to say it,
what tense to use and what word to choose,
that we forget to listen and be a part of the conversation.

In this week’s blog I am sharing with you five tips that will make you a better conversation partner, and as a result improve your conversation skills,
speaking skills and confidence.

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17 Comments on “How to be a Great Conversation Partner”

  1. Dear Hadar,

    What can I say? youre the best!

    You know what— I think I am a good listener.

    I also like the comments of the other learners.All of you feel like my friends in this new

    country.

    Rika

  2. Hi Hadar, it was a great video, THANK YOU!
    I just wanted to add that sometimes when I get stuck in the middle of the sentence, I find it helpful to say that I can’t remember the word, and the other person tries to help. So asking for help is great and creates less anxiety 🙂

  3. In my work, in a little town not far from my city, Tarija, (building a bridge for a road), none of my coworkers speak English. Nevertheless I try practice to speak alone, with my phone and mi computer pc. And your tips are very truly to me, so I appreciate it very much.

  4. I’M ASKING MYSELF WHAT GOOD DID I DO THAT I AM GETTING FROM YOU SO MUCH GOOD ADVICE, AND FOR FREE?

  5. Hello Hadar. You are the best Teacher I seen. I am happy when I see your videos ’cause I learn a lot.
    Thank you so mucho.

  6. Hi Hadar,
    Thanks for your tips…. I loved the video!!
    I have two questions for you, how to pronounce the word “natural” and how to link the end “ing” with “it” when you are speaking, for example: Giving it. Please make a video about it.

    Thanks a lot….. you are the best teacher!
    Luz.

  7. hi hader, you are excellent trainer. i like show you and i feel better in English when i listen to you.

  8. Hi Hadar ! I feel I have to comment again my own first one because it is not relevant to your important question. I think our first reaction by meeting someone we hadn’t met before is some sort of unconscious anxiety. This may disturb our self-confidence and may inhibit our conversation. There are a lot of other unconscious feelings by any personal transactions influencing the dynamics and style of conversations. E.g. we may unconsciously regard much younger or even more elderly persons as less competent than we are. That will result in our propensity to be condescending in our conversation. I have found that in any good conversation it is absolutely important the EQUALITY (!!!) of the partners talking to each other. E.g. when young male and female partners engage in conversation it may happen that an unconscious superiority feeling in the male one disturbs the conversation. For good conversation anyone can find many hints in the well-readable book of Eric Berne (I’m sure many of us have met it): “Games People Play”
    Excuse me for the long comment ! Laszlo

  9. Hi Hadar thank you so much really valuable guidelines.I mostly speak positive and good vibes talk but I surely need to be a good listener on which I need to work on . Thank you so much again I will pay attention towards it

  10. hello,Haddar .Actually ,it happens to me when I speak in English that I got stuck though I possess enough vocabulary to speak.Thank you for for these useful tips.

  11. Thank you, Hadar for the great video.
    When I conducted a scientific experiment (often by night with few not talkative assistants or alone) I preferred silence.
    When I exercised my second profession, psychiatry I mostly used the “talk therapy” (e.g. Victor Frankl, I.D. Yalom, Rollo May…). So, I had been engaged in talking but that was perhaps a most special way of talking. That is a kind of professional speech.
    Like I used a professional language when I delivered a lecture at an international scientific meeting (in English of course).
    But I’m not sure that engaged in everyday talking I had been always good (Even not by using my native language).
    So, I agree we have to learn to speak or not to speak up to the end of our life. Laszlo

  12. Hi, dear Hadar! Thank you for your tips. They are really helpful, but my problem is, that I’m a too good listener. My conversation partners usually are talkative persons who speak without stopping and I’m who is a listener. It might be related to my low self-confidence in English? :)))

  13. I think Hadar has said it all.
    In addition to that, we should avoid interpreting negatively others conversation. It is very important to add some words while others speaking. These words fuel the other’s speaking. These word are: really? I see, wow etc. We should cultivate the way to ask small question as well.
    Another thing is as much as possible, to summarize the conversation at the end. This make the speaker fell he has been listened actually.

  14. To be a good speaker.
    Listening .taking notice.knowing more vocabulary
    Learning more and more
    Also don’t forget study grammar

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