Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3: Episode 16 – Speaking Skill – Becoming a Good Conversationalist

As a non-native English speaker, it’s important to become an active listener.  Becoming an active listener revolves around attentively listening to the other speaker.  Yes, it’s important to speak, too, but you will be liked very quickly if you ask people questions that they WANT to answer.

“So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.

Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems.”

Some people are very good at this in and around Thailand because they ask the best questions that they know I would LOVEEEE to answer.  Example, “so what got you into personal development? Why do you love teaching? What are your goals? How did you overcome the obstacles in your life?” I can go on for HOURS about these topics; therefore, it makes them a great listener and conversationalist.

Follow-Up question technique

Let’s get into the basics. If you ask someone, “where are you from” and they say “Greenland,” do you know how many questions you can make from that?

  • Omg! I’ve never met anyone from Greenland! This is exciting!

The person is now feeling the excitement and they’re even more excited to get talking.  Don’t talk about your travels, stay focused and on topic with them.

  • What are some things I can do in Greenland if I go there?
  • Would you recommend any flights? How are the people?
  • Places to eat? How’s daylight there since it’s far up north? Northern lights?
  • Where else have you traveled and what brings you here?

If the other person wants to speak, that’s at least 20 minutes of conversation and more follow-up questions.  You will become this person’s best friend because you have a general interest in what they have to say.

Help those tourists!

Only way to build confidence is to genuinely be in-tune when a tourist asks a question.  I don’t want you to just smile, but really move out of your own way to help them.

Two months ago I saw two foreigners lost on the BTS and they were talking about going somewhere. They asked me where, and I told them they can get off at one particular stop.  I then went on my phone and saw that the station they were going to was not on my side of town, so I quickly told them what to do, get off at Saphan Taksin, go downstairs and take the pier to #8 where Thon Buri train station will be.  They were unbelievably grateful.  This is called doing for others without any expectation of getting anything back.

If a foreigner comes to you (and the Japanese are magicians at this), take them or at least direct them where to go.  Don’t just point and walk away like a douche (lots of people in Hong kong were like that, lol). If you’re trying to think about it, put your hand on your chin to show them you’re thinking and you’re not just being a douche.

Here are a couple techniques for this week and stay tuned for more!

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC – Reading Comprehension – Graphs + Podcast/YouTube

Welcome back, everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve done a TOEIC video.  Excuse behind it? None.  It takes a lot of time and preparation.  However, I’ve got a special treat.

Since I’m checking out what the market likes, my reading comprehension video on YouTube has gotten an insane amount of views.  This time I’m coming back with how to deal with charts, tables, forms, double passages in this segment (could be broken up into two).  So without further ado, let’s get this show started!

Questions involving charts, tables, forms and double passages require a slightly different approach.

Let’s first break down an email, which will relate to many of my business English students.  So, down below are some features and how to find information quickly.  I will have A-F and I want you to match it with 1-6.

A. The main focus of the chart/table/form

B. Details of how information in the chart/table/form is meant to be used.

C. Information about who the text is from or intended for.

D. Extra details that indicate changes/differences to information in the chart/table/form

E. Background information that relates to the chart/table/form or the people who use it.

F. Details/facts/numbers/dates/names

 

**I’ve put the answers next to the numbers for you guys to understand how it works!

 

1) C

From: johnsmith@gmail.com

To: arseniobuck@icloud.com

Date: October 27th

Subject: November Visit

 

2) A

Dear Arsenio,

 

After my visit last month, I would like to talk about some of the different approaches for improving sales that were discussed at last year’s sales conference.  I would appreciate it if you would set aside the whole day on the 25th of November.

 

(3) B

so that I can meet with you and your sales team.  I am including, in the attachment, the most recent sales figures from last year for you and your team to review before we meet.

See you next month.

 

John

 

4) F Sales of Cars

5)  D                                    Jan-Mar                     April-June              July-August

Toyota                             1521                              655                            *232

Mitsubishi                       756                               943                            1100

Honda                             1873                              800                             422

6) E  * model discontinued in November

 

Podcast

 

YouTube

 

Arsenio’s ESL TOEIC