The 36 secrets to SPEAKING Advanced English in conversation
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THE 36 SECRETS TO SPEAKING ADVANCED ENGLISH IN CONVERSATION
If you struggle with English conversation and find yourself getting embarrassed because you can't express yourself well or don't know what to say...
.... your day is about to get better.
There's nothing worse than finding yourself in an English conversation and, because you don't know what to say, just nodding and say nothing but, "Yes, yes... yes...".
The confused look on people's faces when you fail to communicate well in English...
Being asked, “Could you say that again?” multiple times....
Thinking back over your conversations again and again, hours or even days afterwards... wishing you'd said things differently.
Look, not being able to speak well in conversation will destroy your confidence. But it goes further than this. Not being able to speak clearly in conversation can also directly affect your ability to perform well in your work.
You are not at the limit of your skill in your profession...
... you are at the limit of your ability to communicate that skill.
Over the years I've consistently found this to be true.
The biggest breakthroughs in my life have almost all come as a result of having conversations with the right people.
A great example of this is a research project I did in 2015. The project got presented at the prestigious AAAL conference in Chicago, and later was published by the #1 ranked journal for Applied Linguistics.
But that project almost never happened. I needed a school to participate in the research, and even after a whole year of contacting schools I couldn't get anyone interested...
Then I got chatting to someone at a conference, and one week later got permission to research at his school.
Research. Jobs. Business. Day to day life.
It's all the same.
"Someone who is diligent, but shy, may go unappreciated,” says Psychology Today, going on to say if you want to get ahead in your job you need to prioritise social events that give you a chance to meet and talk with people.
It's not just about feeling better...
... but DOING better in life, too.
But when English is your second language, this is hard
Recently someone asked on Quora:
"How do native speakers truly feel when speaking with non-native English speakers?"
More than 100 people responded, and the majority were quite positive. Many people commented they enjoy talking with people from different cultures and hearing about different ways of life...
BUT ー many of the same responders also said it's important your English conversation is good enough to have a good conversation.
People said they feel frustrated when you speak very slowly and spend a lot of time forming your sentences because it makes it hard to enjoy the conversation.
Many others said they feel embarrassed to ask you to repeat something you've said when they don't understand your English.
Others said they feel the conversation can be too shallowーyou lack understanding of the subtitles of English conversationーand many others said they get tired trying to keep their English simple and worry you don't understand them.
Another important thing that came out of those Quora answers is this: people don’t like to be used for “practise”. They want to have real, engaging, two-way conversations with you.
What this means
People who truly master the art of conversation are masters of the English language. But that goes beyond the simple words, phrases and expressions of the language.
Being advanced in conversation means being able to use the English you have really, really well. Yes, keep learning more. No problem with doing that. But always remember knowing what to DO with language to get the things you want to do done is much, much more important than just learning more.
That means understanding the dynamics of a conversation (the things you do to keep the conversation moving, and moving in the right way).
Do you have interesting things to say?
Value to add?
Do you know how to make a conversation flow without becoming silent and awkward?
Do you know how to open a conversion well?
Or indeed, end it well?
Do you know how to make what you're saying interesting and easy to understand for the listener?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, read on.
This is where my Small Talk Superhero course comes in
Small Talk Superhero - The 36 Secrets to Advanced English Conversation dives deep into what it means to become an advanced English conversationalist.
Here's What You'll Discover
- The 36 essential secrets to really using your English in conversation (no more struggling to keep a conversation going or watching people's attention slip away).
- The truth of all English conversation (there is one reason we have conversations, related to how human beingsーand every living thing on this planetーhas evolved).
- The reason we find silence uncomfortable (and how to easily fill it without sounding silly).
- A 'weird' Japanese small-talk topic and an Indian "compliment" that'll leave most women shaking with anger.
- How to start a conversation with anybody like a pro ー even if they're a complete stranger (and one simple "trick" that makes you really easy for anybody to speak to).
- The Golden Rule of all casual conversation (I'll tell you this now ー the most important part of any conversation is not starting it, or even speaking and understanding well during the conversation… no; the most important part is FINISHING in the correct way... if you can finish well, every conversation will be a "good" conversation, and everyone will remember you as an excellent speaker of English... finish badly, and the opposite is true).
- What to do when you’re talking to someone who just won’t. Shut. Up. (this was originally a question asked by one of my EES members - she said often people would talk to her, and she'd be busy and have to go... but she just couldn't find a way to get rid of them ー here's how).
- Never make someone feel like they are “suddenly alone” in a conversation.
- How to show you’re listening, you understand, are interested and build extraordinary rapport with a person you are talking to.
- The “Game” I play every time I speak to someone new (this allows me to have a fun, interesting conversation right now, but it also ensures I’ll be able to “pick up” the conversation later AND it means I can easily introduce that person to a third person if I need to... which is an excellent way to build my own social-status).
- How to “think like a kid” to ensure every conversation you have is a learning experience (and enjoyable).
- The types of questions you should absolutely avoid (especially with people you are meeting for the first time, but also anyone else you speak to).
- Good questions to ask.
