Be Interesting & Cool in English

Mar 6, 2019 | English Confidence and Fluency, English Conversation

Have you ever thought about how to be interesting in English conversations? Do you worry that you don’t sound cool or that people feel bored talking to you?

You’re not alone in this fear. We all want to be interesting; we want people to enjoy talking to us. 

Ending a conversation feeling like you bored someone is the absolute worst!

But the good news is, it might be easier than you think to be interesting in English… and the secret to it might surprise you. That’s exactly what I’m going to share with you today: 6 Easy Steps to Be Interesting and Cool in English. 

And here’s why this is so important: 

  1. It makes us feel great about ourselves when we know someone enjoyed talking to us.
  2. A great conversation is the opportunity for the beginning of a friendship.

I want to make both of those easier for you in English!

6 steps to be interesting in English conversation.

Lesson by Annemarie

Be Interesting in English—6 Easy Steps

To be interesting in English, there are 6 things you can do. So let’s look at what those 6 strategies are and try some examples so you’ll know exactly what to do in your next English conversation.

Step 1: Be a passion detective

Everyone loves to talk about themselves, their ideas, and what they love. All you need to do is find out what someone is into and let them talk about it. Even if it is not something you are a fan of, giving them a chance to talk about their passion will make them feel good, and then you’ll feel good too.

Here are 3 good questions to ask:

  • What do you wish you had more time for?
  • If you could be doing anything right now, what would it be?
  • What makes you jump out of bed in the morning?

Step 2: Find common ground

Finding out what you both enjoy is even better! When two people talk about something they both love, it makes for great conversation and may lead to friendship. You might not figure it out right away. It might take a few tries, so be patient and keep searching by asking questions that lead to that common interest.

For example:

  • What do you usually do for fun?
  • Are you into…? (movies/cooking/gardening/cycling/yoga etc.)
  • Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time… (hiking in the mountains)  Have you ever… (gone hiking in the mountains on vacation)? 

Step 3: Ask conversational questions

Showing someone you are interested in what they have to say means asking really great questions. Asking a great question takes careful skill. For example, if you ask:

Do you like…? Then the answer may simply be  ‘no’ and sadly your conversation ends. And you certainly were not interesting.

Instead, ask questions that avoid yes or no answers open up the conversation. Great ways to start an open-ended question are to use question words, for example:

  • What…? E.g. What do you like about fishing?
  • How…? E.g. How would you love to spend a free afternoon?
  • Why…? E.g. Why do you love yoga?
  • If…? E.g. If you could only choose one fun activity to do for the year, what would it be?

Step 4: Give great answers

In addition to asking great questions, being ready to give great answers really makes you much more interesting to talk to.

We have all been in those conversations where we try to ask questions but get nowhere as the person answers ‘no’ to everything. For example:  When asked “what have you been doing lately?” and the response is “not much”, the conversation really dies, and no one is interesting!

Here are two tips for giving great answers in a conversation:

  • Be prepared to answer, “And what about you?” In other words, be prepared to answer questions that you ask.
  • Use question words (who, what, when, where, why, how, etc.) to think about what to say in your answer and activate vocabulary.

Step 5: Be open to different perspectives

To be interesting in English conversation means going in with an open mind, being ready to hear about different ideas.

If we want someone to leave the conversation thinking we were interesting that means sometimes holding back on our opinions and opening up to hear alternative views.

We can let people feel comfortable in their views without agreeing, here are some techniques to do that:

  • I hadn’t thought of it like that.
  • That’s an interesting point of view.
  • I can see you are really passionate about that.

Step 6: Short and sweet

Finally, keeping it short and sweet is a winner when it comes to being interesting and cool.

Talking on and on when it is your turn to speak is boring. So keep it short and succinct, don’t worry about tiny details, stick to the main points and share the conversation evenly and you will be much more interesting!

After you’ve watched the video and the lesson, it’s time to practice!

Using what you learned, how would you answer these 2 questions:

  1. Imagine, you start talking to someone in a busy cafe. What could you ask to find a common interest?

  2. And with an old friend you know well, what could you ask that could show them you are interested in talking to them?

The best place to share, get feedback, and learn from others in the Confident English Community is in the comment section below. Have a fantastic Confident English Wednesday!

~ Annemarie

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