As a certified and trained etiquette expert, you can teach conversation skills to children and adults.
How do you teach the students in your manners class the gift of having a conversation? To have a conversation with anyone, an adult or a child is something to treasure these days…a conversation without distraction.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.
You can customize the Manners To Go modules and lesson plans to teach this important topic in your manners classes. Life is more interesting when we engage in conversations. This is a very important life skill for your students. Actually, we all become more interesting. A child learns so much about life when he/she hears us conversing with others.
5 Tips to Teach Children to Have a Conversation
- 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 your students. 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.
- Teach them “active listening skills”: 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. Tell them to put away their phones, iPads, laptops make eye contact and really listen to what the other person is telling them.
- Ask questions: By asking questions, we show others that we are interested in their experiences. Ask the students in your manners program questions. Explain to them that you are having a conversation with them
- 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 our phones today, this most likely is not happening. This was a great way to teach conversation skills. It is still important for your children to know how to answer a phone and converse. Practice with relatives. Turn on your speaker phone so your children can hear your conversations.
- Read a story. After reading a story during to your students. Did they like the story? What was their favorite part? Tell them what you liked or what you learned from the story. Ask them to share their story with you.
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