Sunday, 18 September 2016

10 ways to have a better conversation


Time:  60-90 minutes

Notes:  I've used this several times in a speaking/listening class, and it is really popular with the students!  The group discussions are especially productive.

1.  Students take out a piece of paper and list the numbers 1-10.  Tell them they are going to listen to a TED talk called '10 ways to have a better conversation' and they should listen and try to write down the ten ways.  Just a list, no detailed notes necessary.  If they don't know what a word is, they just write what they hear.

2.  Play the TED talk '10 ways to have a better conversation.'  Link below:

3.  In groups, students compare their lists and try to come up with a master list of all the ten ways.

4.  Display the list of the ten ways (see below).

5.  Go through the list, students take it in turns to read an item from the list, look at any new vocabulary words, ask students to give examples of each item on the list.

6.  Students return to their group and each group chooses the most important 3, ranked (first, second, and third) in order of importance.  They prepare a short presentation for the rest of the class, summarizing their choices and why they chose that order, giving examples.

7.  Group presentations.

Ten ways to have better conversations:
1.  Don't multi-task.
2.  Don't pontificate (everyone you meet knows something you don't).
3.  Use open-ended questions.
4.  Go with the flow (don't stop listening to plan what you will say next)
5.  If you don't know, say you don't know
6.  Don't equate your experience with theirs
7.  Don't repeat yourself
8.  Stay out of the weeds (details)
9.  Listen
10.  Be brief

Favorite Quote:  'Most people don't listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.'

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