- The ULTIMATE question (warning: don't use this if you want the conversation to end quickly; you might learn waaaaaay more about the person than you expected).
- Why "taboo" conversation topics are not taboo (and how to use them effectively and appropriately).
- How to "add colour" to the language you use (native speakers do this all the time, often without even realising).
- The "Walter Mitty" method for always having interesting topics to talk about.
- How to make your conversations pop in a way that makes you super memorable (in a positive way).
- How to vary your speech so you don’t sound dumb by repeating the same thing again and again and again and again (I'll share with you a powerful exercise guaranteed to ensure every conversation you ever have is better than anything you've ever had before).
- The controversial way to draw massive attention to the points you want to make (warning: this is very advanced).
- The secret to Extraordinary English Conversation (get this, and you’ll never snuggle with speaking English in casual situations again).
But this isn't just about information
You can't get good at speaking English in conversation just by watching the videos or reading the manual.
Small Talk Superhero is what I call a "Task Focus" course.
You've actually got to practise what you learn in real-world conversation. This is why I've added exercises and tasks to complete for each of the 36 points.
It's hard work.
You'll need to step out of your comfort zone.
But do the work and you'll have a skill that will stay with you for life.
What you get
- The Small Talk Superhero Home Study Course, including the 36-day follow up plan to ensure you practise everything you learn and get good at it).
- Instant (and lifetime) access everything to the whole course online via the Extraordinary English Speakers website.
- The course consists of videos, the Small Talk Superhero implementation manual, audios, and a ton of supplementary reading material and supplementary lessons to study.
- A 30-minute one-on-one sessions with me (at the end of the course) to answer any lingering questions you may have about speaking English in small talk and conversation situations.
Here's How the Lessons Work
This isn't a course that claims to teach you English conversation... but actually just teaches you a load of grammar rules and words that you'll never be able to use.
Small Talk Superhero is about execution.
Learning how native speakers really use their language in conversation... then mastering it yourself with highly-targeted practise exercises (don't worry ー you can do these in secret and nobody needs know you're doing it).
The process is simple, but devastatingly effective, because it actually gets you doing things in your conversations.
The problem with the way most people practise is that it's fake ー you learn with a teacher or speak with a conversation partner, but then that's all you can do.
Fake practise doesn't work.
It's like learning to fight by punching a pillow at home... then getting beaten up on the street in a real fight.
If you want to master conversation...
... you've got to practise in REAL conversation.
Who is Small Talk Superhero for?
- People who use English in work and international business ー especially if you deal with or entertain clients and regularly meet new people (but also if you speak English in the office with co-workers and colleagues).
- Academics or skilled experts who present their research or area of expertise and attend conferences, symposiums etc.
- People who live in an English speaking country and regularly talk with people in English in conversation.
- This is NOT for you if you are learning English as a hobby or don't actually use English in day to day life.
A fair warning
Look, I'm not going to lie: this course is hard work.
If you do the work, you'll transform your English conversation. You will speak with confidence with people, whether in business, at events or in every day social situations. You'll never be stuck with nothing to say, or left stood feeling stupid and embarrassed about your English.
But it is hard work.
And it's hard, uncomfortable work. Extraordinary results don't come from mundane methods. You're going to have to step outside of your comfort zone, and I've got no intention of listening to excuses.
Yes, most people see a boost in their proficiency just from watching the training videos. But long-term results come from applying using the exercises I give you.
And I demand you do the work.
For that reason there are strictly no refunds on the course. I only want people who are serious about mastering the art of advanced English conversation to join: so if you're not sure, don't.
- STS Supplementary Lessons: when I originally did the STS event, I used 19 lessons from my Extraordinary English Speakers course as examples of the principles we discuss. these are all the lessons used as examples in the course ー these 19 lessons are included here for an extra 9+ hours of training.
- I've also included a second supplementary lesson set based on English for academic conferences. These were made after STS, and so aren't mentioned in the course at all... but if you use English for academic conferences you'll find them very useful (there are 7 of them, so that's about 4 hours of extra lessons).
- Tip-Top Chit-Chat with Business Owner and Civil Engineer Tim Fitch: this is an interview I did with a good friend of mine. In this interview we talk about relationship marketing and how chit-chat and small talk plays a part in that, attending black-tie events, networking and the role of social media in businesses (Tim, for example, regularly does deals of 50k and above with people who find him on LinkedIn).
- Tales from the Desert – Shooting the Breeze with the Queen Bitch of Everything (aka Kat Smith): Kat is one of the best storytellers I know. Listen carefully to the way she talks in conversation, and learn.
Own it now for only €550
+ VAT where applicable
Some Common Questions
How long will it take me to complete STS?
That's really up to youーits a self-paced courseーbut right at the beginning I challenge you to do the whole course in either 36 days or 36 weeks. You will see a boost in your conversation skill right from the first lesson, however, because each lesson is a new "skill" that you learn, practise and master.
Can I use STS if I don't use English in my life?
You can, but personally I wouldn't bother.
The point of Small Talk Superhero is to master a skill that can be used in your social and professional conversations... if you don't have conversations in English, you don't need that skill.
Got a question? ー firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2019, Northbrook Languages Ltd.