Conversation skills are one of the most popular topics to teach as etiquette expert.

Parents want their children to have this as a life skill. Teachers see the need in the classroom – both virtually and in-person.

Corporations are shocked their new hires are lacking this skill.

Schools are re-opening.  As an etiquette expert waiting in the wings, are you prepared?  Do you know how to teach conversation skills?  Do you have ideas on how to role-play this with students from preschool to high school?

Why Are Conversation Skills So Important for Etiquette Coaches to Teach?

The human connection has never been so important.  We need it.  Children need it.  Many of us have taken it for granted. 

Many schools are re-opening.  Parents are looking for ways to supplement their children’s education. Yesterday, I was able to connect  a parent looking for a private instruction for her seven-year-old daughter to one of our licensees.

Teachers and schools are looking for outsiders to provide content and programming either virtually or in-person.

Teaching Conversation Skills Are Important Because:

  • Parents want their children to learn life skills and manners to function as healthy happy adults
  • Children needs these skills to cultivate friendships
  • Children feel confident when they are able to connect and participate socially
  • Conversation skills allow us to self-express
  • We can share our sense of humor through our conversations
  • We make a human connection through conversation

As An Etiquette Coach Here is How You Teach Conversation Skills

Isn’t it special to have someone be fully present with you- especially with all the distractions we have today?  To have a conversation with an adult or a child is something to behold these days…a conversation without interruptions or to look down at our phone. 

My most popular topic when teaching business etiquette in the workplace is The Art of the Human Connection. The art of having a conversation, is a lost “art”.  We are so consumed with social media that often we are so buried in it we miss out on so many opportunities.  Often, it is the first request I have from a human resource director to discuss the basic skills of conversation to their team.

Take time to have conversations.  Life is fuller when you have this social skill.  You actually become interesting.  A child learns so much about life when they hear adults engaged in a conversation.

5 Tips to Teach Children to Have a Conversation
  1. Eye contact: This is a social skill that is so very important.  By making eye contact, it shows someone that you are interested.  It sends a message that you are confident.  Point this out to a child.  Explain why this is important.  Take the opportunity to talk about confidence and how it feels.  Get on their level.  Literally!  Get down on your knees if necessary and make eye contact with them.  
  2. Teach children to listen to others: Another important social skill is to listen. Tell them it is alright for there to be silence when having a conversation.  This is the time to practice sharing-sharing the space to tell ideas and experiences.
  3. Ask questions:  By asking questions, you show others that you are interested in their experiences. Ask a child questions.  Explain to them that you are having a conversation. Encourage your clients to try this around the family meal.  
  4. Phone skills:  The Wall Street Journal  had an article about answering the phone.  Remember when we were growing up and we took messages for our parents?  With smart phones, this most likely is not happening. This was a great way to teach conversation skills.  It is still important for children to know how to answer a phone and converse.  Practice with them during your manners class.  Turn on your speaker phone so your children can hear your conversations. 
  5. Read a story.  After reading a story, talk about it with your students..  Did they like the story?  What was their favorite part?  

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