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Smalltalk auf Englisch - Geschickte Überleitungen

Schlagwörter: Smalltalk auf Englisch, Smalltalk Englisch, Überleitungen, geschickte Überleitungen, connecting topics, successful, conversation

The skill most essential to successful small talk – short of just being open and friendly – is the ability to build bridges. Building bridges is the process of connecting topic A with topic B to achieve a comfortable flow in the conversation. The primary goal is to increase understanding between different people. Accomplishing this requires more than being skilled at transitions. It requires a focus on achieving a harmony – like two musical notes sounding together – between the conversation partners. Here’s the language that makes this possible.

Key transitioning verbs

To build a bridge, you first have to leap to the other side of the chasm – from point A to point B through the air, so to speak. Once you have an anchor on both sides, you can build the bridge more easily. These verbs are useful for “jumping to the other side” when you’ve either exhausted topic A or wish to move away from it. Make sure you know how to use them, and they’ll help in nearly every situation.
remember
remind
talk
hear
have
bring to mind


Examples
Ah yes, Tom Murphy. I remember how I met him. That’s a funny story, you know …

That reminds me of an executive I met at Personal Training Associates last week.

Talking about training, what is your opinion of the latest series of intercultural seminars we’re required to attend?

I heard something about this just the other day…

We’ve been having
similar experiences lately, but with a slight twist…

That brings to mind a similar incident that occurred about 10 years ago.


Transitioning phrases
Here are a few additional phrases for transitioning between topics. These are more colloquial, but every bit as useful:

You know, I just …..

You might be interested in knowing ( or learning ) that …

By the way…

I’ve always wanted to ask you …

I hear you’re an expert at … How would you … ?

That’s a coincidence! I was talking to Bob last week, and he said that …


Brute-force transitions
Sometimes, however, it’s difficult to find just the right hook. The next topic, after all, must be interesting for both conversation partners. When you seem to have reached a dead end with one topic, you can move on to an unrelated topic abruptly with one of these:

Why don’t we move on to another topic?

Did you notice?

Did you know… ?


The awkward transition to business
Normally while making small talk you wouldn’t discuss business. While discussing business is more common during a business lunch, business dinners and networking events in most cultures are held sacrosanct. Talking business and especially selling are often regarded as tactless. Sometimes, however, it can be useful and efficient to make a brief exception. Here are a few phrases that will help you make your point:

Speaking of business, let me share something with you…

Now that we’ve mentioned business, would you mind if we briefly touched on an issue that I feel may be important to our … ?


Accidents do happen
The problem with small talk across cultures is that you can’t always know what is offensive or may be understood as an insult. If you sense you’ve put your foot in it, here are a few ways to backpedal:

I’m sorry; I hope I didn’t offend you with that comment.

I’m sorry; I didn’t mean any offense.

Oh, I’m so sorry if I’ve offended you. That was not my intent.

Have I said something to offend you? If so, I’m truly sorry. Sometimes I don’t manage to express myself in English with quite the same eloquence as I do in German.

Important! Always apologise! Don’t let potential bad feelings go unaddressed.



Establishing harmony
The most important aspect of good small talk is the ability to show true interest in what the other person is saying – even if the other person is doing most or all of the talking. This is done by showing you are listening intently, repeating what has been said and asking for confirmation.

Do you mean to say that … ?

Did I hear you correctly? Did … really … ?

So you’re saying that …
I see. That’s exactly the problem I’ve been having. How lucky I am to have finally found someone who has experience in this area.
I see.
Is that so?
Really?
Exactly. I completely agree.
That sounds like fun.
That sounds stressful.
That sounds difficult.
Cool.
I wish I had …
Are you sure?
Good Lord!
That’s incredible!


The ultimate small talk nugget of wisdom

Never miss a good opportunity to shut up.

Schlagwörter: Smalltalk auf Englisch, Smalltalk Englisch, Überleitungen, geschickte Überleitungen, connecting topics, successful, conversation

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