Jan 17th 2019

Simple Ways to Keep a Conversation Going

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Keeping a Conversation Going can be a Challenge

Humans spend a significant time of their lives conversing and interacting with each other. It helps us learn and develop to become productive members of Society. However, while basic skills for interaction are of crucial importance every time, there are also instances when there is a need for better speaking skills. This includes keeping a conversation going, as this kind of skill allows us to build trust with one another. This is not easy though especially when talking to someone new. Constraints in time, energy, and even familiarity with one another could prove to be a hindrance to keeping the conversation going for a longer period of time. In the next section of this article, six useful tips to keep a conversation going would be discussed in greater detail.

1. Ask Questions

There’s nothing more effective to keep a conversation going, than to ask a question. In most cases, the interaction between individuals are cut short with the lack of reason to hold a conversation with one another. By asking questions, you’re stimulating the one you’re speaking with to find topics that both of you are interested in. This becomes the reason for conversing with one another. Take note, however, that it is important to be mindful of the person that you are talking to. Some questions might be a sensitive topic to talk about. Some example of this are past memories of a loved one who passed away, boastful remarks, and any other topics that would make the other person uncomfortable.

2. Listen Actively and Intently

Listening actively and intently is another critical aspect to keep a conversation going. Humans possess the innate desire to be heard about their own opinions. In line with this, it only makes sense to keep listening to them diligently and sincerely. This would make the other person feel that he is important and that his opinions matter to you. In turn, this would also stimulate him to become more open and conversant. Aside from this, listening to others actively is also another way to learn more about life. In other words, this would not only ensure a longer conversation but also a beneficial takeaway on your part.

3. Improve Non-verbal Abilities

It is well-known among all of us that non-verbal abilities are critical in the speaking with other people. This allows you to complement what you are saying and possibly reach your audiences in a much deeper manner. However, there are also times when we forget how important this is and take it for granted. Some non-verbal cues such as frowning, crossing your arms, and looking away from the other speaker often are just some of the cues that are guaranteed to cut the conversation short. These make the other person think that you are not open to conversing with them in the first place.

4. Ask Open Ended Questions

Asking questions that are answerable by only ‘yes’ or ‘no’, is one of the ways to kill the conversation. It does not give any room for the speaker to reflect deeply of your question. Moreover, asking close-ended questions is like interviewing them, which is another way to cut the conversation short. Asking open ended questions also shows others that you are interested and putting effort in the conversation. This would prompt them to do the same.

5. Apply your General Knowledge

Most people want to talk with someone who knows about the things that are happening around them. This gives both you and them more topics to talk about, as well as the desire to learn more about the opinions of others. In line with this, it is essential to learn more about the outside world in order to make sure that conversation is interesting. Only after this, can you talk about all kinds of topics under the sun such as politics in Ghana, custom essay writing service, and even levels of poverty in Asia. Conversing in all these topics is made possible, by having an up to date knowledge of the world around you.

6. Teach

As stated previously, knowing about the world around us is one good way of coming up with conversation topics However, in some cases, it would also be best to impart this so-called knowledge to the one you are speaking with. Take note that this must be done through short-comments during the conversation and not like teaching someone in the classroom. This should also not be intended to boast or to demean the other person. Rather, teach them in a way that would not offend them and with the intent of imparting knowledge, or correcting some misconceptions that they might have.

Summary:

These are just some of the methods that could help in keeping the conversation going. Of course, just like any other skills, doing this would take some time to come naturally. However, this skill should prove to be helpful in developing both your personal life and your career. Thus, if you want to become better at communicating with others, these skills should help you in doing so.

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Jan 10th 2019

8 Must-Follow Tips for Writing a Personal Statement

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Guest post written by Stacey Wonder.

A personal statement is your voice and your representation in writing. A convincing application can’t exist without a powerful personal statement, which is the best way to prove you’re a suitable candidate before having a chance to meet with the committee members in person.
It’s not a surprise that many students face troubles when trying to compose a perfect statement without sounding too cliché. What information should you include in your statement? How do you make it look unique and prominent? What is the best way to introduce yourself?

We have prepared a compilation of the best tips on how to create your personal statement.

