THE ART OF CONVERSATION
Alex and Chris love to chat for hours on the telephone. Their favourite topic is their neighbours. Here is an example of the two of them gossiping on the telephone. “Did you see the new couple who moved in next door to me? Do you think they’re married? You know, last night they were having a terrible argument. They were shouting at each other so loud I could hear almost every word through the walls. So I think they must be married, don’t you? He’s very handsome don’t you think? And have you seen her car? Must be rich. And you know something, else, either she’s a little fat, or I think she’s going to have a baby.”
For the fiftieth time in his life Professor Marchant stood up to give his lecture on the causes of the First World War. He started, “Today I’m going to discuss with you the causes of the First World War…” Soon, as usual, most of the students were sleeping. The students who were awake could not take good notes, because they could only hear clearly one or two words in every sentence. You see, Marchant was not only boring, but he mumbled a great deal when he spoke. It was as if he always had a potato in his mouth when he was speaking.
For the first time in his life, Mr. Parrot had to give a speech. His daughter had just got married and there were a hundred guests at the wedding party waiting to hear his words. He had practised his speech for hours until he could say it perfectly and he had five pages of notes to help him. He stood up and started. “Th-th-th-th-thank you f-f- f-f-f-f c-c-c-c coming”, he stuttered, and then sat down very red in the face.
The two boys sat whispering to each other at the back of the classroom. They were having a very interesting conversation about football, girls, parents and even school. Meanwhile, Mrs. Garret talked and talked and talked about William Shakespeare. At the end of the lesson, Mrs. Garret looked at the two boys and said, “Next time you have a conversation in my class, please don’t whisper. Talk a little louder so that we can all enjoy what you are saying”.
What is your art of conversation?
Would you like to give us some advice how to become a perfect speaker?