(Please) give my (kind) regards to… (formal). (Please) remember me to… (formal or neutral). Give my love to… (informal, used only to close friends or relations). The person addressed usually answers as follows: Thank you,/ I (certainly) will.
Ex.4.6. Ask the person whom you are leaving to convey greetings to the following people:
1.Ruth (a mutual friend);
2. Dr. Sheldon (a research-worker whom you have met once or twice at conferences); 3. His/her wife/husband (whom you know only slightly); 4. The head of the department where your friend teaches; 5. His/her brother Tom (whom you know well).
Small Talk is Big!
1. Ask questions. Encourage the other person to talk.
2. Show interest in what the other person is saying. Use noises (yes, uh-huh) to encourage them to go on talking.
3. Ask supplementary questions, e.g. ask for further information about something someone has said. Be careful not to sound like an interviewer.
4. Keep to 'safe' topics of conversation to start with. Don't ask about anything too personal or potentially controversial.
5. Be ready to give similar information about yourself.
6. Don't just give single word answers. Answer questions fully. Then ask the other person something to keep the conversation going.
7. Remember the basic rule of conversation, which is that each person should speak for approximately the same amount of time.
8. Be ready to include other people in the conversation and to pass on simple information about the discussion so far and the other person, if appropriate.
9. Above all, be genuine. The aim of small talk is to create a feeling of goodwill between you. If you find a topic in which you are both (or all) interested, don't be afraid to stay with it; and break the rules!
Presentation 5.1. Small Talk: The First Five Minutes
A: Is this your first trip to Germany?
B: Yes, it is. But hopefully not my last.
Answer + additional comment
A: Business or pleasure?
B: Business, I'm afraid. I'm talking part in the conference.
Answer + comment
A: So you aren't staying here long, are you?
B: Unfortunately only for one week. Then I'm going back to Detroit.
Answer + comment
A: Oh, I visited Detroit a couple of years ago
Establishing topic of common interest.
B: Ah, really?
Conversation Starters: The First Five Minutes
Questions and Enquiries
Travel (questions about trip and transport problems)
How was your flight/trip, etc.
Did you have any trouble finding us/getting here?
When did you actually arrive?
How do you find the weather?
What's the weather (been) like in…..?
What was the weather like when you left…..?
I hear you're from…..
Where do you come from?
Which part of… are you from?
Where about in …. do you live?/ do you come from in…. ?
Is this your first visit/trip, to ….. ?
Have you been to …… before?
Plans (length of stay, reason for visit)
Are you here on business or for pleasure? Business or pleasure?
How long are you here for staying in ….. ?
/going to be here?
So, how much longer are you planning to stay?
Accommodation (hotel, service, food)
Did you find somewhere to stay?
Where are you staying?
I hope everything is OK at the hotel.
How's the hotel?
Is the hotel comfortable?
How do you find/ like our ….. ? (How) are you enjoying ….. ?What do you think of ….. ? Are you finding …… interesting?
E.g: 1. A: How was your trip, Ms. Park? B: Rather slow. I got caught in pretty awful traffic. A: I'm very sorry to hear that. Anyway, have you checked in to your hotel? B: Yes, I have, thank you. A: Is everything OK? B: Fine. It's very comfortable. A: So how do you find our weather? B: It's a bit hot. When I left home, it was around ten degrees.
2. A: Mr. Klyne? I'm Helen White, Dr. Murray's assistant. B: Oh, good morning, Dr. Murray told me you would meet me. A: So, I hope everything is OK at your hotel? B: Yes, it's very comfortable. Very convenient for the centre, and quite close to your university. A: So you had no difficulty coming here? Did you come by taxi? B: No, I walked. The weather is quite good and I like the exercise. A: Well, I'm afraid we still have a walk to Dr. Murray's office. I hope you don't mind. B: No, not at all. Are we going now? A: Yes, if you'll follow me. I'll take you there.
3. A: How was the weather in London, Mr. Dyson? Last time I was there we had beautiful clear days. Not like people think. B: Rain, I'm afraid. Very dark. A lot of cloud. A: Haah. A more typically English day than I remember. B: Yes, that's right. A: Have you been to Dusseldorf before? B: No, this is my first time. But I've been to Hamburg several times. What about you? You said you've been to London. A: Yes, but that was some time ago, when I was on holiday. With my wife. And now London is quite expensive, I hear. B: I'm afraid so. Luckily. I don't live there. A: Where do you live then, Mr. Dyson? B: In a small town 30 kilometres from the centre of London.
Ex.5.2Complete the following conversation between two fellow-professionals meeting for the first time.
A: Daniel Weber? B: _______________ A: How do you do? My name is Brian. B: _____________ A: So, the flight was OK? B: ________________ A: Oh dear. Still, you're on terra firma now. So, come in and take a seat. Something to drink? B: Can I have some coffee? A: Of course. Here you are. Sugar's on the table. B: ___________ A: How's the hotel? B: ______________ A: I agree. The hotels are overpriced.
Ex. 5.3A colleague of yours, David Blair, has been delayed and has asked you to deal with a visitor until he arrives.
1. Introduce yourself: I'm __________ . I work __________ Mr. Balir. 2. Explain the situation: _________ Mr. Blair has been delayed. 3. Offer him some refreshment: _______________ . 4. Ask him about previous visits to your town: Is this _________ ? 5. He's staying at the Grand Hotel. Check that everything is satisfactory: I hope ______________ . 6. You know the visitor is Canadian but you don't know where he comes from: Which part _________ ?
Ex.5.4What would you say in the following situations?
1. You have been asked to meet a visitor, Dr. Sweeney, at the station. Ask him about the journey. 2. You have to welcome a visitor, a Mrs. Francis, prior to a meeting. Greet her and ask if she had any problem finding her way. 3. Ask your guest about his impressions of your city. 4. You are meeting a visitor at reception. You booked the hotel for him. Ask him about it. 5. You have been introduced to someone at a party. What questions would you ask this person?
Ex.5.5Now think of your own situation. If you were on business abroad, how would you respond to the following questions? Remember to add some related details or comments:
1. You're (your nationality), aren't you? 2. Where do you live? 3. Which part of (your country) are you from? 4. What do you do? 5. How long have you worked there? 6. Have you got a family? 7. Do you travel much in your job? 8. Business or pleasure? 9. Are you finding the conference interesting? 10. What do you think of Dr. Weiss's report?