S1E4: Small Talk Tips Transcript

S1E4: Small Talk Tips Transcript

Welcome to episode 4. In this lesson, I want to offer you some small talk tips. Do you feel better when you go home having had several shallow conversations about nothing in particular with acquaintances, or a couple of really good, engaging conversations where you felt the person was both interested in you and interesting?

Here are Intrepid English’s top tips for giving your small talk that extra spark:

  • Talk about something new – The weather is a fine topic for small talk, but just how many conversations do you want to have per day about how sunny it is outside whilst you’re indoors working?
  • Ask questions – show that you care and are genuinely interested. A conversation should have two sides.
  • Ask interesting questions – Ask questions which invite further conversation or discussion. If a colleague is talking about his trip to Rome last summer, rather than ‘when did you go?’ ‘where did you stay?’ how about asking ‘what made you want to visit Rome?’ – this invites a deeper discussion rather than just asking about the basic details.
  • Read the room – If you find you’re not getting much response on a certain topic, try to steer the conversation around to something else. If the person you’re talking to seems nervous or shy, they might want you to do most of the talking. If they are more outgoing and confident with speaking English they may want to do more of the talking.
  • Make it culturally appropriate – Remember that doing international business means communicating with people from all over the world with different backgrounds, opinions and political beliefs to what may be the norm in your own country.
  • Find a connection (but don’t force it) – Try to find common ground or a shared interest, something that can help you to ‘click’ with the person you’re conversing with.

I’m sure that’s more than enough to keep you going. Stay tuned for episode 5 where I will explain why small talk is so important.

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.

You can find out more about Kate B on her Intrepid English Teacher Profile Page.

Book a free trial lesson today to discuss this topic in more detail, and talk about your English learning goals with an experienced and friendly English teacher.

If you have any questions, or you would like to request a topic for a future blog, you can contact us using the chat box, send us an email, or even drop us a message on any of our social media channels.