(Answers from last time: 1. Could we schedule a time to meet next week? 2. Perhaps we could meet and go over the details in person? 3. I look forward to meeting you then. 4. How would next Tuesday be for you? 5. I’m afraid I have another appointment at that time. 6. I’d like to schedule a meeting as soon as possible. 7. Sorry, I can’t make it then.)
How can we break the ice and create a relaxed atmosphere before the real business begins? By making small talk. However, this can be difficult, particularly when you meet people for the first time. But, making small talk is not just about talking – it’s also about listening and the more actively the better. Here are some useful tips:
- Introduce yourself and use a ‘tag line’ (e.g. ‘Hi, I’m Jules from Munich’). This can get the conversation started as your colleague can ask a question about your home town or your trip.
- Break the ice with a comment about a current news story or a remark about the event you’re at, its location and the weather.
- Avoid these topics of conversation: your health, your private life, gossip. The best conversation topics are sports, books, theatre, movies, food, museums and travel. You can share information about yourself, but keep it positive, because people don’t like colleagues who are negative, depressed or who complain a lot.
- Keep the conversation flowing by not monopolizing the conversation. Use expressions such as: ‘By the way….’, ‘Well…’, ‘Apparently…’, ‘I’ve heard….-is that true?’, ‘So…’, ‘Don’t you…?’.
Use phrases such as: ‘Really?’, ‘I see’, ‘What a coincidence!’, ‘That’s amazing’, ’That sounds interesting’, to indicate that you are listening and interested.
- Have some phrases ready for excusing yourself politely and moving to another group of people, e.g. ’See you later.’, It’s been nice talking to you.’, ‘Look, I have to go. Catch you later.’
- If you’ve enjoyed talking with your colleagues, tell them so, e.g. ‘I’ve really enjoyed talking with you. I hope we have the chance to talk again soon.’ Leave a positive final impression with a smile and strong handshake.
So good luck!
Source: ‘Business Result’, Upper-intermediate, Michael Duckworth, Rebecca Turner
Autor: Cecilia Stănia – Trainer intern A_BEST Limba Engleză
Cecilia Stănia este absolventă a Facultăţii de Limbi şi Literaturi Străine Dimitrie Cantemir, specializarea Studii Limba şi literatura Engleză– Limba şi Literatura Germană, promoţia 2010.
Cecilia a fost mereu interesată să-şi îmbunătăţească cunoştinţele de limba engleză, de aceea ea a urmat modulul Psihopedagogic Nivelul I.
În calitate de trainer A_BEST, Cecilia predă engleza – limbaj general şi business – în mediul corporate.