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  • God, I love your lips, Angelina.

  • Hi. James from engVid.

  • I was just thinking to myself, Well, I know it's very difficult to practice English because

  • you don't get a lot of practice with English speakers, but if there were a way I could

  • teach you how to get past "Hello" to make the conversation grow and perhaps have the

  • other person come back and talk to you, that would be a great value.

  • So this lesson is about how to get past "Hello" and make a beautiful conversation flow.

  • All right?

  • I'm going to use Angelina to help me later on when I do an example, but for now I will

  • tell you more.

  • See? He's like, "Tell me more. Hmm. I'm interested."

  • And so am I.

  • All right, so let's go to the board, shall we?

  • I'm going to give you five conversation openers.

  • You've said, "Hello", where do you go?

  • Personally I hate this because I teach and I hear people say,

  • "Hello. My name is James. I am from Japan, Tokyo."

  • The conversation is essentially dead.

  • Dunh-dunh-dunh-dunh.

  • Don't know if that's the wedding theme or the theme from Star Wars.

  • Doesn't matter. You understand.

  • It's killed.

  • Nobody cares.

  • You've said everything that they need to know and then they're done.

  • So why don't we do something that actually gets them to open up and want to tell you information?

  • Okay?

  • So the first one we're going to do is this one.

  • I like this one.

  • It's so easy, it's so true.

  • Look for something that someone is wearing or has that you actually like.

  • You're not going to steal it, so don't think about that.

  • But what I mean is you like.

  • You like the t-shirt, you like the jeans, the ear rings or something, you're like, "Cool",

  • because that would be sincere.

  • "Sincere" means that you really mean it and the person can feel that from you, so they'll

  • want to share with you because you're being honest with them.

  • All right?

  • So we look here, number one, walk up and say...

  • So it's like, "Hello. Love your __________ (jacket, t-shirt). That is so cool."

  • Yeah?

  • "Where did you get them?" or "Where did you get it?"

  • Notice I didn't say, "Where did you buy it?" because some of the coolest things someone's

  • going to be wearing won't be from this country.

  • It might be, "Hey, I was in India and I picked up these beads.

  • Yeah, it was really cool.

  • I was outside this ashram and..."

  • And now you've got a conversation you didn't even know.

  • Or it might be, "Oh, I was in the downtown in the hippie section, you know, and it was really cool, there was all this art."

  • You've started a conversation.

  • If you say, "...buy them?"

  • "At the gap."

  • Finished.

  • So, "Hey. Where did you get them?"

  • Let them say "buy". Don't bring that up.

  • Okay?

  • Follow that up with right away...

  • As soon as you say, "Where did you buy them...?"

  • It's true...

  • It might not be true right now, but it could be true, you say,

  • "Because I really have to get a cool present",

  • or, "...an interesting gift for my nephew/my brother/my sister/my friend."

  • Right? Or girlfriend, whatever, or your wife.

  • By saying that you're saying, well, one thing, you have other friends.

  • But number two, you're giving them, "Cool".

  • You're saying whatever they're wearing is interesting, cool, different enough that it

  • stopped you to talk to them.

  • By example or by extension, that means added on you're saying,

  • "You're kind of cool, too, because you're wearing it

  • and I think it's cool, so it's got to be cool and only a cool person would buy it."

  • Right?

  • This is why it works, you've given them two compliments.

  • Who doesn't want to be complimented?

  • First you're saying I'm wearing something cool, then you're saying,

  • "I need to get something cool, and clearly what you have is cool."

  • I'm probably going to talk to you and go, "Well, you know, thanks for saying that.

  • I liked it because..."

  • And conversation started, and now you have an opportunity to maybe later on talk more,

  • and that's how you get your practice.

  • Number two, how about this one?

  • "Wow, you are __________ (tall)"

  • or, "You have __________ (really bright eyes)",

  • or something that has to do with the physical body.

  • The first one was about things. Physical.

  • Now we want to talk about physical.

  • And you followed that up with, "What do you do?"

  • Huh?

  • Example, you see someone, you go,

  • "Wow, you have amazing skin. What do you do to make it so clear?"

  • Okay?

  • Hmm.

  • Or, "Wow, you're tall. What do you do?

  • Do you play sports or anything like that?"

  • Okay?

  • You follow it up.

  • This is the follow up, as I said, "What do you do?"

  • But why does this work?

  • Now, notice this is green and I have green up here.

  • You probably noticed it but didn't understand why I skipped it.

  • I live in North America and basically I could say this is true for a lot of Western society.

  • We prefer you give compliments on positive things.

  • Being tall is a positive thing in our society.

  • Alex, if you've ever seen him, he's a giant, but I wouldn't call him a giant because that's

  • not necessarily positive.

  • But saying he's very tall, he'll be,

  • "Yes, I am. I'm very tall."

  • Saying, like, "You're this big huge thing", not good.

  • So don't talk about things that might be negative.

  • If someone is very big in weight, but not muscle, fat, you can't say that.

  • They won't like it.

  • Even if you think it's delicious, they won't like it.

  • If you think they're too short, like, "Wow, are you ever small.

  • you are so small I could..."

  • Not a compliment.

  • Okay? So tall is good, bright eyes, good skin, lovely teeth, great hair.

  • You know? All these things.

  • Now, this is physical.

  • Because this is a compliment about someone's style, number one; number two is a compliment

  • about them personally.

  • Now, the reason we don't say negative is you can't do things...

  • If you've got a negative feature in your life, like you're not tall or you're fat, you maybe

  • can't do anything about it, so that's not nice to talk about.

  • But positive stuff-I know, your parents make you tall, but people don't think of that-it's

  • always good.