Tip 1. Choose Your Words And Tone Wisely

A personal statement is a piece of writing that must act as a reflection of your intellect and good manners. That’s why it’s essential to keep it polite, brief and informative.
While trying to impress admission officers, many students use complex sentences and pretentious wording. However, this almost never proves a winning strategy. Simpler is always better in this case. When your personal statement is easy to read and digest, you have better chances of being approved.

Try to avoid using trite phrases. University staff read tons of applications every day, and according to their words, most of the personal statements look the same due to common sentences like:
“I have a passion for studying,” “I am a responsible and patient student,” “I am very excited to become your student,” etc.

Tip 2. Be Honest

A fancy statement is what many applicants go for, trying to make themselves look better than they actually are. Don’t lie in your statement and don’t try to embellish the truth. Be honest and speak about the things which really matter to you and what your qualities really are.
Of course, you shouldn’t talk about every little detail of your life or include lists of your worst habits and features. Nevertheless, telling lies in your personal statement always leads to more lies in the future.

Tip 3. Think Through the Opening

The first few sentences should give a reason to keep reading your personal statement. If the beginning is powerful and catchy enough, it will positively affect your application.
The right sentence will most likely come after a few hours into working on your statement. So don’t try too hard to squeeze something out of your brain. Keep the first paragraph sweet and interesting.

Tip 4. Don’t Race

Not setting aside enough time to write your personal statement is not a way to write it properly. The less time you have, the more nervous you will be while creating it. That’s why giving yourself enough time is the best decision.

Don’t procrastinate and start working on your personal statement ahead of time. Do not rush your writing, but think through and reread every sentence. It’s better for you to have it written long before the application day. This way, you will have an opportunity to reread it before sending it in.
Also, you might come up with a good idea a few days after finishing your statement. So, it will be better for you to leave some time for edits.

Tip 5. Focus on Your Strengths

A personal statement is a form of advertisement. You are selling yourself and are trying to show that you are are a better candidate than others. So, while writing your personal statement, remember to describe your best qualities. Concentrate on the best features you have or your significant accomplishments. Talk about them in your statement and add information about what you want in your life, as well as any goals or aspirations you have. This is a perfect way to show that you have both achievements and perspectives for future fulfillment.

Tip 6. Write Several Variants

Writing a few different variations is a perfect way to reach the best results when creating a personal statement. You can choose between them or compile the best parts into one personal statement. Try not to repeat yourself, but write several unique and diverse pieces.

Tip 7. Ask Someone to Proofread

Handing your statement to someone to read might give you a little anxiety, but you shouldn’t be afraid as a third person can give excellent advice. Ask your friends or family members to revise your statement. If you want a more professional opinion, you can ask your school teacher or freelance writers from platforms like EssayTigers to edit your personal statement.

Tip 8. Keep It Simple

It might appear hard at first, but you can do it. Remember to keep a positive mood and don’t panic. Outline the main ideas and key points. Start with several sentences about yourself. Add the qualities that you are proud of and projects you were involved with. Keep the information relevant and readable.

Don’t leave writing your statement to the last minute and don’t clutter your statement with irrelevant information about yourself. Research what skills the chosen course is looking for and what qualities it demands. Remember, that you need to give a good first impression and a brilliant personal statement is a way to do it.

 

About author: Stacey Wonder is a freelance blogger, and a content writer. She usually writes on education, self-development, career, writing and other topics. When not busy with her projects, Stacey creates detective stories.

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Dec 20th 2018

How to Overcome the Fear of Speaking in Public

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Guest post written by Bob Williams.

 

Almost 25 percent of people face the need to conquer the fear of demonstrating their verbal pyrotechnics in front of others, be it in a lecture hall, a classroom, or a school lobby. Being able to offer ideas and deliver information in front of an audience is a very important skill. All students should work hard to master their communication skills to be able to achieve their educational and career goals.

While fear is a primal instinct that helps people navigate dangerous situations, it can also stand in the way of many students’ plans to succeed both academically and professionally. When scared, people fail to share their brilliant ideas, prove their statements, present effective solutions to important problems, etc.

