This week's talking point is the art of communication. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas come to mind more easily the day you get together with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.
Do you know anyone who is a good listener?
Do you remember an occasion when there was an awkward silence in the conversation?
Can you think of situations in which you have misunderstood someone or someone has misunderstood you?
How easy or difficult do you find it to make small talk (polite conversation about unimportant things)?
When did you last hit it off with someone? (like each other from the very beginning)
Do you remember an occasion when you put your foot in it (accidentally do or say something which embarrasses or offends people)?
Do you know anyone who tends to dominate the conversation?
Are you good at putting people at ease (make someone feel relaxed and confident)? If so, how do you do it?
Who in your family is good at telling interesting stories in family reunions?
When did you last have a row?
Do you know anyone who has a pleasant/unpleasant voice?
Do you ever talk to yourself?
Do you dread going to places where you don’t know many people?
Is how you say something as important as what you say?
Is gossip always harmful?
Do you think a person should never raise their voice during a discussion?
To what extent is technology having a negative effect on the quality of conversation?
What advice would you give a visitor to your country about the following:
- personal space?
- common gestures?
- making eye contact?
- conversation topics to avoid?
To illustrate the topic, you can watch Julian Treasure's talk at TED How to speak so that people want to listen.
You can read the transcript here.