IELTS Speaking Part 2
Describe a conversation topic that you were not interested in (Film – Sports – Games)
You should say:
- Who you talked with
- When you had the conversation
- What the topic was
And explain why you were not interested
While some might consider me a chatterbox, there are certain “dead-end” topics that I would rather watch paint dry over talking about them. So, this chat which did not interest me in any way whatsoever, took place at my family’s New Year’s Eve Party some moons ago.
Most things that happened that day are now just a blur, but I still remember how I was in the living room greeting my relatives when I came across Mia, who was this distant cousin of mine. I was ecstatic to catch up with her and since Mia has always been fanatic about movies, the first thing that she shared with me was her current obsession – The Twilight Saga.
I thought the name rang a bell, but not until she gave me a summary of the plot did I realize that I knew the movie and read the entire original series ever since high school. So after 5 minutes of her talking about how a drop-dead gorgeous vampire fell in love with a literal wallflower human girl, I could already recite in my head the whole movie’s content. I continued to smile and nod to show my attentiveness, but the longer she spoke, the more I was zoning out.
Moreover, it didn’t help that I was incredibly underwhelmed by this book and its movie franchise. Thus, the last thing I wanted to do was to listen to one of my dearest relatives wax poetry about something that I dislike with a passion. I kept trying to politely divert the conversation to a different topic, but my effort was in vain because Mia just did not realize how bored out of my mind I was and gleefully continued to go on and on about this movie and its two protagonists for the next 15 minutes.
Finally, to save myself, I volunteered to help out in the kitchen after telling Mia how glad I was that she enjoyed the movies. Basically, listening to Mia talking about Twilight felt the same as when I watch detective movies after being spoiled by the final culprits – there is little thrill and excitement left. This, along with the fact that I find the saga a perfect archetype of cheesy, stereotypical and subtly misogynistic media, kills all my interests.
While not a really memorable topic, I realize from the experience that no matter what, you should always remain respectful towards people’s preferences, since whatever brings people joy should be celebrated no matter what.
IELTS Speaking Part 3: Conversation
1. Why do people feel nervous when they are giving a speech to others?
Well, speech anxiety is quite a universal phenomenon, isn’t it? So obviously, there could be a multitude of reasons depending on differences in cultural backgrounds and values. However, I believe that this anxious feeling boils down to the common overestimation of risks involved in public speaking.
What I mean is people usually associate speech-giving with embarrassing and at times, humiliating experiences in which they fail to get their message across, or accidentally doing something that could cost them their reputation or credibility. Oftentimes, exaggerated negative views of oneself, namely “Oh, I am never good at speaking in front of a crowd”, or “People will find this boring” could also aggravate the anxiety a person experiences when giving a speech.
2. How can people improve their public speaking skills?
Hmmm, I am still overcoming my own fear of public speaking, so I may not give the best advice. Personally, what works well with me when I have to do any kind of presentation is meticulous preparation and a clear, captivating delivery. A quintessential task is to research your audience and decide on a topic that would potentially be what they are concerned with.
And what would constitute captivating delivery? Visual aids such as flow charts and pictures, as well as a well-projected voice and relaxed body language would make a big difference, in my opinion.
3. Can you suggest any methods that would help reduce nervousness?
I think there are many different types of anxiety coping mechanisms. First, it can be quite useful to take a step back from the problem causing you nervousness by, say, practicing yoga, listening to music or participating in any sports.
If this is not a viable option, consider taking deep breaths and counting to 10 inside of your head to give your brain a new, harmless task to focus on, as this shall help you regain your composure. Talking to close friends and relatives, or professionals such as therapists and psychiatrists can also provide people with a healthier outlet of stress.
4. Is it good for people to visit schools and give a talk to children about different things?
To be honest, “different things” sound pretty vague, so I cannot say for sure. You know, some topics may not be children-friendly, and the difficulty in finding proper delivery for these very special audience groups can be quite challenging.
However, one definitely cannot deny the positive influences this may bring. I think if schools can choose a suitable speaker and topic that are intriguing and easy enough for children to absorb, this could become a rewarding experience, in which the young kids may come back home equipped with new knowledge and skills, or change their thoughts on some important issues.
5. What type of person is best suited to give a talk to a group of students?
Well, first off, it must be someone whose expertise in a matter or a field is extensive enough to deliver a speech. While students may not be that demanding of an audience group compared to, well, academically-acclaimed adults, I do think students would be much more attentive if the speaker provides well-founded information. Another thing is a good sense of humor. A witty, entertaining talk usually receives more complimentary feedback from students.
Finally, as controversial as this opinion of mine might be, students generally connect better with people roughly their age, so a younger speaker might be more suited to talk to these students.