Conversation Skills - How to STEAL a conversation

29 Jul 2014 10:11 328
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Want to join a conversation, but have a hard time getting your turn to speak? In this video, I'll show you two easy ways to join a conversation. I'll show you one dramatic way to steal a conversation, and another way which is more polite. You'll need to use different methods in different situations, so I'll tell you when each method is preferred. Conversations should be about the exchange of ideas, but sometimes it's hard to contribute your opinion. Check this lesson out so you're not stuck holding your tongue when you can add to a conversation! Take the quiz here:


That's a really good point. And did you consider -- hey, listen. Hi. James, from EngVid. A lot of times, students want to learn conversational skills so they can start a conversation. But when they do start these conversations, they tend to find that they're not included. Today's lesson is how to include yourself. So it's a conversational skill about how to take a conversation or -- yeah. Take your part in a conversation. Are you ready? It's going to be fun. I'm going to teach you two techniques that have two different uses, all right? So you can see here, E is saying, "Wow, Bob. That's a good point, but --". And the second point he says is just, "Listen!" All right? Let's go to the board.

The "listen" one is called a "single-word imperative". All right? Why do we use it? Well, you're in a conversation with somebody, and they're saying things you don't necessarily like, and they're talking, and they're talking fast and loud and being, you know, very demonstrative and showing their hands and talking. And you want to get in there, but you don't know how you can break into the conversation to say something or comment because maybe you don't like what they're saying. You do something like this: [snaps fingers] "Stop." What did I do? I just said, "Stop." One-word imperative. An "imperative" is an order. And the funny thing about the human brain is we've been trained since we were children to listen. Remember when you were running, and your parents would go, "Stop!" Or they would go, "Listen!" Or they would say, "No!" They didn't say sentences; they said one word. So we've been trained for this. But it's very blunt, and we use for children or even dogs. Okay? I'm not saying people are dogs. They're children. But it's very effective because we're conditioned for one-word imperatives. As you get older, we learn to be more polite. So you say, "Listen to me, please. Can you stop saying that, please?" We add politeness. But in a situation where you need to stop someone immediately, the one-word imperative works because it gets right to the point; it gets directly to the person. And what it does is -- look. It draws attention to the intended action. "I don't want you to stop talking. I want the conversation to go, but I want you to stop." Got it? So when I say "stop", you will stop speaking because you're going to be, in your brain, "Stop what? What am I doing?" And that gives an opening for me to come into the conversation. Or, "No." People are like, "No? No what?" Because you don't explain, it raises their curiosity, and they're like, "Why did you want them to stop? Why did you say 'listen'? Why did you say 'no'?" That stop in the conversation allows you to step into the conversation and say what you need to say, okay? See? Stops conversation. Words you can use as examples are "no", "stop", and "listen". And don't explain it. Because when you do say, "Listen to me, please. Listen to me", it's almost like you're saying, "You're not listening. It's not fair" and you're being a baby.

Now, I'm telling you; this is kind of rude. So don't think I'm telling you this is a good way to start friends. That's why I said when you're in a situation where the person saying something you may not agree, like, "All women should not work", you might say, "Excuse me?" Don't say "excuse me"; just say, "Stop." They'll go, "What?" And then you go "boom". You say your part right there. Right? You can say it for almost anything. It's immediate, and it stops action. But it might be considered rude.

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