Have you ever had a situation where you were asked a question and you just…… froze. You try to speak on the first thought that comes to your head, but you do not have enough points to talk, and you feel embarrassed and defeated. For every speaking topic there is endless content, YOU have the potential, but you are unaware of the ‘other’ routes to decipher the topic.
We always encourage our students to think ‘out-side the box’ be different, make up a beautiful story
IELTS Speaking topics can either be your best friends or your worst enemy, depending on the angle you look at the question. We always encourage our students to think ‘out-side the box’ be different, make up a beautiful story. Because at the end, who does not want to hear a good story.
Take for example, the topic on Art (more rather drawings or paintings). For a student who has never been to an art gallery or been half as interested in art in school, would at the first instance, freeze at the topic. But if you take a step back, and re-think the topic, you would have come across countless master-pieces of art, but have no clue that you can talk about them.
The classical example we tell students, is to think of ‘Sigiriya’, the frescos on the wall is legendary, and for most Sri Lankan’s it is a common site, ‘That is ART’, the tattoos you have on your body or have seen is ART, graffiti is ART, mehendi is ART, the little drawings your children, siblings or friends have done is ART.
But have you ever thought of it that way? I am betting you would never have thought of it that way, if you did, kudos to you. If not, well now you know. YOU do not have to talk about the Mona Lisa or the Van Gogh, (if you can, then you would not be reading this) but rather students are encouraged to talk about anything they can ‘relate’ to.For every question thrown at you, YOU have the ideas, insights in you, it is just that you have not ever thought of it that way.
YOU do not have to talk about the
Mona Lisa or the Van Gogh
PREPARATION, during the 1 minute that you have for preparation time, how do you manage it?
- Do you start writing a speech (trust me, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE) or/and
- Do you contradict the answer or thought you have (for example- Mona Lisa or Van Gogh?)
The question for IELTS speaking already gives you a head start, with the 3 questions that is asked. Think of it as a 100 m sprint, and you are pitted against Usain Bolt. There is no way that you will ever win that race, BUT, if you were standing at the 50 m mark, well….. You might have a chance of getting over the finish line, before BOLT takes the win.
Think of it as a 100 m sprint, and you are
pitted against Usain Bolt
It is the same with the IELTS Speaking, with the 3 questions that come with the statement/main question of what you have to speak, you are half-way through. Use those questions to your advantage.
What we also tell students is to draw MIND MAPS, which is an easier way of organizing thoughts and ideas and to get a clearer picture of what you will be talking about.
In addition, you will have to be confidant, in your speech, always show a happy face when you are talking. Remember 85% of your speech is BODY LANGUAGE, and you have to use hand gestures and facial expressions, I do not mean to throw your hands in the air like a mad-man or to over do it on the facial expressions. Think of your examiner a long lost friend, someone you have not heard or seen in a while, but yet is a friend. The tone of voice is also a crucial factor. Not too sad, not too chirpy and cheery, but a moderate tone of voice.
Remember 85% of your speech is
To sum up, here are the points that YOU must focus on to nail that IELTS Speaking test,
- Prepare during the 1 minute by using Mind Maps and use the 3 questions to your advantage
- Think out-side the box (you have all the points and insights with you, tap into that)
- Hand gestures
- Facial expressions
- Voice modulation
Remember, that your ability to use the English language is what is tested in the IELTS exam.