There are many reasons why speakers struggle with fear. In this article, we will talk about how greatly our emotional dispositions, acts, and lines of thinking can change the amount of anxiety we face. Below, there are some steps to take to deal with the fear of performing in front of others.

Start With Small Discourses in Front of Your Family

Those who haven’t gained a solid experience in speaking publicly should start by preparing small speeches that are easier to deliver. Find your listeners and practice. Keep in mind that without much practice, you have few chances to become a good speaker, and a big talk should be preceded by a series of rehearsals.

Before performing in front of many, ask your family to pretend to be your auidence. When taking the floor, look into their eyes and try to establish a rapport  with them to calm yourself down. As soon as you increase your confidence, you can try participating in front of a bigger group.

Learn Your Topic Thoroughly

Nothing works better at reducing anxiety of taking the floor in front of a big audience than knowing your topic to a tee. Many students experience a strong feeling of fear if they lack subject knowledge. They are afraid of being confused in front of their teachers and peers.

Therefore, it is of a great importance to get ready for an upcoming event thoroughly; otherwise, there are high chances of getting confused during delivery. If you know what your talk is about, are able to answer any question related to your topic, then you will see your fear quickly disappearing as soon as you start your speech.

Avoid Overlearning

Developing strong speaking skills has nothing to do with memorizing the whole text word-for-word. When students are required to give a presentation, it is better for them to remember its key points backed up by some examples. You can order a Power-Point piece from Pro-Papers, or you can do it on your own and involve some visuals in your presentation, such as charts and images. These elements can be put to good use when you need to recollect the forgotten materials and provide your recipients with additional items to put their focus on.

Relax to Reduce Tension

It has been shown that speakers feel the strongest sense of anxiety the minute before they take the floor. To reduce stress, it is vital to relax. There are many methods, and if you know how to use them, you will be able to influence your breathing and heart rate, as well as relax your body.

Visualization of positive outcomes can help you to reduce your self-doubt and emotional stress in some ways. Bear in mind that keeping a positive outlook is crucial as, without it, it is easy to lose your train of thought.

Decide on Your Time Slot

Prior to your presentations it is usually pretty easy to arrange with your peers the order in which all of you will make speeches. While some students feel less fear when taking the floor first, others may feel less stressed when delivering a speech last. Take this into consideration when planning your performance.

Interact with Your Recipients

Don’t turn to monologue speeches. When taking the floor, try to interact with your recipients. Asking some queries can help you to entertain your recipients and eliminate boredom. Having your audience engaged will give you a chance to pull yourself together if something goes wrong.

Try concentrating on your talk and your recipients rather than the level of your anxiety. The more you worry about your emotional state, the more scared you will become. Thus, if you concentrate on your discourse and your listeners, you are more likely to interact with the latter and get them involved in what is going on the stage.

In conclusion, it makes no sense to avoid situations that scare you. Trying to avoid giving speeches can hamper developing strong speech habits. You will always stand in awe of taking the floor unless you do well at it. Thus, in order to fight your anxiety, don’t stop rehearsing. Use every chance to give a speech and consider it as another step towards boosting your verbal pyrotechnics and fighting your fear.

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Dec 13th 2018

5 Common Myths about Learning English

Guest post written by Mary Whitman.

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Some people are successful in learning the English language, others are not. There are many reasons for this, including motivation, time, and effort. But, the biggest factor of them all is the understanding of the learning process.

‘’To be a successful learner means to debunk the myths about learning English. If you believe in the untrue statements related to the learning of the English language, you won’t have the motivation and readiness to learn the language yourself. ‘’ – explains Bob Hylon, writer at AssignmentGeek.

There’s plenty of untrue, irrelevant, and bad information about language education. If your excuses for not learning English are related to the usual common myths, you need to bust through them and start to actually learn the language. A successful student possesses the motivation because they don’t believe in these myths.

To assist you in this endeavor and to help you speak fluent English, I am including a short list of the five most prevalent myths out there.

1.   You are too old to learn English

No, you are never too old to learn English. This is one of the biggest misconceptions, since no research supports such thinking. You don’t have to be a young learner to be a successful learner. In fact, some researchers found out that adults did better when they learned English in terms of pronunciation.

