LESSON 8 – Making requests and recommendations. At a conference.

NETWORKING

  • Making requests and recommendations. At a conference.

 

 

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WARM UP

THINK and ANSWER

  • Talk about your experience with small talk.
  • Do you often have small talks? When? Who with? What are your usual topics?

Read the text below and do the exercises.

Well-being is related to having ???? small talk and more substantive conversations.

Is a happy life filled with trivial chatter or reflective and profound conversations? In a new study, the happiest participants had twice as many substantive conversations and one third as much small talk as the unhappiest participants. In addition, the happiest participants spent 25 percent less time alone and 70 percent more time talking than the unhappiest participants, suggesting that the happy life is social and conversationally deep rather than solitary and superficial.

Is a happy life filled with trivial chatter or reflective and profound conversations? Psychological scientists Matthias R. Mehl, Shannon E. Holleran, and C. Shelby Clark from the University of Arizona, along with Simine Vazire of Washington University in St. Louis investigated whether happy and unhappy people differ in the types of conversations they tend to engage in.

Volunteers wore an unobtrusive recording device called the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR) over four days. This device periodically records snippets of sounds as participants go about their lives. For this experiment, the EAR sampled 30 seconds of sounds every 12.5 minutes yielding a total of more than 20,000 recordings. Researchers then listened to the recordings and identified the conversations as trivial small talk or substantive discussions. In addition, the volunteers completed personality and well-being assessments.

As reported in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, analysis of the recordings revealed some very interesting findings. Greater well-being was related to spending less time alone and more time talking to others: The happiest participants spent 25% less time alone and 70% more time talking than the unhappiest participants. In addition to the difference in the amount of social interactions happy and unhappy people had, there was also a difference in the types of conversations they took part in: The happiest participants had twice as many substantive conversations and one third as much small talk as the unhappiest participants.

These findings suggest that the happy life is social and conversationally deep rather than solitary and superficial. The researchers surmise that — though the current findings cannot identify the causal direction — deep conversations may have the potential to make people happier. They note, „Just as self-disclosure can instill a sense of intimacy in a relationship, deep conversations may instill a sense of meaning in the interaction partners.”

 

Exercises ? reading comprehension.

Exercise 1:

  1. Which word is missing in the article?s title?
    a)     more                          b) less
  2. In a new study, the happiest participants had _________ as many substantive conversations and one third as much small talk as the unhappiest participants.
    a)     twice                          b) four times
  3. The happiest participants spent ______ percent less time alone and 70 percent more time talking than the unhappiest participants.
    a)     30                               b) 25
  4. Volunteers wore an unobtrusive recording device called the Electronically Activated Recorder.
    a)     four days                   b) over four days
  5. The findings suggest that happy people tend to have more ____________ conversations.
    a)     trivial                         b) substantive

Click here, to see the key!
 

1 b

2 a

3 b

4 b

5 b

SPEAKING

Answer the questions:

  1. What was the experiment about?
  2. How was the study conveyed?
  3. What were the findings.
  4. Do you agree with the result of the experiment?
  5. Have you ever observed this?
  6. What kind of conversation do you tend to be having?
  7. Do you feel happy or unhappy?

 

Well-being is related to having less small talk and more substantive conversations

Is a happy life filled with trivial chatter or reflective and profound conversations? In a new study, the happiest participants had twice as many substantive conversations and one third as much small talk as the unhappiest participants. In addition, the happiest participants spent 25 percent less time alone and 70 percent more time talking than the unhappiest participants, suggesting that the happy life is social and conversationally deep rather than solitary and superficial.

Is a happy life filled with trivial chatter or reflective and profound conversations? Psychological scientists Matthias R. Mehl, Shannon E. Holleran, and C. Shelby Clark from the University of Arizona, along with Simine Vazire of Washington University in St. Louis investigated whether happy and unhappy people differ in the types of conversations they tend to engage in.

Volunteers wore an unobtrusive recording device called the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR) over four days. This device periodically records snippets of sounds as participants go about their lives. For this experiment, the EAR sampled 30 seconds of sounds every 12.5 minutes yielding a total of more than 20,000 recordings. Researchers then listened to the recordings and identified the conversations as trivial small talk or substantive discussions. In addition, the volunteers completed personality and well-being assessments.

As reported in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, analysis of the recordings revealed some very interesting findings. Greater well-being was related to spending less time alone and more time talking to others: The happiest participants spent 25% less time alone and 70% more time talking than the unhappiest participants. In addition to the difference in the amount of social interactions happy and unhappy people had, there was also a difference in the types of conversations they took part in: The happiest participants had twice as many substantive conversations and one third as much small talk as the unhappiest participants.

