Small talk – Business English

Do you find it difficult to start small talk in Business English? Try a three-step strategy that can start a conversation anywhere.

1. Introduce a topic: Say something about a topic that you and your business partners have in common, for example something that you are experiencing or recently experienced. This might be the weather, a cup of coffee or buffet (buf-FAY) at a meeting or reception, slow traffic, or even the current work situation with Corona.

For example: “I find this coffee to be especially good.”

2. Say something about yourself: Now that you’ve mentioned a topic, say something personal and positive about it.

For example: “I always need a strong cup of coffee in the morning.”

3. Ask a question: Try to get a response from your conversation partner.

For example: “Do you always drink coffee in the morning, or do you prefer tea?”

Test yourself: Think of a situation where you might use small talk. Use the three-step method above and write out three sentences you could use to start small talk in Business English or even while on your holidays.

Mindy Ehrhart Krull
About the author

Originally from the US, Mindy Ehrhart Krull holds a master's degree in journalism and has been teaching English and working as an author, editor and proofreader in Germany since 2008.

At DELS, she leads a team of several English trainers and language professionals.

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