Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Leonardo Dicaprio: Travel and Scuba diving

                                                                  Leonardo Dicaprio

Question 1:  What’s the best place you’ve visited?
Leonardo Dicaprio Answer 1: Wow… There are quite a few. Thailand is one of the most amazing places that I’ve ever been. I’m a big scuba-diver, too, so I just went to the Galapagos Islands.

Question 2:  Where else do you recommend diving?
Leonardo Dicaprio Answer 2: You can’t beat the Great Barrier Reef for coral reefs.

Travel is a common topic of conversation amongst friends and people you don’t know so well.  This topic is neutral and anyone can participate by asking questions or explaining their travel experience.  Also, people tend to talk about travel because it is exciting!

Conversation Flow

Leo (Leonardo) starts by showing his enthusiasm for the topic with the word ‘Wow’ following with the idea that there are many great places in the world.  However, to keep the conversation interesting, he naturally says a location ‘Thailand’ and one of his favorite activities ‘scuba diving’.  Leo finishes his thought with the last place he went to ‘the Galapagos Islands’.

The person asking questions can easily continue the conversation by asking about the place(s) or activity.  However, the listener selects scuba diving because Leo mentions scuba diving in two locations: Thailand and the Galapagos Islands.

Casual Slang Expressions 

(1)I’m a ‘big’ scuba diver. =

I really like scuba diving/I love scuba diving.

(2)You ‘can’t beat’ the Great Barrier Reef for coral reefs =

The Great Barrier Reef for coral reefs is the best.

This common conversation topic is easy to adapt to your own travels internationally or nationally.  Our favorite activity often is connected to our vacations.  This style is comfortable but exciting for the speaker and listener! Try it out! 

Speaking Pattern Practice

Question 1:  What’s the best place you’ve visited?
Answer 1: Wow… There are quite a few. Thailand is one of the most amazing places that I’ve ever been. I’m a big scuba-diver, too, so I just went to the Galapagos Islands.

Question 2:  Where else do you recommend diving?
Answer 2: You can’t beat the Great Barrier Reef for coral reefs.


Question 1:  What’s the best place you’ve visited?
Answer 1: Wow… There are quite a few. Costa Rica is one of the most amazing places that I’ve ever been. I’m a big surfer, too, so I just went to Hawaii.

Question 2:  Where else do you recommend surfing?
Answer 2: You can’t beat the Gold Cost of Australia.

Question 1:  What’s the best place you’ve visited?
Answer 1: Wow… There are quite a few. New Zealand is one of the most amazing places that I’ve ever been. I’m a big golfer, too, so I just went to Scotland.

Question 2:  Where else do you recommend golfing?
Answer 2: You can’t beat Pebble Beach in the United States.

Leo's - Titanic-Theme Song
'My Heart Will Go On ' by Celine Dion

Enjoy! See you next week!
Celebrity English

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Alanis Morissette: Staying Fit

                                                                                Alanis Morissette

Staying fit has become a common topic in North America.  Let’s look at singer-songwriter and multiple Grammy winner Alanis Morissette’s fitness strategy.

Question: How do you keep fit?
Alanis Morissette Answer:  I'm a cross trainer. One day I'll go bicycling, and the next I'll do some kickboxing or go out for a long walk. Basketball and Volleyball are my favorite sports. I dance, too. Doing the same thing every day is not right for my temperament.

This week a simple speaking tip that can help improve conversation and language skills.  The strategy is to use more than one sentence for an answer.  Expanding your language answers will help to make your language more complex and interesting.  Also, it gives the listener more topics to ask you about. 

In her answer, she starts with a general fitness idea and then gives more details. In her last sentence, Alanis tells the listener the reason she is a cross trainer. 
Alanis: I'm a cross trainer.   (General fitness idea)

One day I'll go bicycling    (detail 1)
the next I'll do some kickboxing    (detail 2)
or go out for a long walk    (detail 3)
Basketball and Volleyball are my favorite sports.    (detail 4)
I dance, too    (detail 5)

Doing the same thing every day is not right for my temperament. (Reason-she cross trains)

Although the grammar patterns are not complicated, Alanis achieves a lot of information in 4 sentences.  She introduces the topic idea and then gives details. Finally, Alanis explains ‘why’ she uses the cross training fitness style.  Her style is casual but detailed.  The information in her answer is well connected and has a smooth flow.  She makes the listener feel comfortable and gives the listener lots of topics to ask her about.  For example: Did you play volley ball in high school?   How often do play basket ball? Where do you like to go for walks? Etc.

