My little people are talkative souls; a lot of kids are. We’ve never had a problem with communication around here, and they are more than happy to tell me all kinds of things.
Since Ava has turned five, however… well the talking has gone up a notch. Or several notches. Or a whole bunch of notches. (Interestingly, google yielded no collective term for notches. I did check.) There are some days when I think she couldn’t possibly have anything else to say, and yet she does. And don’t get me wrong; I love her and it’s very cute, but I’m starting to believe that when she turned five, her daily word quotient increased from 5000 to 10 000 (based on a scientific average I made up right then), and she now needs to use every single one of them.
Now I’m not as chatty as some (Boatman would disagree), so I’ve been analysing the way Ava speaks, in order to glean some of her information on how to best achieve my allocated daily word quotient. Google believes that as a woman, I should be using between 10 000 to 20 000 words a day, (I wonder how many of those I’m allowed to type?), and with the help of my super chatty five-year-old, I think I’ve almost worked out how to make it.
And, as always, I’m sharing with you. 🙂
Forget 10 000 steps a day- now thanks to Essentially Jess and Ava, you can easily reach your 10 000 words a day, simply by following the suggestions below:
1. Recall past injuries.
If you’re a little lost on where to begin when starting a conversation, this is a no-brainer. Simply think of any time you may have ever hurt yourself in any kind of way. Papercut, grazed knee, that tiny pin-prick of blood that appeared from hopping in the bath that one time — any of them are viable conversation fodder, and will give you something to talk about for hours. Particularly if you’re the kind of person who walks into walls and kicks rocks to get a blog post written.
Pro-tip: to inspire conversation, start your sentence with ‘do you remember when I hurt my knee that one time?’ The person listening is forced to respond, and your ambiguity may help you recall another injury!
2. Talk about movies.
Talking about movies or TV shows is a great way ti boost your word count without thinking too hard. Simply share the entire plot from beginning to end to your captive audience. If you can pull faces and do direct quotes, you’ll be even more popular, and may convince listeners to hear about a second show.
Pro-tip: If you haven’t seen a movie that’s still ok. Chances are you can use any information from its commercial and combine that with something else to make it work. This one is a sure conversation starter because your listener will probably ask ‘what are you talking about?’ Don’t worry: that’s just code for, ‘this is a great story. Please keep going!’
3. Talk about your interests.
People want to get to know you, and what better way to do that, than by telling them everything you’ve ever liked, and why. That last part is the most important and is what is going to boost your word count the most.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider the following: flowers, the sky, beetles, the colour pink, the pattern on your leggings, your best friend’s puppy (even if they don’t have one), and your favourite smell. Honestly, the world is your oyster! And if you don’t like oysters, say that too!
Pro-tip: Try comparing something you really like, with something you only like a bit, and then give a dissertation length speech on your reasoning. It’s amazing how much of a discussion can arise from comparing pink and purple.
4. Ask questions.
If the person you’ve been talking to non-stop for the last three hours seems a little quiet, it means they’ve done excellent listening, and you should reward them with a chance to speak. Try asking some interesting questions, to get them involved. Don’t worry that it will cut into your talking time: asking questions can give you extra fodder. Our favourite suggestions include:
- What time is it?
- Which way is left?
- How long until we get there?
- What’s your favourite colour?
- Do you remember that time I hurt my knee? (this one lets you circle back to injuries.)
- What’s your favourite name?
- What are you doing?
Pro-tip: If the person you’re speaking to doesn’t give you an opportunity to steal the conversation back, ask these questions while they are occupied, especially with something important like driving. One word responses are much more likely then.
5. Talk about song lyrics
This is our favourite. Even if you’re five, you can talk about song lyrics. There is nothing people like more than hearing your views on what a song really means. Even if you’ve got the words wrong, it doesn’t matter. So long as you’re sharing your unique thoughts on what those words could possibly be, you’re boosting your word count, and that is what really matters.
Pro-tip: if they haven’t heard the song, sing it. Who doesn’t love to be serenaded?
6. Vague it up.
Sometimes you’re tired, and you feel like you’ve used all the words you know, but you’re still short on your daily allocation. Never fear, because you can always substitute the word ‘thing’ for an actual word with meaning. Next time you’re running short on sentences, try the following:
“You know the thing with the thing? Well I went on that, but then my foot got stuck on the other things, so I got that person to help me get the thing to help me off the thing.” If that doesn’t start a conversation and boost your word count, nothing will.
Final pro-tip: Practice saying things differently. Words are so much fun. The best thing about them is that if you’re really clever, you can make them say the same thing, but in a different way. Test your listener’s
patience hearing, by saying the same sentence three times but use different words each time. It’s great fun and an awesome way to really engage in conversation with someone.
And there you have it. 6 child tested ways to help you talk more in any given day. Good luck with it. 🙂
Do you have kids that talk non-stop?
Do you know what the collective term for notches is?
Which way is left?
Remember that time I hurt my knee? 😉