A neuroscience professor in Barcelona thinks that adults have the advantage when it comes to some specific aspects of the learning process, such as learning the vocabulary, which results from their wider knowledge of the vocabulary in their mother tongue.

Surely, there is research that proves the very opposite – that children master the learning process faster than adults. This might be truth in some sense, but the fact remains – you are never too old to learn English.

2.  You can only be fluent if you LIVE in an English speaking country

Untrue.

Getting immersed in a second language is truly the fastest and most efficient way to learn it. Living in a country where people speak the English language does make it easier, but you don’t necessarily have to live there to become fluent.

With technology, it is now possible to get virtually immersed in another culture and language. You can use technology to communicate with someone who is a native in the language or practice with other students.

Not only that. Practicing with a teacher, peers, or simply listening to people speaking the English language will help you improve your speech in the language.

3.  You cannot speak fluent English without a large vocabulary

It is only natural for a non-native speaker of the English language to not have the usage of a large vocabulary. However, considering that the English language is very large and still growing, not even native speakers possess enough vocabulary to state: I know English perfectly.

With this being said, you don’t need to have a perfect vocabulary to speak fluent English. In fact, most of the language used in conversation is repetitive. People tend to use the same couple hundreds of words on daily basis, even if their vocabulary is much bigger.

So, if you have a vocabulary of roughly one thousand words, you can get through a conversation without stumbling on each word phrase. This is something you can achieve in a period of two years or less.

The key to this is to start speaking the language as soon as you start learning. When it comes to learning a different language, practice makes perfect.

4.  Technology makes it pointless to start learning a second language

Or third, or forth.

No, this isn’t true. The use of Google Translate simply does not suffice. If you believe that apps can replace the human knowledge of a language, you cannot be more wrong. Learning a different language is never pointless.

If you approach this with the thinking: why would I learn another language when I can just open an app and make it translate everything for me, you will never learn the language. This myth is seriously flawed because technology cannot replace humans when it comes to knowing, speaking and translating a language.

No app is of such high quality as a human translation. In most cases, the results will be incorrect, confusing, or incomprehensible. You’ve surely heard of many instances where automated translation caused confusion and even problems.

Secondly, you might use technology to translate, but never to interpret. You won’t really be able to communicate face-to-face with a machine or app that replaces human knowledge of a language. Even if it could, what kind of conversation will it be if you have to talk through a voiceover?

And finally, there’s the fun and the fulfillment. If you use machines to replace learning the English language, where will you get the fun and fulfillment of learning it on your own?

5.  It takes a lot of time to learn the language

Learning English does not take forever. There is no such thing as a hard language if you truly want to learn it. Even at a slow pace, dedication can let you reach extremely high levels of proficiency within a short time-frame. The estimate for a pace of half an hour daily would range between four to five years of study.

But, there isn’t really a reason to debate the time necessary for you to learn the language. This will depend on your willingness to learn, the time you can spend on learning it, as well as the program. But, the fact remains that learning a language is nothing different from learning anything else, in the sense that if you want to learn it, it won’t take forever to do so.

It will take you a while and you will have to dedicate your time and efforts to this goal. Time will pass, but it will definitely not be too long or forever. Furthermore, seeing that this is a great language and universally used to communicate, learning it will be a great achievement for you, and a practical step to take.

Don’t let myths pull you back. If you want to learn English or any other language, there isn’t a good reason to stop you from doing so. Neither age, vocabulary, and definitely not time. The secret behind being a successful language student is motivation and understanding of the process. Naturally, this includes knowing of the myths and the real stories that debunk them. We hope that our article helped clear things up.

About author: Mary Whitman is a Master of Arts based in Adelaide, South Australia. At her odd moments, she is taking full advantage of creative writing and blogging.

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Dec 10th 2018

7 Proven Ways to Learn More English Words in a Week

Guest post written by Samantha R. Gilbert.

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Learning English is highly essential nowadays. According to studies conducted by Worldmeters, 1.5 out of 7.5 billion inhabitants the Earth speak English. English is one of the most prominant international, worldwide spoken languages, and the means of grasping new information. To immerse in today’s globalized world, you should develop an extensive knowledge of the English vocabulary.

