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Business English Skill Set - Small Talk

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Good small talk should include the giving and exchanging of ideas, views and personal experience, so let’s take a look at some expressions for inviting opinions.


  • What do you think?
  • Do you agree?
  • What’s your opinion?
  • What are your thoughts?
  • What’s your take on it?
  • What’s your view on it?
  • What would you say?/Would you say the same?
  • How do you see it?

Let’s take a look at some example conversations:

” I think we should wait until next week before making a decision. What are your thoughts?”

“I agree. Let’s see how things go this week before making the final call.”


“I thought it was a really well-written essay with a lot of good points. What was your take on it?”

“I enjoyed it. I think the writer made a lot of good points.”


“I’d say it is even better than the original! What do you think?”

“I’m not too sure. I didn’t enjoy it as much.”


Activity

Allow yourself ten minutes to do this.

Look at the quotes and statements below and choose one.

Quotes

“A person who is quietly confident makes the best leader.” – Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures co-founder.

“Advertising is legalized lying.” – H. G Wells, author.

“Every problem is a gift—without problems we would not grow.” – Anthony Robbins, author and professional speaker.

Statements

Employees that work from home are happier and more productive.

We should adopt a four-day working week.

Companies shouldn’t look at prospective employees’ social media profiles.

Technology has made the world a better place.


Think about your opinion and whether you agree or disagree with the quote or statement. Write a paragraph explaining what you think and why.

Without reading from your notes, try talking out loud on the topic for a few minutes.

Imagine what the counter arguments might be to your position, and how you would reply to those.

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