Tips for starting a conversation in English | Speak New York

Starting a conversation in English can be intimidating, especially if English is not your first language. However, there are several tips and tricks that can help you break the ice and start a conversation in English confidently. In this blog, we’ll explore some of these tips and give you practical advice on how to initiate a conversation in English.

Start with a simple greeting

The easiest way to start a conversation is by greeting the other person. A simple “Hello, how are you?” or “Hi, how’s it going?” can go a long way. Remember to smile and make eye contact to show that you’re interested in talking.

Ask a question

Asking a question is a great way to start a conversation because it shows that you’re interested in the other person. Try to ask an open-ended question that encourages the other person to talk more. For example, “What do you do for a living?” or “What brings you here today?”

Comment on something in the environment

If you’re in a social setting, commenting on something in the environment can be a good conversation starter. For example, you could comment on the weather, the décor, or the music. This can lead to further conversations about shared experiences or interests.

Use small talk

Small talk is a great way to start a conversation and build rapport. Try to find common ground with the other person by talking about neutral topics like hobbies, sports, or movies. You can also comment on something you have in common, such as being in the same class or having the same job.

Pay attention to body language

Body language plays an important role in communication. When starting a conversation, pay attention to the other person’s body language. Are they open and approachable, or do they seem closed off? Adjust your approach accordingly, and try to mirror their body language to build rapport.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Speaking a second language can be nerve-wracking, but don’t let the fear of making mistakes hold you back. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s part of the learning process. If you make a mistake, don’t be afraid to laugh it off and keep the conversation going.


Listen actively

Active listening is key to successful communication. When starting a conversation, make sure to actively listen to the other person. This means focusing on what they’re saying and responding appropriately. Try to avoid interrupting, and ask follow-up questions to show that you’re engaged in the conversation.

Keep the conversation going

Once you’ve started a conversation, try to keep it going by asking open-ended questions, sharing your own experiences, and actively listening. Remember to smile and make eye contact, and don’t be afraid to show your personality.

Be respectful

Respect is an important part of communication. When starting a conversation, make sure to be respectful of the other person’s opinions and beliefs. Avoid controversial topics or anything that might be offensive, and try to find common ground instead.

Practice, practice, practice

The more you practice, the easier it will become to start a conversation in English. Try to practice with friends, family, or colleagues, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. The more you speak, the more confident you’ll become.


In conclusion, starting a conversation in English doesn’t have to be intimidating. By following these tips and practicing regularly, you can build your confidence and improve your communication skills. Remember to be respectful, actively listen, and keep the conversation going. With a little practice, you’ll soon be starting conversations in English with ease.

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