LESSON 1: Networking

1

BUSINESS SKILLS

LESSON 1: NETWORKING


MAKING SMALL TALK

AIM OF THE LESSON: TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE SMALL TALK

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READ THE INTRODUCTION TEXT:

Does going to networking mixers where you hardly know anyone make you nervous?

Squeamish
squeamish
easily upset or shocked by things which you find unpleasant or which you do not approve of / delikatny, wrażliwy
even? Relax. You’re not the only one. Making business contacts isn’t always easy.

The prospect of having to

mingle with
mingle with
to mix or combine, or be mixed or combined and to move around and talk to other people at a social event / wmieszać się w tłum
strangers can be a
daunting
daunting
making you feel slightly frightened or worried about your ability to achieve something / zniechęcający
task, but not something you can’t learn with a little practice. Plus, it’s a useful skill especially for networking purposes. Everyone has their own style when
striking up
strike up
to start a relationship or conversation with someone / zawiązać, nawiązać (przyjaźń), zagaić
a conversation.

EXERCISE ? VOCABULARY EXERCISE

strike up daunting mingle with squeamish
  1. It can be difficult to a conversation with a complete stranger.
  2. You’ve been talking to Roger all evening – you really ought to be with the other guests.
  3. She’s really and can’t stand the sight of blood.
  4. Don?t leave me alone with the task of cleaning up the whole house!
Click here, to see the key!

  1. It can be difficult to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger
  2. You’ve been talking to Roger all evening – you really ought to be mingling with the other guests.
  3. She’s really squeamish and can’t stand the sight of blood.
  4. Don?t leave me alone with the daunting task of cleaning up the whole house!

NOW THINK and ANSWER:

Is it important to know how to make a new business contact?

Is the knowledge of how to make small talk useful while making new business contacts?

Why is it important to make business contacts?

Do you know any helpful tips for making new acquaintances in business and in private life?

EXERCISE 1 ? SMALL TALK ? USEFUL PHRASES

WHAT IS A SMALL TALK?

SMALL TALK is a conversation about things which are not important, often between people who do not know each other well.

Is the sentences below true for you or not:

I don’t enjoy parties where I have to make small talk with complete strangers.

Can you name any other reasons why a small talk can be difficult?

Click here, to see the key!
Suggested answers:
  • I am at a loss for words when I am supposed to start a small talk.
  • I don?t know what topics could I talk about.

What topics for a small talk do you know?
Name as many ideas as you can?

Click here, to see the key!
Suggested answers:

the weather / your country / someone else?s country / hometown / job / place of work / work / company / journey / common friends / travel and holidays / weekends / hotel / neighbourhood / someone else?s possessions / the news / television / gossip (company?s / private / celebrity) / events in the town

How would you start a small talk about?:

the weather / a journey / common friends / travelling

GIVE AS MANY EXAMPLES AS YOU CAN?

EXERCISE 2 ? SMALL TALK ? USEFUL PHRASES

MATCH THE SMALL TALK QUESTIONS WITH THE TOPICS!

1. THE WEATHER WHAT DO YOU DO?
2. YOUR COUNTRY WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY DO?
3. JOB HAVE YOU KNOWN MY FRIEND LONG? HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN ??
4. PLACE OF WORK ARE THERE ANY NICE TOURIST ATTRACTIONS HERE?
5. COMPANY DO YOU TRAVEL A LOT? DO YOU OFTEN GO ON BUSINESS TRIPS?
6. JOURNEY DO YOU KNOW ? ? / HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS?
7. COMMON FRIENDS WHAT?S THE WEATHER LIKE IN ? / WHAT WAS THE WEATHER LIKE WHEN YOU LEFT?
8. TRAVELLING DO YOU LIKE THE HOTEL? HOW DO YOU LIKE THE HOTEL? IS THE HOTEL RESTAURANT GOOD?
9. WEEKENDS HAVE YOU HEARD ??
10. HOTEL WHAT DO YOU DO AT WEEKENDS?
11. NEIGHBORHOOD I LIKE YOUR BAG!
12. SOMEONE ELSE?S POSSESSIONS HOW WAS YOUR FLIGHT? DID YOU HAVE A NICE JOURNEY?
13. EVENTS AND ATTRACTIONS IN THE TOWN DO YOU KNOW THE NEIGHBORHOOD? IS THE NEIGHBORHOOD NICE?
14. THE NEWS WHERE DO YOU COME FROM?
15. GOSSIP WHERE DO YOU WORK?

 

Click here, to see the key!

