For high school students

When you’re in high school, good conversation skills are important. What good is your bright idea if you’re not able to express it? What good are your nights of reviewing if you’re too shy to recite in class? Having good conversation skills will help you express yourself better and make you more confident. And because of that, you will be more active in classroom discussions, rate better in terms of school performance, and ultimately, get higher grades, says AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center tutor Tine Tria.

If you often struggle to describe your ideas, can’t find the best words to use, or always hesitate to share what’s in your mind, here are some tips on how to improve your conversation skills, shares Teacher Tine.

Always practice. A basketball player needs to regularly practice to be better at the sport. Same thing with you, you always need to put your conversation skills to work to sharpen them and help build your confidence in speaking. Take time to engage someone in a conversation. After the class, tell your teacher how much you enjoyed the lesson. During break times, talk to your classmates about the book you are currently reading. Practicing will not only improve your conversation skills, it will also contribute to your information bank as you exchange insights with someone else.

Develop your vocabulary. Read a lot. When you come across unfamiliar words, look them up in the dictionary. Remember their meanings and usages, and try to use them in your conversations as often as necessary. It may sound a little forced at first, but after a while, as you grow familiar with them, you will be more comfortable using these words.

Be precise. This is why you need to enrich your vocabulary. The more words you know, the more accurately you can convey your thoughts and ideas. Don’t just tell your literature teacher you like how Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables; tell him exactly how vivid and real the characters seem to you. Recreate the picture you have in your mind in the minds of your teacher and classmates through words.

Learn how to listen. In conversations, listening is as important as talking. Listening doesn’t just mean hearing what others have to say; listening means paying attention and trying to understand the message. When your classmate is suggesting how you should keep the classroom tidy, don’t butt in. Concentrate on what he’s trying to point out, so that you’ll know how to respond when it’s time for you to talk. Remember, listening is one way of showing your interest and respect.

Take note of how you speak. Even if your idea is interesting, it will seem boring if you sound boring. The key here is to liven up your voice. Vary your pitch if you want to emphasize an idea. Change your tone if you’re shifting emotions. Also, don’t speak too fast. Speak slow and clear.

Be confident. Whether you are reciting or just making a suggestion, make sure to show that you know what you are talking about. Even if you are not sure, be confident just the same. Try not to get nervous. When you are confident of yourself, people will also put their confidence in you.

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