Hey everybody and welcome back to another episode of the Art of Business English. Well Christmas is only a week away and Christmas party season is in full swing. Maybe you have to socialise with people in English and maybe the thought of this is making you a little uncomfortable. Well, before you get drunk and make a fool of yourself, I am going to give you some useful conversation starters that should have you socialising in no time without feeling embarrassed.
What I want to do in this episode is give you the question that you can ask and them some ideas for follow up comments or questions.
Remember before we go any further the most important part of being a great conversationalist is to be a great listener. If you want some more tips on how to be a good listener, then you should take a look at episode 55 of the Art of Business English.
OK, let’s get started with our Christmas party conversation starters.
I will kick things of with some of the more traditional conversation starters.
You could lead with these. I will also give you some follow up questions.
|Lead question||Follow up question|
|So, which department do you work in? ||Marketing, sounds interesting. How has the year been?|
|Have you worked here long?||2 years, how’s the job going?|
|Do you follow football?||Me too, did you see the Barça match last weekend?|
|How are you enjoying the party so far?||Good to hear, can I get you a drink?|
What you drinking?
What did you have for dinner?
|All the food looks so good… I’m not sure what to get! What are you thinking? Or what have you tried?||The fish does look good. Do you enjoy cooking?|
|What a (insert adjective e.g. lovely) venue. Have you been here before?||Yes, it’s my first time too. I wonder how much this cost.|
Oh’ it’s not, have things improved since your last visit?
|What you go planned for Christmas?||Me too, lots of dinners and lunches. Do you do anything special on Christmas eve?|
|Have you bought Christmas presents yet? ||You haven’t! Do you need some present ideas?|
You have, did you buy any cool presents?
|What do you want for Christmas this year?||Sounds nice, do you think you will get it?|
|What have you bought for the kids? I need some ideas.||Good idea. Did you buy that online or locally?|
|How does your family celebrate Christmas?||We open our presents together as a family, but we have an interesting way of doing it. How do you manage present opening?|
Right, there are a few typical ways that we can open up a conversation in a pretty non-offensive way. Remember we are always listening to the answers and the key words so that we can generate a further question. This way we can keep the conversation moving a long smoothly.
Well my friends, that brings us to the end of a quick episode this week. These questions can be memorised or written down on a piece of paper and then put into action at your next work Christmas party. Once you have broken the ice with people, I am sure you will get into the swing of the conversation and have some engaging discussion.
Before I go I would like to remind you all that you can get a copy of our 500 business collocations eBook at a special AOBE listeners only price by going to www.theartofbusinessenglish.com/get500. If you’re looking for Christmas ideas that would be a great one for anyone who is trying to improve their business English.
Finally, be sure to subscribe to the AOBE podcast for your free weekly dose of value business English content. You can subscribe at www.theartofbusinessenglish.com/subscribe , there are all the ways to get the AOBE podcast, iTunes, spotify, stitcher or we’ll send you an email with each episode weekly.
That is all for me, have a great week, don’t leave your Christmas shopping to the last minute. Bye for now.
Andrew is the CEO and founder of the Art of Business English. Besides teaching and coaching native Spanish speakers in Business English, he is also passionate about mountain biking, sailing and healthy living. When He is not working, Andrew loves to spend time with his family and friends.
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