Speaking Pattern

I'm a cross trainer. One day I'll go bicycling, and the next I'll do some kickboxing or go out for a long walk. Basketball and Volleyball are my favorite sports. I dance, too. Doing the same thing every day is not right for my temperament.

1.  I'm a cross trainer. One day I'll go jogging, and the next I'll do some yoga or go out for a hike. Baseball and Tennis are my favorite sports. I dance, too. Doing the same thing every day is not right for my temperament. 
2.  I'm a cross trainer. One day I'll go rollerblading, and the next I'll do some biking or go out for a round of golf. Softball and Hockey are my favorite sports. I dance, too. Doing the same thing every day is not right for my temperament.

I hope you enjoy talking fitness to your friends or making new friends at the local fitness center!

Alanis Morissette Links


Music Hit!  “Ironic”


Celebrity English
Communicating with the World

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Fran Capo: Fastest Talking Female on the Planet

                                                                           Fran Capo
Fran Capo is a keynote motivational speaker, 15 time author, comedienne, TV show host, spokesperson, adventurer and five time world record holder, most known as the Guinness Book of World Records fastest talking female. She has appeared on over 350 television and 4500 radio shows worldwide including; Entertainment Tonight, Fox & Friends, The Late Show, Martha Stewart, Larry King Live and the Discovery Channel. Her "Cuppa Capo's" which are humorous motivational Vlog tips are sent out daily if you subscribe to Cuppacapo and she has a monthly newsletter called, Capo update. She is high energy, down to earth and has spoken to Fortune 500 companies on every continent. To learn more about her, check out www.francapo.com. Follow her on twitter.com/francapo and facebook.com/francapo.


Alex Question: Are there other people in your family who are considered fast talkers?
Fran Capo Answer: No. I always joke though that my sister, who taught herself how to speak 3 languages speaks them slow, so to make up for it, I speak one, really fast.

Alex:  You are the official - Guinness World Records acknowledged  - fastest-talking female, having broken the record twice. Is your current record speaking 603.32 words in 54.2 seconds?
Fran Capo:  Yes. I broke the first record, 585 worlds per minute on The Larry King Live Show (CNN) on March 4, 1986. I broke the second record, 603.32wpm on June 5th, 1990 at the Guinness Museum in Las Vegas.

Alex:  To become the world's fastest talking female, how did you train/practice for it?
Fran Capo:  I had a teacher in the sixth grade that would always ask you questions on the spot and get you nervous. So I used fast-talking as a way to answer this. Like if he said, “Who was the 14th President??
I'd rattle off, Lincoln, Washington, Pierce…you figure it out?” The class laughed and I figured 1 out of 3 was a good shot.

The thing is, becoming a fast talker was never really a conscious decision on my part. I was working at a radio station, WBLS in NYC doing comedy bits. Joking around I said, “I could do a really cool Mae West Impression, but that I called the character, June East, (Mae's long lost sister.) The DJ, flung the weather and traffic copy at me and I went on air for 30 seconds. A reporter from the Daily News happened to be listening and was doing a story on weather and traffic people. She called and asked me how long I had been doing it. I wasn't going to say, “30 seconds”, so I said, “Oh a while.”
Then she asked what I was planning on doing next. I didn't have a next but I had on the line from the Newspaper so I said, “Oh I'm thinking of breaking a world record.” She asked, “For what?” But I couldn't tell her, because at that moment I didn't know. I told her I'd call her back. I ran out, bought a Guinness Book looked at all the world records and saw fast-talking. Since people always told me I talked fast I figured, what the heck, I'll go for that. I called her back and told her.  She asked, “Well what's the present record at?” I said, “552 words per minute.” She said, “And what are you at?” I said, “550, those last two words are a killer.” She printed it in the paper and the very next day the Larry King Live people called me and asked me to go on their show and break the record. At first I didn't even know who Larry King was. I heard cable, and I thought, “Is this some kind of porn?” She said, 'No honey this is a national show.”
So I figured what the heck, what's the worst that can happen? The worst is that I look like a fool on national TV and the best, I break a world record. I gave it a shot. I called Guinness they said to break the record I had to read something from Shakespeare or the bible. Me and Shakespeare never got along, so I chose a psalm from the bible. The Larry King live people told me they'd have a limo at my house in 5 hours. So for 5 hours I practiced and practiced, making sure I enunciated every single word, having my dad time me to the 100th of a second. I broke the record then on his show doing 585wpm on March 5th, 1986.

