Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

how to transition to a new topic in English

When you have something important to say in English, how do you transition into the topic?

How do you open up your statement so that people listen and they know that you are going to narrow your focus on a specific topic?

We do this on the show all of the time when we move from small talk at the beginning into the topic of the day.

Today we’ll show you exactly how we do it and how you can do it too.

Here is a question from a listener:

Hi Lindsay and Michelle,

I’m Rodolfo from Brazil who lives in the city of Sao Paulo. I have been listening to this podcast since late 2015 and it has been mastering my listening and my English quite a lot. In most episodes after you introduce the subject, greet the listeners and yourselves, you generally say phrasal verbs such as DIVE IN, DIG IN, HONEY IN or even an idiom which is roll-up our sleeves.

I guess all of them mean same which is to go deeply to the subject except to roll-up the sleeves this one means to be ready for something, I bet. I just wanted to know when to use one and another or it doesn’t matter?

Would mind to clear up it?

Thank you and congrats for your tremendous podcast.


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Good question!

Today we will show you how to voice that you are ready to transition from small talk into the topic of the conversation or the goal of the meeting.


We have done a few other related episodes:

*One cultural note: today we are talking about how to say that you are ready to talk about the main point of the meeting.

The time when this happens is very cultural.

In the US it’s been observed that we tend to do this after about 5-10 minutes of small talk in a formal business meeting.

Some cultures spend much more time doing small talk and building a relationship before going into the business topic.

 You can read more about how to captivate people with small talk in episode 192.


How to Transition into the Topic:

Keep in mind these are very casual, but we’ll give you a few that are more formal.

  • “Are you ready to dive in?”
  • “Shall/should we dig in?”
  • “Let’s hone in on ___.”
  • “Let’s roll-up our sleeves?”
  • “So are you ready to get into it? Let’s get into it!”
  • “Shall we get started? (more formal)”
  • “Are you ready to get started (more formal)”
  • “Shall we begin? (formal)”


What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Let us know in the comments below.

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