Lesson Plan: How to have a better conversation

Lesson Plan: How to have a better conversation

Lead in: Who do you know who you have good conversations with? What about bad conversations? Why do you think they are good or bad?

  1. Hair salons. When you go to the hairdresser’s or the barber’s, do you like to chat to the people there? Why/ why not?

Listen to this podcast, 0.00- 2.11. What advice does the hairdresser have? DO you think that it’s good or bad advice?

2. Advice for having a good conversation. What advice would you give? Of the following, what do you think is advice for having a good conversation?

  • Eat in moderation
  • Be present.
  • Try to go with the flow
  • Don’t pontificate!
  • If you don’t know something, just say that.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stay out of the weeds. 
  • Try not to repeat yourself.
  • Be brief!
  • Take breaks

3. Listen to 2:11- 6:04 What does Celeste Headlee say about conversation?

Are the following true or false?

  • Celeste has always been good at conversation
  • She thinks we are getting worse at conversation.
  • Twitter teaches us to be combative
  • Our brain recognises social media as genuine conversation

Discuss: Do you think people are getting better or worse at conversation? Do you think social media helps or damages this?

4. Listen to 6:04 – 8:00. What four pieces of advice does she have?

Match the following sentences:

But being present involves to use open-ended questions.
I know it makes you feel good, go with the flow of the conversation.
In other words, actually giving someone your focus
Another one is but it only makes you feel good for a very short span of time.

Do you agree with these tips?

5. Listen to 8:00- 9:50. What advice does she mention?

Complete these sentences with the following words: shorter, too, try, going, anymore

  1. No one does that _________________.
  2. It means they’re giving us ______________ many details.
  3. Another one is to _____________ not to repeat yourself.
  4. People’s attention spans are short, and they’re getting ______________.
  5. So listening is hard, and it’s _____________ to require energy and focus.

Discussion: Looking at the 9 tips she gave about conversation, which do you think are the most important? Which not so much? Which are you good at? What are you not good at?

6. Fill out this quiz to find out if you are a good conversationalist:

As you read through these 10 factors, how good a conversationalist are you? Would you like to upgrade your skills at the art of conversation?
Score yourself:

0=Rarely or never


2= Often

3=I’m excellent at this, doing it consistently

__1. How often do you use the two magic words How and What?

__2. How well do you listen? Do you digest aloud and build on what you heard?

__3. How consistently do you avoid but, using and or and at the same time instead?

__4. How consistently do you express what is, avoiding negatives like isn’t or don’t?

__5. How well do you monitor for symmetry of air time?

__6. How often do you ask questions about the other person’s life, viewpoints, and interests?

__7. How well do you balance giving information and asking questions?

__8. How sensitive are you to when a friendly interruption can add energy to a conversation?

__9. How well do you sit or stand tall, and connect with your eyes, ears, and brain as well as with words?

__10. How interested in others and in the world are you?

Your conversation skills score
How did you do in this assessment of skills? If your total score was 20 or above, you are probably in good shape. The closer you are to 30, the better you are as a conversationalist.

7. Practice: Choose 2 or 3 of these conversation starters. Practice them with your classmates: https://www.vixendaily.com/love/the-best-conversation-starters-youll-ever-need/2/

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