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Everyday English 1
Everyday English 1

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4.6 Encouraging others

You may be in a discussion where one person sits quietly, saying nothing. You may know the person and know that they have some views on the subject or some experience to share. Or you may not know what they have to contribute, but you’re aware that they’ve not spoken.

The short video below shows different ways that you can encourage someone to speak in a discussion.

Download this video clip.Video player: 13_vid_encouraging_others_master.mp4
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The points made in the video are summarised in the box below.

Ways of encouraging others to speak during a discussion

  • Address them directly and invite them to share their experience. ‘Martha, tell us about your experience with …’.
  • Address them directly and ask what they think. ‘Gary, what do you think about …?’
  • Use less direct, more subtle way of giving them a chance to speak:
    • catch their eye just as you finish what you’re saying
    • give a little nod in their direction
    • open your hand towards them
    • smile towards them.