1. THE WEATHER WHAT?S THE WEATHER LIKE IN ? / WHAT WAS THE WEATHER LIKE WHEN YOU LEFT?
2. YOUR COUNTRY WHERE DO YOU COME FROM?
3. JOB WHAT DO YOU DO?
4. PLACE OF WORK WHERE DO YOU WORK?
5. COMPANY WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY DO?
6. JOURNEY HOW WAS YOUR FLIGHT? DID YOU HAVE A NICE JOURNEY?
7. COMMON FRIENDS HAVE YOU KNOWN MY FRIEND LONG? HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN ??
8. TRAVELLING DO YOU TRAVEL A LOT? DO YOU OFTEN GO ON BUSINESS TRIPS?
9. WEEKENDS WHAT DO YOU DO AT WEEKENDS?
10. HOTEL DO YOU LIKE THE HOTEL? HOW DO YOU LIKE THE HOTEL? IS THE HOTEL RESTAURANT GOOD?
11. NEIGHBORHOOD DO YOU KNOW THE NEIGHBORHOOD? IS THE NEIGHBORHOOD NICE?
12. SOMEONE ELSE?S POSSESSIONS I LIKE YOUR BAG!
13. EVENTS AND ATTRACTIONS IN THE TOWN ARE THERE ANY NICE TOURIST ATTRACTIONS HERE?
14. THE NEWS DO YOU KNOW ? ? / HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS?
15. GOSSIP HAVE YOU HEARD ??

EXERCISE – 3 ? SMALL TALK ? USEFUL PHRASES

Work in pairs. Take turns and ask the questions from previous exercise to each other.

Try to continue the conversations.

EXERCISE – 4 ? SMALL TALK ? USEFUL PHRASES

COMPLETE THE CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR OWN IDEAS

    • Nice weather, isn?t it?
    • Are you doing anything after the conference?
    • Do you fancy a ?
    • Yes, why not.
    • What do you do?
    • . And you?
    • Oh, interesting. Do you travel a lot?
    • And where are your headquarters located?
    • . And yours?
    • Do you like the place?
    • So, how do you know David?
    • Oh, .
    • Really, that?s interesting!
    • Yeah. And you, how long have you known him?

 

Click here, to see the key!

    • Nice weather, isn?t it?
    • Yes, indeed.
    • Are you doing anything after the conference?
    • No, not really
    • Do you fancy a drink ?
    • Yes, why not.
    • What do you do?
    • I am an IT specialist at ABB Data. And you?
    • I am a contract negotiator for WorldTravel.
    • Oh, interesting. Do you travel a lot?
    • Oh, yes I do. I have to admit that I really love it!
    • And where are your headquarters located?
    • In London. And yours?
    • In Brussels.
    • Do you like the place?
    • Yes, it?s really fantastic.
    • So, how do you know David?
    • Oh, we met at the university.
    • Really, that?s interesting!
    • Yeah. And you, how long have you known him?
    • Well, my whole life really ? he is my brother! 🙂

EXERCISE – 4 ? SMALL TALK ? USEFUL PHRASES – SPEAKING:

IMAGINE THE SITUATIONS AND START THE SMALL TALKS:

  1. You?re meeting a foreign business visitor in your company at the airport. Start a small talk conversation with him / her.
  2. You are at a conference. During a coffee break you are meeting a colleague from your overseas office. Start a small talk.
  3. You are on a plane. You are sitting to an elderly lady who is reading your favorite book. Start a small talk.
  4. You are on a train coming back from your holidays. You are sitting next to a business man who you think you might know from somewhere. Start a conversation and try to find out if you know each other.
  5. You are at your friend?s party. Your friend has just introduced you to his / her colleague and has mingled back with other friends. Start a conversation with your friend?s colleague.

SMALL TALK USEFUL PHRASES – GLOSSARY

Talking about the weather
  • Beautiful day, isn’t it?
  • Can you believe all of this rain we’ve been having?
  • It looks like it’s going to snow.
  • It sure would be nice to be in Hawaii right about now.
  • I hear they’re calling for thunderstorms all weekend.
  • We couldn’t ask for a nicer day, could we?
  • How about this weather?
  • Did you order this sunshine?
Talking about current events
  • Did you catch the news today?
  • Did you hear about that fire on Fourth St?
  • What do you think about this transit strike?
  • I read in the paper today that the Sears Mall is closing.
  • I heard on the radio today that they are finally going to start building the new bridge.
  • How about those Reds? Do you think they’re going to win tonight?
At the office
  • Looking forward to the weekend?
  • Have you worked here long?
  • I can’t believe how busy/quiet we are today, can you?
  • Has it been a long week?
  • You look like you could use a cup of coffee.
  • What do you think of the new computers?
At a social event
  • So, how do you know Justin?
  • Have you tried the cabbage rolls that Sandy made?
  • Are you enjoying yourself?
  • It looks like you could use another drink.
  • Pretty nice place, huh?
  • I love your dress. Can I ask where you got it?
Out for a walk
  • How old’s your baby?
  • What’s your puppy’s name?
  • The tulips are sure beautiful at this time of year, aren’t they.
  • How do you like the new park?
  • Nice day to be outside, isn’t it?
Waiting somewhere
  • I didn’t think it would be so busy today.
  • You look like you’ve got your hands full (with children or goods).
  • The bus must be running late today.
  • It looks like we are going to be here a while, huh?
  • I’ll have to remember not to come here on Mondays.
  • How long have you been waiting?
Welcoming a visitor or a tourist
  • Did you have a good journey?
  • How was your flight?
  • Did you have any problems finding us?
  • Are you here on business?
  • What do you think of our city?
  • Is this your first visit to ? ?
  • What was the weather like in ? ?