Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

It’s almost September. This is the time of year when everyone will be coming back from their vacations.

Asking your colleagues about their vacation is a great way to build connection.

We’ll show you how to ask them about their time off and then smoothly transition into business talk.

In the US it’s common to do about 5 minutes of small talk before you get into business. Asking someone about their vacation is an easy topic!

How to ask someone about their vacation:

  • “You just came back from vacation, right? How was that?”
  • “How was your time away?”
  • “What did you do on your vacation?”
  • “(Are you) feeling refreshed after your vacation?”
  • “Tell me about your vacation…”(this would be better if you’re on a lunch break with someone because it indicates they might speak longer)

The key to success with business small talk:

  • Be very aware of non verbal signals. Does the person want to get down to business? Listen for it in the voice. There is always a key moment when the conversation is ready to move into business and away from small talk. Don’t miss that moment.
  • Let the other person guide the interaction if you’re not as confident in English.

To read the full role play and more details from today’s episode get the transcripts.

Leave us a comment below. What is small talk like in your culture?

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

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