Showing interest in a conversation

Please, don’t you ever follow this shirt with that rude tip on!

Showing interest in a conversation reinforces people talking to you. We all like to think that we are interesting. It is important to let others feel the same way.

Click on the icon to listen to a programme explaining how to show interest in an informal conversation. Check the script if you have problems to follow it.

So, how can we show interest in an informal conversation?

1. Body language. Well, you can start by simply smiling or nodding occasionally but it’s also important to encourage the speaker to continue with some verbal comments as explained in the listening.

2. Use questions. One way to show interest is by asking clarifying questions. These types of questions also prove that you are listening.

You can also use reply questions. These are not real questions since you are not looking for any extra information. They are formed of Auxiliary/modal verb + Subject , and are used to show interest or surprise. They always have a strong RISING INTONATION. Look at these examples:

Sentence Showing interest
I’m going see the new James Bond film next week. Are you?
I try to go to the gym at least twice a week to keep fit. Do you?
Last week I was in Thailand for a work conference. Were you?
I went to see my grandmother in the country last weekend. Did you?

3. Use interjections and expressions that show interest, such as…

My boss told me today she was giving me a big pay rise. Wow!
Did you know that she’s getting married next week? Really?
I’m going to start working on that new project in India next month. Mmm, that’s interesting.

4. Provide feedback to make sure you understand what is being said. Paraphrasing is a good way to check you are following your speaker.

“What I’m hearing is…”, “So, you mean that…” and “You are saying that…” are great ways to reflect back.

This entry was posted in Face2face Intermediate, Speak Out Intermediate, Speaking & Pronunciation, Textbook, Vocabulary. Bookmark the permalink.

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