Conversation Skills: DON'T BE SHY!
Hi, there. My name is Ronnie. Today, I'm going to teach you something very fun and exciting
and important. It's how to improve your speaking. Whether you're speaking English or whether
you're doing public speaking in front of people or whether you're just speaking to a neighbor,
someone on the bus, someone in a store, or a taxi driver, you might be shy. What does
"shy" mean? "Shy" means you don't like -- or you're nervous -- to speak to strangers or
to speak to other people. So if you are naturally a shy person, I'm sure you've heard people
over and over again say, "Don't be shy! Come on. Don't be shy!" Easier said than done,
isn't it, shy people? So I want to give you some tips or some pointers maybe to help you
to be less shy. It's impossible to be 100 percent outgoing if you are naturally a shy
So today's lesson is how you improve your speaking. Don't be shy!
The first thing that you have to do is think about why. "Why am I shy?" There may be many
different reasons. I'm just going to go through a couple of them. The number one reason, probably,
if you're watching these videos, is because you are trying to speak a new language. Maybe
it is English. And you are shy to make a mistake. You don't want to say something bad, funny,
rude, embarrassing. You don't want your face to go red and they'll go, "Ha ha! You said
a funny word!" Okay. That will happen. And you know what? Who cares? It happens all the
time. I say funny things a lot, too.
Another reason why you may be shy is because you "talk funny". Lots of people have different
problems with their mouths. Some people have a speech impediment. Some people have a lisp,
so they don't pronounce words probably like me. Maybe you have a very strange or different
accent than the other people around you. People often ask me, "Ronnie, where are you from?"
And I say, "Canada." And they say, "No, you're not." "Yes, I am." "But you have an accent."
"Yes. I have an accent. I talk funny. Who cares? I'm from Canada. Nice to meet you."
So even if you do talk funny or you do have an accent, rock with it. Yeah. You speak differently.
Good. Don't be like other people. Other people are boring.
This is a problem. Maybe you just don't like to talk. Okay? Maybe you are quiet. Maybe
you don't want to talk to anyone ever, at all. That's cool. If you don't like people
and you don't like to talk, don't force yourself to talk. Maybe you could write something.
Maybe you could text message or email someone. But that's not going to improve your speaking.
If you do not like to talk to people, that's your choice. But I'm trying to help you overcome
your shyness. So let's go through a couple ways to actually do this. Don't be shy!
Just say, "Hi!" So if you're standing at a bus stop or the subway station or anywhere,
and there's another human being beside you -- let's say that you're at a bar, and there's
a beautiful girl or a very handsome boy. The quickest, the easiest, and the best way to
speak to someone is just to say, "Hi! My name is Ronnie." Don't use "Ronnie", though. That's
my name. You have to use your name. So just say "hi" to people. If they want to speak
to you, they will start the conversation. They will say, "Oh, hi. My name is --. Nice
to meet you." "Oh, nice to meet you, too." Uh-oh! And then, your shyness sets in because
-- "What do I say? Shoes. I have shoes. Do you have shoes? Oh, God. I'm such an idiot.
I can't even speak." Maybe the other person will have asked you a person. You can always
ask people basic questions, like, "Where are you from? Why do you talk funny? Why are you
shy?" All those fun questions.
When you're actually speaking to someone, it's really important that you choose a topic
that you like. So if I were to meet someone -- "Hi. My name is Ronnie." "Hi." "Cool. So
-- oh, I like music. Do you like the Sex Pistols?" "Yeah." "Me, too. Oh, my God. No way! What
other kind of music to you like?" So I like to talk to people about music. The only problem
is not a lot of people like the same music I do. So you have to choose a topic that you
like to talk about. If you're lucky, the other person will also like the topic.
The next one: Get a job. Now, this might be very strange for you to even comprehend, but
I -- right here -- am shy. When I was a child, I wasn't shy. I would do anything and go anywhere.
But as I got older -- high school, university -- I just didn't want to talk to people. I
think people are boring, and I'd rather think by myself and think about things. So I became
shy. I didn't want to talk to people. People would talk to me, and I'd rather be, like,
"I don't know what to say. Hi." One thing that I did do when I was in high school, I
got a job as a waitress. Gulp. So guess what. Every time somebody came into my restaurant,
I had to talk to them. I had to be nice to them. I had to smile. I don't want to smile,
but I had to. Getting a job where you have to talk to people, like being a waiter or
a waitress, even something in the back like working in a kitchen, working in a store -- if
you can get a job where you are forced to talk to people, I guarantee you, you will
overcome your shyness because you are forced to talk to people. Please also be careful
-- people are boring, as I mentioned before.
The next one is: Get a dog. "Get a dog? What? Are you going to talk to the dog?" No. But
guess what? I don't know why, but people who have dogs always like to talk to other people
who have dogs. For example, in the morning, when I walk my dog, people talk to me about
stupid things about my dog. "How old is your dog?" "Who cares?" "What's your dog's name?"
"Why? Are you going to send it a birthday card?" Okay. People that have dogs are usually
friendly, and it forces you to interact with other people. Sometimes, people ask me questions,
and I say, "Yes. Seven. Good. Okay." And I just stare at my dog. "Come on, dog. Come
on, dog. Let's go, dog. Come on. I don't want to talk to these people." But getting a dog
will help you walk around the neighborhood. It will help you talk to people. It's an interesting
idea that if you have a cat, or if you're a cat person, you're shy. But people that
have dogs are usually -- but not always -- more friendly. Are you a cat person or a dog person?
This is one of my favorite things in the world, ever. Travel. Okay? Leave your house; get
on an airplane -- get some money, first; get a job; get some money; jump on an airplane;
and go traveling. Do it alone. How scary! If you travel by yourself without anyone -- that
means alone -- you are forced to talk to people. You're going to be lonely. You're going to
want to talk to people. You're going to go to restaurants by yourself and sit there and
look at the menu all alone. You're going to see other people talking, and you'll go, "I
wish I had a friend." All you have to do is talk to people. Say the magic word, "Hi!"
And start a conversation. When you travel, you're forced to talk to people. When you
check in at a hotel, when you take a bus, when you're asking for directions. And I guarantee
you will make some really good friends. You'll probably meet a lot of crazy people, too.
And last, but not least, when you're traveling alone, when you have a dog, when you're at
your job, get drunk. Oh, yeah. There's a reason why alcohol has a name, Like "Six-Pack Attack"
or "Liquid Lunch", because when you drink actual -- "Social Lubricant" is a good one.
When you drink alcohol, you are not as shy as you were. Now, I am being a little bit
sarcastic when I say, "Get drunk." If you have one or two drinks, you're going to feel
less shy. When I write here, "Get drunk", I don't mean, like -- and throw up. That's
not cool. Nobody wants to talk to you. So have one or two alcoholic drinks -- or just
some coke -- and you will become less shy naturally. It will happen. It's fun.
Are you shy? Don't be shy. Follow these tips. Figure out why you are shy. And please, write
in the comments and tell me why you are shy. Maybe I can help you. Maybe I can't. Maybe
you're just shy. If you are, good luck. Bye.