BEP 262 – Socializing at an Office Party 1

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on socializing at an office party or event.

Office parties are a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues outside of the usual work environment. Besides, as the saying goes, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” But have you ever found yourself at a party, drink in hand, and been unsure how to strike up a conversation? Maybe you’re at a table with someone you haven’t actually met from a different department. You make eye contact, smile, and then what? What do you say?

Socializing with co-workers is an important part of building good relationships, but it can be awkward if you find yourself at a loss for words. Fortunately, there are some great techniques for this situation that you can learn and practice. In today’s lesson, we’ll look at breaking the ice and using common points of knowledge to start a conversation. We’ll also learn how to turn the conversation to the other person, show interest, and make an excuse to leave when you want to finish the conversation.

In the dialog, we will hear Amber, who works in marketing for a pharmaceutical company. She is at a staff Christmas party and finds herself talking to Shelly, who works in sales. Amber and Shelly haven’t actually met before, and Amber wants to make conversation.

Listening Questions

1. What does Amber first comment on in her conversation?
2. What work topic does Amber bring up with Shelly?
3. What reason does Amber give for leaving?

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