g, and Ending
Tips on Getting Started
Observe the person you want to
Make Eye Contact
Position yourself at a comfortable
Starting a Conversation
Mostly we start a conversation in
one of 5 ways:
Asking a question
Commenting on something in the
Giving a general greeting (e.g.
Making a personal remark
Think of 5 opening lines for a
Starting: Choosing Topics
Try to find a topic you have in common.
(Small talk helps with this)
Get the other person to talk about
Introduce a topic so they know what you
Ex. “Let me tell you what happened”
Determine if you have enough time to
fully discuss a topic
Avoid subjects like
money, salary, rent, cost of
possession, religion, etc.
Continuing: Take Turns
Listen to your partner (instead of
worrying what to say next)
Show you are listening by nodding and
making eye contact
When they appear to be finished
talking, wait a few seconds before
Ask follow up questions related to the
topic of conversation
Try to talk less than half the time and
encourage sharing of ideas
Continuing: Changing the
If you want to change the subject/topic
of the conversation, let the other person
Ex. “there is something else I wanted
to tell you about”
Or, use a phrase like “on a different
You can also look for connections
between the current topic and the one
you want to discuss.
Ex. “speaking of ____, I wanted to let
you know ___”
Practice Changing Subjects
1. You are speaking about pets and you need to
change the subject to books
2. You are speaking about jobs and you need to
change the subject to cars
3. You are speaking about movies and you need to
change the subject to homework
4. You are speaking about class and you need to
change the subject to parents
5. You are speaking about favorite hobbies and you
need to change the subject to work
6. You are speaking about apartments and you
need to shift the topic to the weather
Check for your partner‟s physical and
verbal reactions to your topic.
You may need to switch topics, adjust
your tone, or clarify.
Be aware of time. There may be signals
that it is time to end the conversation.
Ending a Conversation
If your partner seems like they still want to
talk, explain why you have to leave.
Bring another person into the conversation
and excuse yourself
Use a closing phrase that signals you need
to end the conversation.
Ex. “I really enjoyed talking to you” or “It
was nice to see you again”
Think of 3 possible reasons that you
might to explain to someone that you
need to end the conversation.
Think of 3 statements to signal that you
need to end a conversation.
Have a conversation with someone in
After about 5-10 minutes, close the
Take notes about any potential trouble