Alex:  Do you have a daily routine to keep your voice and vocal chords in shape?
Fran Capo:  Not really, every aspect of my career except writing, deals with speaking, my stand up comedy, my keynote motivational speaking, commercials, spokesperson work and of course my fast talking. I think my voice is just naturally trained for it. Of course if I notice my throat getting sore I drink hot water and lemon.

Alex:  How is a 'speed talking' contest judged? Can you give us an idea of the difference between correct form and incorrect form?
Fran Capo:  It's a very technical record. You have to now do a Shakespeare piece, they have a machine called a lexicon compressor that makes sure you say every single syllable, and an Olympic timer, time you to the 100th of a second. You miss one syllable you are out.

Alex:  What type of language materials do you use in a competition?
Fran Capo:  There is really no official competition, world records don't work that way. You compete against yourself. But at one point when myself and two other fast talkers were close they did have a talk off, in which they gave us all a 17th century British text to read and we had 24 hours to look it over. We did it in front of the press at the Guinness Museum.

Alex:  What are the benefits to being a fast talking person? Moreover, what are the benefits to being the fastest talking female in the world?
Fran Capo:  If I get into a fight with my boyfriend, he doesn't even know he's in a fight! I say, “You were in it, its over, I won.”

But seriously, I get hired by corporations and companies that are doing re-branding of products that have to do with speed, accuracy etc. I've been hired by expedia.ca, Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Chock full of Nuts, Papa John's pizza, a whole bunch of places. But the truth is, it helps that I'm a stand up comic. Because if I was just some fast talking person who could not emcee and event or sustain on stage, then that would not be good for the client. So it's a combination of years of stand up with fast-talking that makes the winning ticket.

Alex:  You are a corporate trainer, what are some of the key elements you emphasize with people and why?  What do companies do 'wrong' or tend to 'over look' when it comes to their employees?  How about the employees themselves?
Fran Capo:  The main reason I get hired by companies is to inspire their employees by letting them tap into their unlimited potential. I show them through my stories and real life experiences that if I can do it, so can they. I teach them how to have a “world record mindset”, how to be persistent and have a never give up attitude, how to overcome odds, how to be creative thinkers. Especially in this economy, people tend to say, “It's so hard, it can't be done.” Wrong…some of the best inventions and biggest millionaires came out of depression times. You just have to take your talents and apply them in a different way. Sometimes it's the smallest tweak that makes all the difference in the world. I also show them how to approach things through humor, which helps with boosting morale, and communication and a better work environment without turning it into a circus. Happy and appreciated workers are more productive. I do team building exercises…but more importantly I just teach people through real life examples of how I did it, how to bring out the best of who they are. So many people write to me years later telling me how I've changed their lives. That's what I love to do, motivate, captivate and educate people to live happier more productive lives though my humor and examples. I absolutely love what I do, from teaching people ways to improve their relationships with workers, bosses, mates and their children.

Alex:  I know from reading your bio that you've done consulting with major companies and now you are doing private one-on one personal coaching. Can you tell us a little about this and how can people contact you if they are interested in this or any of the other things that you do.
Fran Capo:  Yes. I'm so excited…. My newest thing I'm now doing is more consulting and private coaching. I find that I love doing my “Dare to do it” and “Creativity in Marketing” talks, and people really get into it.  But they often ask if I will also do one-on one coaching -they want that personal time. So I am now taking on a few clients a week for a limited time, specifically in two areas: Finding their passion and showing them how to get themselves or their product in the media.

If I can help people take their passion, turn it into a dream and turn that dream into a hard core money making plan faster by brainstorming with them, showing them how to move it forward, helping them work out a game plan to accomplish their goals, teaching them how to turn negatives into positives, how to bring more cash and happiness into their lives on any level (Personal, spiritual, financial, in the relationship department) then that is very rewarding for me.) I have a ton proven strategies on how to make it all work and I love watching people benefit from that. If anyone is interested they can email me contact me via my website www.francapo.com and I would be happy to have a 15 minute chat with them to see if our energies are right for us to work together. I actually have a video upon you tube that explains all this.