These findings suggest that the happy life is social and conversationally deep rather than solitary and superficial. The researchers surmise that — though the current findings cannot identify the causal direction — deep conversations may have the potential to make people happier. They note, „Just as self-disclosure can instill a sense of intimacy in a relationship, deep conversations may instill a sense of meaning in the interaction partners.”

Source: Association for Psychological Science / http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304165902.htm

 

EXTENDING YOUR VOCABULARY

Exercise 1:

Match the definitions with the words from the text.

trivial

?

1. important, serious, or related to real facts

reflective

?

2. having little value or importance

profound

?

3. thinking carefully and quietly

substantive

?

4. never thinking about things that are serious or important

superficial

?

5. done alone

solitary

?

6. showing great knowledge or understanding

 

Click here, to see the key!

trivial 2 / reflective 3 / profound 6 / substantive 1 / superficial 4 / solitary 5

 

 

Exercise 2

Complete the sentences with the words from the previous exercise.

trivial

profound

reflective

substantive

superficial

solitary

 

 

  1. She enjoys long walks.
  2. He’s fun to be with, but he’s very .
  3. The review that I read said that it was ‚a thoughtful and film’.
  4. The report concluded that no changes were necessary.
  5. I don’t know why he gets so upset about something that is utterly .
  6. He is a quiet and man.
Click here, to see the key!

  1. She enjoys long solitary walks.
  2. He’s fun to be with, but he’s very superficial.
  3. The review that I read said that it was ‚a thoughtful and profound film’.
  4. The report concluded that no substantive changes were necessary.
  5. I don’t know why he gets so upset about something that is utterly trivial.
  6. He is a quiet and reflective man.

 

SPEAKING

Understanding the text.

Exercise 1: practice the new vocabulary in speaking.

Answer the questions below using the words in brackets.

1. According to the study what kind of a conversation makes a person happy? (reflective)

2. What kind of a conversation do unhappy people tend to have? (trivial)

3.Describe the experiment? (profound & substantive)

4. Talk about the experiment?s results? (solitary & superficial)

Exercise 2

Look at expressions below. Using your own words, paraphrase them and explain what they mean.

  • greater well-being was related to spending less time alone and more time talking to others
  • is a happy life filled with trivial chatter or reflective and profound conversations
  • happy life is social and conversationally deep rather than solitary and superficial.

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PART TWO

MAKING REQUESTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. CONFERENCE AND BUSINESS LUNCH.

Exercise 1

Look at the phrases in the chart and decide what they are: making a request or recommending. Put a tick in a proper column.

Phrases making a request recommending
Can I ? / Can you ? ?
May I ? ?
Why don?t you / we ? ?
How about ? ?
Could I ? / Could you ? possibly ??
Let?s do / go ? !
Why not ? (do) ??
I?d be very grateful if you could ?
How about ? (ing) ??
?, if it?s not too much trouble.
I don?t think I can do ? on my own.
Fancy ?(ing) ??
Can I / Could I ask you to ? ?
I think you should ?
Do you think you could ? ?
I don?t think you should ? .
Shall I ? ?
Perhaps we could ? ?
Would it be possible for you to ??
You ought to ? ?
I have a favour to ask you ? ?
I was hoping you could ? (for me)?
I suggest ? (ing) ? .
A little bird told me you know all about ?
Maybe we could ? ?
Do me a favour, will you?
Do you fancy ? ?
I strongly recommend ?
You don?t mind ?-ing (for me), do you?

 

Click here, to see the key!

Phrases making a request recommending
Can I ? / Can you ? ?
May I ? ?
Why don?t you / we ? ?
How about ? ?
Could I ? / Could you ? possibly ??
Let?s do / go ? !
Why not ? (do) ??
I?d be very grateful if you could ?
How about ? (ing) ??
?, if it?s not too much trouble.
I don?t think I can do ? on my own.
Fancy ?(ing) ??
Can I / Could I ask you to ? ?
I think you should ?
Do you think you could ? ?
I don?t think you should ? .
Shall I ? ?
Perhaps we could ? ?
Would it be possible for you to ??
You ought to ? ?
I have a favour to ask you ? ?
I was hoping you could ? (for me)?
I suggest ? (ing) ? .
A little bird told me you know all about ?
Maybe we could ? ?
Do me a favour, will you?
Do you fancy ? ?
I strongly recommend ?
You don?t mind ?-ing (for me), do you?

INTERNET SEARCH

Search the Internet for more phrases which help us to recommend things and to make a request.

