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Business English Skill Set - Small Talk

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Lesson 2 of 6

Business Introductions

Kate July 21, 2020

Before we begin, let’s go over some vocabulary you will find in this section of the course. Feel free to refer back to this page as you move through this section.

Vocabulary

Flustered (adjective) – stressed, agitated 

Turbulence (noun) – strong and violent winds, sometimes experienced when flying

Self-deprecating (adjective) – criticising oneself in a humorous way

Break the ice (expression) – to do or say something that relieves potential awkwardness when meeting someone for the first time

Call it a day (expression) – an expression used to mean you are stopping work for the day

Likewise (adverb) – often used in formal conversation to mean ‘I feel the same’ or ‘Me too’

Head off (verb) – to leave

(To be) at the table (expression – to be part of a team, usually in a business context)

Superficial (adjective) – only what is on the surface or obvious


“Tell me a little bit about yourself…”

Introductions can be scary, and Business Introductions even more so. We’ve all been there. You’ve probably been faced with this question before in a job interview, or perhaps when you’re introducing yourself to a group of new people. Those seven fear-inducing words are enough to make you forget almost anything of note you’ve ever done or what it is that you actually enjoy doing.

Fear not! In this lesson we’ll look at what someone is really asking with that question. We’ll figure out how to answer it smoothly. We’ll also go through some standard expressions for introducing yourself and for starting and finishing a conversation.


“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

You may have heard this little saying before. Some scientific studies show that it takes as little as seven seconds to make a first impression! Others are more generous, suggesting 30 seconds to a minute. Still, that’s not much time at all!

Check out this video below for some really good tips for making a good first impression.

Takeaways:

  • be positive, enthusiastic and show interest
  • incorporate friendly humour
  • show respect
  • be open-minded and honest
  • show humility (be confident but not self-centred)
  • body language plays a big role – good posture and eye contact. In most cases in a business setting a handshake would also be appropriate

So you know how you should act, but what should you say? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

If you’re ready, let’s get practising those Business Introductions skills!