  • Or good skin, right?

  • Or nice hair style.

  • Okay?

  • Why it works, because you've complimented the person, which is good.

  • You've said, "Look, physically, there's something beautiful about you."

  • But you've also, by saying, "What do you do?" if you talk about their skin, you're saying,

  • "You have a talent" or, "You have a skill".

  • Or if they're tall, you say, "You've got to be playing sports or something."

  • So you're actually saying, "You have actually worked on something."

  • So you're not just saying, "You're beautiful", you're saying,

  • "You're beautiful and you've worked on something."

  • That is good.

  • Okay?

  • So let's go over here, number three.

  • So we got the compliment, we got, you know...

  • We're suggesting you got a talent or a skill.

  • Number three, "I'm loving the cold/the rain/the sun."

  • Duh, James that's the weather, everybody does that.

  • You're right.

  • Everybody talks about the weather.

  • I'm asking you to say something different, especially if you're waiting for a bus or

  • in an elevator.

  • When you say the opposite...

  • Huh? The opposite of what you would think.

  • It's a bright, sunny summer-okay?-but the last two days, three days it's been raining.

  • Nobody wants rain in the summer, but you say, "How you loving the rain? I'm loving it."

  • They're going to go, "Ugh, I wish it was sunny."

  • You go, "Not me.

  • I'm a gardener.

  • I have a garden, and I need the rain.

  • My garden is beautiful."

  • They're like, "Gardener?"

  • You're like, "Yeah, I've got roses..."

  • Conversation started.

  • You've brought in the unexpected.

  • In the winter, people don't like the cold.

  • Right?

  • But you go, "Oh, I can't wait, so much snow."

  • They go, "Snow, it's so bad to work in."

  • You go, "I ski, man, I love to ski and I love going downhill.

  • It's amazing for me. I love skiing."

  • So by suggesting the opposite about the weather, how good bad weather is.

  • Huh?

  • How good bad weather can be, you will find that it makes people go, "What?"

  • They're curious, and then you get to tell them.

  • Now, why it works here is you're sharing something.

  • When we share with each other, we open up to each other.

  • You're telling me something about yourself that isn't:

  • "Hi. My name's James. I'm from Japan."

  • It's like: "Hi.

  • I ski."

  • Woo, that's cool.

  • But if you just said to me: "Hi. I ski."

  • I'd go: "Get away from me, weirdo.

  • Don't talk to me."

  • But by saying something about the weird, I'm like...

  • The weather, which is just weird, I'm like: -"Why would you say this is good weather?"

  • -"Well, I'm a skier."

  • -"Oh, you ski."

  • -"Yeah, I love to ski and this is the perfect weather."

  • Now I've told you I've got a good personality, I'm positive, and I do things.

  • I've shared information and I can ask you to do the same.

  • Cool?

  • Well, if that's all you think...

  • If you're like impressed by this, we've got two more.

  • Are you ready?

  • [Snaps]

  • Well, so we were at three.

  • Let's do four and five.

  • Are you ready?

  • Oh, but before I do I just want to add a little aside.

  • An aside is a comment that's not directly related to the topic, but in this case it

  • has something to do with it.

  • There are two parts of conversation, speaking and listening.

  • I was giving you...

  • Or I am giving you some hints or tips on how to be better at conversation.

  • But if you're really good at the talking and not the listening, it will die quickly.

  • So what we really want to do is emphasize: You're learning English, so you want to learn

  • how to listen.

  • And here's a couple reasons why.

  • You start the conversation, but you should listen more to get a better understanding of English.

  • Because we may not...

  • Well, we don't.

  • We don't speak like the grammar or the vocabulary books that are out there.

  • So for you to listen to English speakers, you start getting on how we're thinking and

  • how you should present the information to people.

  • Okay?

  • So you'll get a better understanding of English.

  • So when it's coming in because you're hearing, you go: "Oh, they don't say that.

  • They say other things, like: 'Whatda ya'", and there's a video I got on that

  • so check that out.

  • "Whatda ya mean? Whatda ya say?" Okay?

  • The other thing is to catch the other person's interest and

  • have the other person be able to have another conversation.

  • If you do all the talking, I'm going to think I've heard all I need to hear and I don't

  • need to talk to you anymore.

  • You told me everything.

  • But if you're actively listening to me and asking questions because you're listening

  • that have to do with the information I'm giving you, I'll probably say:

  • "Hey. This was really cool.

  • Let's have coffee later or let's meet up another time."

  • Right?

  • And that's what we want to do.

  • So we're here: Have...

  • Okay, have another conversation, ask questions, listen more than you speak.

  • Listening more than you speak is a skill most of us don't have.

  • I'm guilty of it.

  • But if you actually get this skill you can become actually a better conversationalist

  • and learn a lot more.

  • Right?

  • Cool, so I've just given my little speech for listening.

  • Now let's go back to what you really came here for, conversation.

  • Right?

  • Number four, you can walk up and say:

  • "Hmm. Hi.

  • Tell me: How would you finish this phrase? I want to be the very best..."

  • Now, a friend of mine said: "Okay, dude, that's really, really corny." "Corny" means not cool.

  • "Nobody's going to do that."

  • I went: "Ah-ha, but the surprise..."

  • See? Surprise.

  • No one does it, so when you do it, you can say anything after that, like:

  • "Oh, I've got to do an interview for work", or what have you.

  • You can follow up with that, but the whole thing is somebody asking you that question

  • is like: "I want your opinion."

  • I didn't write it here...

  • Oh, I did. Good. Surprise, but I didn't write the second part.

  • By saying: "I want your opinion", I'm saying you are