≡ Menu
Julian Northbrook

Harsh Reality ー

You are not at the limit of your skill. You are at the limit of your ability to communicate that skill.

Over the years I’ve consistently found this to be true.

The biggest breakthroughs in my life have almost all come as a result of having conversations with the right people.

A great example of this is a research project I did in 2015. The project got presented at the prestigious AAAL conference in Chicago, and later published by the #1 ranked journal for Applied Linguistics. But that project almost never happen. I needed a school to participate in the research, and even after a whole year of contacting schools I couldn’t get anyone interested… then I got chatting to someone at a conference, and one week later got permission to research at his school.

Research. Jobs. Business. Day to day life.

“Someone who is diligent, but shy, may go unappreciated,” says Psychology Today, going on to say that if you want to get ahead in your jon you need to prioritise social events that give you a chance to meet and talk with people.

But when English is your second language, this is hard.

Recently someone asked on Quora:

“How do native speakers truly feel when speaking with non-native English speakers?”

More than 100 people responded, and the majority were quite positive. Many people commented that they enjoy talking with people from different cultures and hearing about different ways of life… but many of the same responders also said that it’s important that your English conversation is good enough to have a good conversation. People said they feel frustrated when you speak very slowly and spend a lot of time forming your sentences because it makes it hard to enjoy the conversation. Many others said they feel embarrassed to ask you to repeat something you’ve said when they don’t understand your English. Many others said that they feel the conversation can be too shallow–you lack understanding of the subtitles of English conversation–and many others said they get tired trying to keep their English simple and worry you don’t understand them.

This is where Small Talk Superhero comes in

This course dives deep into what it means to become an advanced English conversationalist.

Here’s what you’ll learn

  • The truth of all English conversation (there is one reason we have conversations, related to how human beings–and every living thing on this planet–has evolved).
  • The reason we find silence uncomfortable (and how to easily fill it without sounding silly).
  • A ‘weird’ Japanese small-talk topic and an Indian compliment that’ll leave most women shaking with anger.
  • How to start a conversation with anybody, even if they’re a complete stranger, like a pro (and one simple “trick” that makes you really easy for anybody to speak to).
  • The Golden Rule of all casual conversation (I’ll tell you this now ー the most important part of any conversation is not starting it, or even speaking and understanding well during the conversation… no; the most important part is FINISHING in the correct way… if you can finish well, every conversation will be a “good” conversation, and everyone will remember you as an excellent speaker of English… finish badly, and the opposite is true).
  • What to do when you’re talking to someone who just won’t. Shut. Up. (this was originally a question asked by one of my EES members – she said often people would talk to her, and she’d be busy and have to go… but she just couldn’t find a way to get rid of them ー here’s how).
  • Never make someone feel like they are “suddenly alone” in a conversation.
  • How to show you’re listening, you understand, are interested and build extraordinary rapport with a person you are talking to.
  • The “Game” I play every time I speak to someone new (this allows me to have a fun, interesting conversation right now, but it also ensures I’ll be able to “pick up” the conversation later AND it means I can easily introduce that person to a third person if I need to… which is an excellent way to build my own social-status).
  • How to “think like a kid” to ensure every conversation you have is a learning experience (and enjoyable).
  • The types of questions you should absolutely avoid (especially with people you are meeting for the first time, but also anyone else you speak to).
  • Good questions to ask.
  • The ULTIMATE question (warning: don’t use this if you want the conversation to end quickly; you might learn waaaaaay more about the person than you expected).
  • Why “taboo” conversation topics are not taboo (and how to use them effectively and appropriately).
  • How to “add colour” to the language you use (native speakers do this all the time, often without even realising).
  • The “Walter Mitty” method for never having nothing interesting to talk about.
  • How to make your conversations pop in a way that makes you super memorable (in a positive way).
  • How to vary your speech so that you don’t sound dumb by repeating the same thing again and again and again and again (I’ll teach you a powerful exercise you can use to ensure every conversation you ever have is better than anything you ever had before).
  • The controversial way to draw massive attention to the points you want to make (warning: this is very advanced).
  • The secret to Extraordinary English Conversation (get this, and you’ll never snuggle with speaking English in casual situations again).

But this isn’t just about information

You can’t get good at speaking English in conversation just by watching the videos or reading the manual. You’ve actually got to practise what you learn. This is why I’ve added exercises and tasks to complete for each of the 36 points. It’s hard work. And you’ll need to step out of your comfort zone. But do the work and you’ll have a skill that will stay with you for life.

Who is Small Talk Superhero for?

  • People who use English in work and international business ー especially if you deal with or entertain clients and regularly meet new people (but also if you speak English in the office with co-workers and colleagues).
  • Academics or skilled experts who present their research or area of expertise and attend conferences, symposiums etc.
  • People who live in an English speaking country and regularly talk with people in English.

Important Details

  1.  “Action Taker Bonus” – after you complete all the Action Steps, you get a 30-minute Skype call with me to make sure all your questions are answered.
  2. You’ll be able to access everything online via the Doing English Academy and the course consists of videos, audios, transcripts for those of you who prefer to read and of course the 36 Point Action Plan.

Finally, a fair warning

Look, I’m not going to lie: this is hard work. It’s uncomfortable, and you’re going to have to step outside of your comfort zone. I’ve got no intention of listening to excuses, which is why there are no refunds on the course if you decide not to do the work. I only want people who are serious about mastering the art of advanced English conversation to join.


  1. The Small Talk Superhero Home Study Course (accessible via the Doing English Academy).
  2. The 36-Day follow up plan to ensure you practise everything you learn and get good at it).
  3. A 30 Minute follow-up call by Skype to ask any questions (I normally charge £250 for these sessions, but you’re getting it for free).

Yes, I am an Extraordinary English Speakers member.

All payments are processed by secure processors (Stripe or PayPal). We can also take direct debit via bank transfer. If you prefer this, contact Kim – kim@doingenglish.com.


P.S. This Advanced Skills course is only available to Extraordinary English Speakers members.