20 Tips to Improve Conversational Skills

20 Tips to Improve Conversational Skills

Learn English Communication Skills

Improving Conversational Skills is an ongoing process. Interacting with others is an art itself, and a complex one at that.

Here are 20 tips from Link School of English to help you in the process…


    1. Ask quality questions:  Avoid ‘yes’ or ‘no’ evoking responses by asking questions that require detail; these will typically start with one of the five ‘Ws’.
    2. Actively listen: Don’t be thinking of a response while the other is still speaking. Wait 5 to 10 seconds before responding.
    3. Take turns: Balance talking and listening. Monitor yourself to make sure you’re not dominating the conversation.

  1. Show interest and curiosity about what is being said. Doing so validates the other’s importance to you.
  2. Be genuine and generous with compliments and praise. Be specific when giving praise. Rather than saying, “That was a nice story,” say, “I like how at the end of the story everything worked out for the best.”


  3. Four international students of English language practising English conversation skills outdoors


  4. Assume best intentions.  Conversation is a balance of assumptions and believing that the person you are conversing with intends no ill-will. Most conflicts arise from a misunderstanding of the other’s intentions.
  5. Take deep breaths. Taking deep breaths forces you to relax.
  6. To be interesting be interested. Ask questions that lead the other person to talk about the things they enjoy. Resist the natural instinct to talk about yourself.
  7. Make the other person feel comfortable.  It’s always a good idea to smile and maintain eye contact to convey warmth and interest in the other person.
  8. Give the other person time to think and speak. It may take a while for the other person to process what you’ve said. Give them time to prepare and give an insightful response.
  9. Make conversation by telling a story – You can be confident carrying on a conversation when you can tell a story. Have one prepared and tell it if it’s appropriate to the conversation and situation.
  10. Converse with your eyes – Eye contact is an essential part of talking to others in order to be perceived as self-confident and engaged in the conversation.
  11. Personalize the conversation – Taking the extra step to remember a person’s name indicates that you are interested in that person. Using their name several times during the conversation will help you recall it later.
  12. Body language – Non-verbal communication counts for 50% of a conversation. It is important to maintain a calm and poised posture; avoid fidgeting as this expresses nervousness and insecurity or worse, boredom.
  13. Say something positive. If you begin with something positive people will think of you and remember you as a positive person.
  14. Don’t settle for small talk -You know more than you realise.  Sharpen your knowledge by keeping current with what’s happening in the world; read newspapers, watch the news, etc.
  15. Avoiding unnecessary detail. Don’t assume the person you are speaking with wants to know every detail of your day or circumstance.
  16. Pick up on what people say. If the person mentions they just returned from holiday, ask them if they enjoyed it or where they went,  etc.
  17. Start with a general topic which anyone can relate to.  Like the weather – we all experience it. You can also talk about the latest movie, sports or news.
  18. When it’s over – end it.  Say something like, “It’s been a pleasure talking to you,” or signal the end of the conversation by offering your hand and saying, “I enjoyed meeting you.” Then smile and walk away – no excuse needed!

We hope you find this post useful. If you are looking to improve your conversation skills, you may be interested in our English Conversation Class and Courses in London or improving English communication skills? Have your say and post your comment below.

Read more articles about Improving English:
– Ways to Improve Your English Pronunciation
– 5 Tips to Increase English Vocabulary
– How to Make Fewer Mistakes in Spoken English?

Posted on in English Courses at Link School, English language tips, Improve English speaking, Learn English Advice, Real English practice

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