Business English Socializing Lessons

All BEP lessons for socializing in English.

Our Social English lessons cover a range of topics related to socializing in a professional context. These lessons provide learners with practical tips, strategies, and vocabulary to communicate effectively in various situations, such as networking events, parties, and business dinners. Each lesson focuses on a specific aspect of socializing, such as making introductions, small talk, and business etiquette. Build confidence in socializing in English, and create meaningful connections with colleagues and clients.

All our social English lessons are listed below with the latest lessons at the top.

BEP 401 – Socializing at Work 2: Deepening the Conversation

BEP 401 LESSON - Socializing with Colleagues 2: Deepening the conversation

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for socializing with colleagues. Today we’re going to look at how to build deeper conversations with colleagues you’ve met for the first time.

When we meet a colleague for the first time, the conversation is usually pretty light. We introduce ourselves, make small talk about the weather, sports, or travel. And we try to build a bit of a connection with people. Listen to a conversation like this, and you’ll notice that people keep their comments pretty short and don’t spend too long talking about themselves.

Once you’ve established that initial connection, you have an opportunity to build rapport by deepening the conversation. While you might talk a bit more personally than the initial conversation, it’s still important to keep it light. And you need to continue with the back and forth dance of a skilled conversationalist.

In this deepening conversation, you might make comments about the place you’re in or the location. Another easy way to get someone talking is to ask them a number-based question, like how long they’ve lived in a certain place, for example. Skilled people also know how to turn the conversation back to the other person and find similarities to build rapport. And once you have some rapport, you’ll be able to contradict or disagree with people politely.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin a pair of colleagues – Jen and Ryan – who’ve just met at a company retreat. In our last lesson, we heard their very first conversation. Now they’re getting to know each other a bit better during a company social event at a bowling alley.

Listening Questions

1. What number-based question does Jen ask Ryan to get him talking?
2. What similarity in background or family situation does Ryan point out?
3. What point does Jen make that Ryan disagrees with near the end of the dialog?

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BEP 400 – Socializing with Colleagues 1: Meeting New People

BEP 400 LESSON - English for Socializing with Colleagues 1: Meeting New People

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for socializing with your colleagues. In this lesson we’re going to learn how to socialize with colleagues you’re meeting in-person for the first time.

What do you talk about when you meet someone new or see your colleagues socially? Some outgoing people apparently never have to think about it. They’re just natural socializers and feel comfortable with small talk. For most of us though, making small talk with new people or co-workers feels uncomfortable at best, or painful at worst. But it doesn’t have to be.

We call it “small talk” because it’s light, simple, and informal conversation. It’s not serious, deep, or overly formal. Small talk is often about personal matters, but not too personal if it’s at work. We often talk about places or things that are safe and avoid controversial topics. And there’s a flow to small talk that can be tricky to master. Your comments can’t be too short, or you’ll seem rude. But if they’re too long, people will lose interest.

So what can you talk about if you’re meeting colleagues for the first time at say a conference or a company retreat? Well, some key topics include your name and job, of course, but also places and travel. And key strategies include building on other people’s comments, making guesses or inferences, and using unfinished sentences to invite other people to speak. With a handle on these approaches, you can comfortably chat socially with your colleagues.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear a conversation at a company retreat. People from a large company are gathering for meetings and team-building. We’ll hear Michelle, Jen, and Ryan meet each other for the first time. In their conversation, you’ll hear the topics and strategies that I just mentioned.

Listening Questions

1. What information does Jen give in her short personal introduction?
2. What comment or fact given by Michelle does Jen build on with a further comment?
3. What does Jen ask Ryan about once he has introduced himself?

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Skills 360 – Socializing 2: Following up with Contacts

Business English 360 LESSON - Socializing and Following up with Contacts

Welcome back to the Business English Skills 360 podcast for today’s lesson on networking and following up with new contacts.

Good relationships are cultivated. They don’t just happen on their own. And if you make new business contacts – whether that’s at a conference, a networking event, or on the subway – don’t wait until you run into them by accident again. You need to follow up.

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Skills 360 – Socializing 1: Meeting New People

English for Socializing - Meeting New People (1)

Welcome back to the Business English Skills 360 podcast for today’s lesson on socializing and meeting new people.

For some, meeting new people seems to come very naturally. But for most of us, it can be a bit awkward, or intimidating, to walk into a room full of strangers and try to strike up a conversation. Knowing that it’s important to network doesn’t make it easy. And with the return to some sort of normalcy in many countries, there’s even more pressure to beef up our social skills. So where to start?

In this Business English Skills 360 lesson, we’ll look at five ways to boost your confidence and make socializing in English more comfortable:

1. Change your mindset
2. Ask questions
3. Find common areas of interest
4. Make it easy to participate in the conversation
5. Be genuine

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BEP 333 – Business Development 4: Following Up with Partners

Sales English - BEP 333 Business Development 4: Following up with Partners

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on how to follow up with potential partners.

Everyone knows that business is a competitive world, sometimes brutally competitive. But it’s not all “dog eat dog,” as they say. Good business people know that one of the keys to success is collaboration. You find other people and businesses that are doing great things, and you cooperate so that you both benefit.

In fact, forging good partnerships is an important aspect of business development. And every partnership begins with a conversation in English. Or a few conversations, I should say.

Once you’ve identified someone as a potential partner, you’ll want to follow up, by phone or in person. And that conversation might involve asking about the person’s work activities, before steering the conversation toward your own field of work and what your company is doing. From there, you can carefully move toward the idea of working together. You might even propose a small joint effort to get the partnership going.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Nick, a business development executive with Quest HR. Nick is talking to Ian, who works with a management consulting firm. The two met at a conference, and Nick quickly identified Ian’s company as a potential partner. Now Nick is trying to figure out how they might be able to work together.

Listening Questions

1. What does Nick say his company believes is the secret to success?
2. What does Nick suggest Ian do if he’s interested in the work of Nick’s company?
3. What joint effort does Nick propose at the end of the conversation?

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