Centre for Continuing Education

The Art of Good Conversation Course

English. Develop your command of the English language with us.

Learn English the smart way with English courses at CCE, the University of Sydney.

Our lives are shaped by the conversations we have: every one of them can open up new possibilities and further horizons. In this course you’ll find out how to start a conversation and how to make it enjoyable and rewarding. We’ll explore and practise these skills and find out how to have conversations that broaden our curiosity and deepen our relationships. This engaging course combines theory and practical exercises and is must for those yearning for more than just small talk!

Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Exhibit in their own conversation the most important conversation skills, particularly the skills involved in listening.
  2. Outline the role of conversation in happiness and self-creation.
  3. Explain the role of successful conversation in the conduct of relationships.
  4. Instigate and conduct exploratory conversations.
  5. Demonstrate the ability, through conversation, of encouraging the growth of oneself and others.

Content

This conversation course covers the following topics:

Meeting 1

  • Our lives are made by the conversations we have
  • Conversation and happiness
  • How conversation can change your life
  • Conversational sins
  • Conversational virtues
  • What we talk about has much to do with where we place our attention

Meeting 2

  • Relaxation
  • Listening
  • Sharing and self-disclosure
  • Open-ended questions
  • Asking the second question
  • Enjoying difference
  • Relating from your vulnerability

Meeting 3

  • Rhythm
  • Tone
  • Conversation in groups
  • Conversation as exploration
  • Our models of conversation
  • Agenda
  • Humour
  • Finding positive meanings and benefits in your daily experiences

Meeting 4

  • Getting in touch with your feelings
  • Humour (continued)
  • Small talk and how to start a conversation
  • Your body language speaks before you do
  • Take the risk to be the first to say hello
  • Response
  • Good humour
  • Seek conversations with a wider group than your peers

Meeting 5

  • Good humour
  • Encouragement, reframing and perception switching
  • Enlargers and diminishers of life
  • Receiving a compliment
  • Negative capability-suspending judgement
  • Existentialism
  • In conversation we are constructing ourselves
  • Remaining eager to enlarge the possibilities of life

Intended Audience

This course is suitable for those who are proficient in English and are looking to develop their conversational skills. Please note this training course is not designed to assist non-native speakers develop their English speaking skills.

Delivery Style

This course is delivered as a series of interactive workshops which involve group activities designed to develop your skills associated with having good conversations.

Features

  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • I got so much out of the course – really practical things to keep doing, as well as new ways to think about communicating. Loved the course and sad it has finished.

  • Great course crystallising how to make and grow relationships.

  • It is not an exaggeration to say that this course genuinely, positively impacted my life. I gained new perspectives and confidence while learning interesting, practical and useful knowledge. The lecturer was fantastic at explaining the topics and facilitating discussion, making sure everyone felt welcome and involved. I would not hesitate in recommending this course to others, I believe there is value to be found in it for just about anyone. For me, I only wish it didnt have to end!

  • It’s a great short course to help you understand the importance of conversation and how it relates to our feelings. Good content and presentation.

  • This course was either going to be great or a flop. I’m glad to say it was an absolute winner! I’d like to thank our lovely lecturer. I enjoyed this short course immensely. The tutor has such a lovely way of explaining life and he really facilitated us all to work through the idea of conversations and how they play such a big part in our lives. I’ve left this course after just 4 weeks a more confident person.

  • I didn’t want this course to end!

  • The course was really helpful and the tutor had a lovely manner about them – I thought it very worthwhile.

What others say.

  • The tutor was knowledge, approachable, and passionate about what they were teaching. They shared their knowledge and experience that I can expand on outside of class.
  • The course was very practical. I enjoyed being able to talk to classmates and this has allowed me to learn about conversational skills.
  • The tutor was excellent and I have ALREADY convinced a friend to do this course. I did it on a recommendation and found it most worthwhile. Built confidence and provided useful techniques to practice.