SPEAKING ? AT A CONFERENCE – USEFUL WORDS AND PHRASES

Exercise 1

LOOK AT THE TIPS OF HOW TO MAKE CONTACTS AT A CONFERENCE. MATCH THE TITLES WITH THE TIPS.

Attend the industry exhibits. Above all Before you start Use your supervisor?s contacts
Attend the industry exhibits Attend everything you can Don?t forget small-talk Make a point of having lunch
Have networking strategy for mixer sessions Take business cards. Talk to the person sitting next to you in a session Follow up good conversations with a thank-you email
Make a point of having lunch Attend the industry exhibits Ask a question to a presenter. Present a poster
Help other people out by making introductions for them Always keep promises you make
  1. , have your introduction already worked out in your head. It is amazing how any hope of forming a concise sentence, explaining who you are and what you are researching, can evaporate when you are unprepared for an introduction.
  2. . Ask them a question about the last talk while the speakers change over.
  3. : Ask him/her to suggest key people and make introductions.
  4. ; demos, workshops, tutorials, mixers. The more you mix, the more contacts you will make.
  5. with someone different every day.
  6. . Suzanne suggested many good reasons for doing this.
  7. . If it is a good question, people will remember you and might introduce themselves to you afterward.
  8. . It doesn?t have to be all about science and in fact you are much more likely to make a lasting connection if you can find a connection on a personal level.
  9. , or even better, a talk. Lots of people will want to ask you about your work. Check out these articles on writing posters and giving presentations.
  10. . Scan the attendee list to pinpoint the people you?d like to meet and use your strategy to try and make a connection with as many of them as possible. For ideas on networking strategies.
  11. builds goodwill, and hopefully they will do the same for you.
  12. . You might think that you are ?only a PhD student? so you don?t need business cards. But you do.
  13. ? make sure you actually send them that paper or piece of data.
  14. and perhaps suggest specific interactions e.g. send them a copy of your next paper, visit them next time you are in their town or invite them to speak at your institution.
  15. , be friendly and be yourself.
Click here, to see the key!

  1. Before you start, have your introduction already worked out in your head. It is amazing how any hope of forming a concise sentence, explaining who you are and what you are researching, can evaporate when you are unprepared for an introduction.
  2. Talk to the person sitting next to you in a session. Ask them a question about the last talk while the speakers change over.
  3. Use your supervisor?s contacts: Ask him/her to suggest key people and make introductions.
  4. Attend everything you can; demos, workshops, tutorials, mixers. The more you mix, the more contacts you will make.
  5. Make a point of having lunch with someone different every day.
  6. Attend the industry exhibits. Suzanne suggested many good reasons for doing this.
  7. Ask a question to a presenter. If it is a good question, people will remember you and might introduce themselves to you afterward.
  8. Don?t forget small-talk. It doesn?t have to be all about science and in fact you are much more likely to make a lasting connection if you can find a connection on a personal level.
  9. Present a poster, or even better, a talk. Lots of people will want to ask you about your work. Check out these articles on writing posters and giving presentations.
  10. Have networking strategy for mixer sessions. Scan the attendee list to pinpoint the people you?d like to meet and use your strategy to try and make a connection with as many of them as possible. For ideas on networking strategies.
  11. Help other people out by making introductions for them. This builds goodwill, and hopefully they will do the same for you.
  12. Take business cards. You might think that you are ?only a PhD student? so you don?t need business cards. But you do.
  13. Always keep promises you make ? make sure you actually send them that paper or piece of data.
  14. Follow up good conversations with a thank-you email and perhaps suggest specific interactions e.g. send them a copy of your next paper, visit them next time you are in their town or invite them to speak at your institution.
  15. Above all, be friendly and be yourself.

Source: http://bitesizebio.com/1816/15-ways-to-make-contacts-at-conferences/

 

Exercise 2:

WHAT QUESTIONS WOULD YOU ASK AT A CONFERENCE TO START A CONVERSATION?

SUGGESTED ANSWERS:

  1. How did you like the presentation?
  2. Did you find the talk interesting?
  3. Did you find the topic of any interest?
  4. Have you found anything useful?
  5. Let me give you my card.
  6. Have you had a good time?
  7. Have you learnt anything useful?
  8. Was the session interesting for you?
  9. Which part of the session did you find the most interesting?
  10. Did you make any contact?
  11. Are you planning to come to this conference next year?
  12. what was the most interesting session?
  13. do you go to any other conferences?
  14. how did you find the speaker?

 

Exercise 3:

Answer the questions from the previous exercise.

Exercise 4:

Imagine you are at a conference. Talk to you partner about the things you liked or found interesting during the conference. Ask your partner about his / her impressions.