smalltalkSome people are nervous about speaking English and try to think of the next question they can ask or want to prepare what they can say next. On the other hand, you still need to listen to the other people in the group and respond to what they are saying!

Our advice is that you don’t always need to reply with long answers to show that you are interested. Instead, you can often use short phrases to respond to someone else. These can show that you agree or understand their comments, that you are paying attention or used to compliment the other person. For example:

  • Uh-huh.
  • Oh, really?
  • That’s interesting.
  • Oh, why was that?
  • What happened next?
  • Oh, I see.
  • That sounds great.
  • Oh wow!

You can also express your interest and keep the conversation going by asking more questions. If someone says, “I work in New York,” you can of course reply “That’s interesting” or “Oh, really?”

It is also a fact that English small talk conversations at business events gets easier if you can keep them talking! So, you could ask more questions, such as “How long have you been working there?” or “What do you like about working in New York?”

You can even use their responses to compare with your own experiences, likes and dislikes.