Alex:  What is coming next for Fran Capo? What can we look forward to seeing at your website?
Fran Capo:  More crazy adventures through my videos and of course.  I will continue producing and performing on comedy shows. I have another book coming out this year, “Hopeville the City of Light” and I am starting an online teaching course on my “Creativity in Marketing”. I also am teaching “How to write a book” seminars as well.

But my biggest project, and I will love every single one of you reading this if you do it, is I have these daily humorous motivational Vlogs called, “Cuppa Capo”. My goal is to get 100,000 subscribers in 6 months…so I need you all to spread the word. Simply go to www.youtube.com/cuppacapo and hit the subscribe button and watch my videos. Then you will get these daily Vlog tips to brighten your day for free in your mailbox. I just want to spread the joy. A lot of parents are writing to me saying that they enjoy the Cuppa Capo's because they are funny, have a message and something they can watch with their kids.

Alex:  If people want to book you for an event, or just learn more about you where can they go? 

Fran Capo:  The best way is through my website, www.francapo.com or they can email me direct at FranCNY@aol.com

Alex:  What is your philosophy on life?
Fran Capo:  I have 3.
Nothing is Impossible.
Fear Nothing but if you do, do it anyway.
and Live everyday as if it's your last, and one day you'll be right… and on that last day you don't want to be doing the laundry!

Alex:  Well I had a fantastic time! Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed at Celebrity English!
Fran Capo:  Thanks for the interview, Love deep, live large and be thankful. 

Fran Capo, Bruce Springfield, John Basedow Red Carpet

To learn more about her, check out:

Follow Fran at:
Face Book


Excellent Book by Fran Capo
"Hopeville, the City of Light"
"Hopeville, the City of Light" by Fran Capo
by Fran Capo

Have a great week living large! See you next week with another celebrity!
Take care,


Celebrity English
Communicating with the World

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Johnny Depp: Questions

Johnny Depp Q and A
                                                               Johnny Depp

Questions and Answers are the ‘nuts and bolts’ of a conversation.  Asking a good question is more difficult than it appears.  Let’s look at a Johnny Depp Interview. Focus on the questions after you have read and enjoyed Johnny’s answers.

Question 1: What attracts you to odd hats?

Johnny Depp Answer 1: I don't know, maybe I read too many Dr. Seuss books when I was a kid. I hadn't thought about that, actually, the hat thing.

Question 2: Are you fond, in films, of wearing long hair? Is it something that makes you comfortable, to have your hair long, or does it matter?

Johnny Depp Answer 2: No, I'd always thought, probably very stupidly, I thought that, you know, if your hair is down…you're hiding. So you're invisible, you know? People can't see you.  Now I have a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter who won't let me cut my hair.

Question Usage Analysis
Analysis 1:
This question is simple and straightforward.  However, the interviewer uses a “What” question.  Most people will use a “Why” question.

Ex: Why do you wear odd hats?

The “what” style question is a bit softer and more original. 

Analysis 2:
The interviewer uses an “Are you… ?” and a choice question: Is it “A” or “B”? (A=long hair is comfortable, B=long hair doesn’t matter to you)

“Are you…?” is a closed question not good for conversation because the answer is “YES/NO”.  However, in this case it is a rhetorical question.  The Interviewer uses the question to emphasize the idea of ‘long hair’. The interviewer doesn’t expect an answer and moves to the next question quickly.  The interviewer’s use of the A or B question format is because he or she wants a short style answer focused in a specific way.  The feeling is: lets find out about Johnny Depp’s beautiful, long hair but not focus too much time on the topic. An A or B question style signals to the answering person what the listener wants to know specifically and in a short answer style.  This style is also a soft way of finding out information from another person.


There are many question style strategies.  These are two simple ones you can use in your next conversation.  Try to make your question ‘soft’ but ‘unique’ like with Question 1.  Also, try to use a ‘rhetorical question’ plus an “A or B question’ to find out specific information without sounding too demanding as in Question 2.

Pirates of the Caribbean 4


Fastest Talking Female on the Planet


Celebrity English Language and Culture