On this episode, I chat with an American woman about how to be good at small talk. 

English Level: B1 🇺🇸🇨🇦

Show Notes:

  1. Introduction (0:21)
  2. Why is small talk important? (1:45)
  3. The difference between German and American Small Talk (3:40)
  4. What to expect when you enter an English speaking networking event (6:00)
  5. National stories that influence our small talk behavior (08:52)
  6. The appropriate response to the question, “How are you”? (13:00)
  7. Tips to improve your small talk skills (21:00)
  8. Mistakes as part of the process (23:38)
  9. A practical small talk scenario for you to practice (25:30)
  10. Find Ashley on LinkedIn and on the Carl Schulz Haus website (28:58)

Vocabulary Words:

  1. naturally (adv.) – natürlich
  2. Rapport (noun) – harmonisches Verhältnis
  3. connection (noun) – Verbindung
  4. superficial (adj.) – oberflächlich
  5. inquisitive (adj.) – neugierig, interessiert
  6. genuine  (adj.) – echt, aufrichtig
  7. reciprocate (verb) – etw. erwidern (Gefühl)

Phrases to Remember:

  1. bad rep – Abkürzung für bad reputation = schlechter Ruf
  2. to kill time – an occupation that passes the time
  3. heavy lifting – Ausdruck, um zu vermitteln, dass der schwierige Teil getan wurde (The heavy lifting is done, now we can relax a bit)
  4. strike a chord – If something strikes a chord with you, it makes you feel sympathy or enthusiasm.

Mistake to Avoid:

Tell me about yourself NOT tell me about you (7:35)

Comprehension Questions:

  1. Why does small talk have a bad reputation?
  2. What’s a big difference between American networking events and German networking events?
  3. What does Ashely say about German kindness? When do Germans show their kindness?
  4. What should you pay attention to when you ask someone the question, “How are you”?
  5. What are the three tips Ashley gives to improve small talk skills?
  6. What do Ashley and Jorge call the back and forth in a small talk scenario?


Question to consider:

Which small talk advice did you consider valuable?


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