Business Conversation

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American Business Culture: Conversation Starters

When you attend a business social, it is wise to “make the rounds.” This means talking to many different people. Have a small conversation with a group of people, then move to another group. Once you have “made the rounds,” it is easier to settle into a more in-depth conversation if that is your preference. Here are some easy ways to start conversations:

“Wow, look at this food! They did a very good job with the catering.”

“So how did you get started with this company?”

“How long have you worked with this organization?”

“You look so familiar. My name is ________________. I work in _____________.”

“This is a great event. It must have taken a lot of planning.”

“It’s so cold out, but it’s quite warm inside! I hear we’re expecting a cold winter.”

“So who do you know here?”

“Did you take the train or come by car?”

“Do you live near here? ….. How do you like your neighborhood?”

Remember to look the other person in the eye and fully engage in each moment. No one likes feeling that the conversation is forced or that you are speaking because you feel obliged to do so.

1. When you are at a social event, do you enjoy making the rounds? Why or why not?

2. In your culture, is it common for people to make the rounds at social events? If not, what do people do instead?

3. Think of the last time you made small talk with someone you did not know. What did you talk about? Why did this conversation occur?

4. In your area, what is the most common topic for small talk or casual conversation? For instance, in Seattle, people often talk about the weather because it is hard to predict.
750 Business WordsBusiness Culture
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