Don’t worry! English is simple, fun, and easy to comprehend! If you want to enhance your English vocabulary, you should try using these seven methods we’ve provided for you.

  1. Keep a Vocabulary Journal

Studies at Science Direct have shown that keeping a vocabulary notebook to track your vocab acquisition is a highly useful tool to develop and helps to enhance the English learning process. Here are some quick tips on how to get started –

  • Buy a small notebook or journal.
  • Divide the newly acquired vocabulary into different groups – for instance, make clothing types one group, food another group, and English greetings your third group. Keep adding words to each group as soon as you encounter them.
  • Write down the meaning of each word. Then come up with a sentence that includes the newly acquired word.
  • Add as many words as you can to your list! Keep the notebook with you all the time and review the new terms.

Tip – leave enough space between words to have a clearer visual image and be able to add synonyms and antonyms later.

  1. Use the New Words Constantly

If you do not gradually integrate the new words into your vocabulary, chances are you’ll forget them. So, make sure to –

  • Conversate as much as possible, whenever possible, and with whomever possible
  • Reread your wordlist at least two or three times per week
  • Create a new list of the words that you have difficulties remembering and review it constantly

Tip – getting real-world exposure is one of the most efficient and fastest methods to acquire further English skills. Attend Meetups hosted by English-speaking individuals, search for conversation buddies online, or travel to an English-speaking country! Remember, practice makes perfect.

  1. Learn while Having Fun!

Another method to expand your vocabulary skills is to play online games in English. Here are the best ones that will serve you well –

  • Wordshake
  • FluentU
  • ESL Crossword Puzzles
  • Online Scrabble
  • League of Legends
  • VRChat
  • The Grammar of Doom

No matter what your interests are, you can always find an exciting online game for every one of your hobbies. Next time you feel like relaxing or taking a quick break from your studies, have some fun while playing English games.

  1. Use These Apps

You can find numerous educational apps that will help you develop your skills quickly. For instance, Duolingo is “an excellent English learning app that helps cover a lot of material for English learners of all levels and learn new words fast.” But there are others as well –

  • Memrise
  • Busuu
  • Qlango
  • Babbel
  • Rosetta Stone
  • LearnEnglish Grammar

Find the app that suits your interests best and try it out. You might be surprised by how quickly you’re going to master the English language.

  1. Use Dictionaries

Dictionaries are vital tools for any foreign-language student. They can help you find the adequate translation of a word or sentence you did not understand, check the spelling of different terms, check their plural or singular forms, find grammatical mistakes, look up collocations, or improve your pronunciation.

Know when to use the dictionary! Looking up every single new word you hear will be a waste of time, and you’ll end up exhausted and burnt out. Before searching for a term, make sure you have made the effort of initially guessing its meaning first. Then try using it in the context to see if it makes sense. If you figured out the pattern, there is no need to look it up in the dictionary. This practice will save you precious time.

  1. Start Writing

Write, write, write! Write as much as you can. Allow a considerable amount of time daily to practice this important skill. When we write things down, things start getting more explicit. We spell the words that we’ve learned, understand their roots and possible conjugations, and gain substantial knowledge – all at the same time. Besides that, we correct our grammar mistakes and fix our punctuation errors.

If you are uncertain on your writing abilities, you should have your work checked by a cheap essay service professional. Getting feedback is extremely valuable when working on your vocabulary enhancement.

  1. Read as Much as Possible

The more you read, the more material you discover. The more material you discover, the more words you can encounter. It’s as simple as that. Read as much as you can, whenever you can. However, be sure you –

  • Choose the right books for your level
  • Pick the authors that you are actually interested in
  • Use context to understand basic words and fragments before using the dictionary
  • Start with short stories or novels

Wrapping Up

Learning a new language can be difficult, but with the right resources and a proper mindset, nothing is impossible. To learn English vocabulary faster, remember to keep a vocab journal, use the new words regularly, play fun games online, try out educational apps, use dictionaries when it is the case, write and read as much as possible! Keep your head up and your motivation intact. You can do it! Good luck.

About author: Samantha R. Gilbert has been working as a journalist at an online-publishing agency in New York, USA for 2 years. She is also professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, modern art and education. Meet Samantha on Twitter.

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