S1E3: What is Small Talk? (Part 3) Transcript

S1E3: What is Small Talk? (Part 3) Transcript

Welcome to episode 3 of the small talk audio courses. I want us to look at some examples of good and bad small talk:

(Bumping into a colleague in the lift)

Simon: Hi, Bill! How have you been?

Bill: Not too bad, thanks. And yourself? How’s everything going with the Green’s project?

Simon: Yeah fine, thanks. It’s going well. We hope to have things wrapped up by the end of the week.

Bill: That’s good to hear. I know you were all working really hard on that.

Topic: Work

Good or bad?: Good

(Mike sees a new colleague who started last week by the vending machine)

Mike: Hi, Mary, isn’t it?

Mary: Yeah that’s right.

Mike: Nice to meet you. I’m Mike.

Mary: Nice to meet you, too!

Mike: So what’s it like working with Anne? I heard she’s really picky!

Mary: Umm, it’s fine…

Topic: Gossip

Good or bad?: Bad. Mary is clearly uncomfortable and has got a very bad first impression of Mike.

(John bumps into his neighbour at the supermarket)

John: Hi, Jane! How’s it going?

Jane: Yeah fine, thanks! How are things with you? Lovely weather, isn’t it!

John: Yeah it’s fine weather! We’re heading over to Jill’s sister’s this evening for a barbecue so I’m just stocking up on some beers.

Jane: Oh that will be nice. Tell them both I said hi!

John: Will do!

Topic: Family, mutual acquaintances.

Good or bad?: Good

(Introducing a new member to the team)

Lionel: Hi Kelly, I’d like you to meet Sara. She’s from our London branch. She travelled down today.

Sara: Hi Kelly, nice to meet you.

Kelly: Nice to meet you, Sara. Wow, what a lovely coat! Is that a Burberry? How much did it cost? Those things are so expensive!

Topic: Money/personal appearance.

Good or bad?: Bad. Whilst the intention may be good (giving a compliment on Sara’s coat), talking about money or personal finances is not a good topic for small talk.

Well, that’s all for now. Stay tuned for episode 4 where I will offer some more tips for small talk. 

Thank you for listening to this original audio course from Intrepid English. To access your free downloadable worksheets and transcripts that accompany this course, click on the link in the episode notes.

This content was written and recorded by Intrepid English Teacher Kate B.

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