Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you feel comfortable when you go to networking events and have to speak English?

Do you run out of ways to start the conversation?

Do you wonder what phrases are a good way to kick off a conversation and what phrases you should avoid?

Today we’ll tell you what to do and what NOT to do when you go to a networking event in English.

It’s hard to know what to talk about at a professional networking event.

In today’s episode we’ll review an article about what to say to start a conversation at an event and we’ll give our own opinions on the article’s suggestions.

What does the article say?

This article mentions how it is not a good idea to ask “what do you do” at work events.

Here is a quote from the article: “Assuming you’re already at a work-related networking event or meeting another person in a work context, the question quickly sets a boundary around the conversation that the other person is now a “work” contact. It’s possible you might discover another commonality and build a multiplex tie, but it’s far less likely to happen in that conversation.

What to say instead of “what do you do?”

The article suggests starting the conversation with a question that is not work related and then bring the conversation back to work.

A good one to try: “Where did you grow up?”

Avoid their suggestion to use, “What excites you right now?”

Some alternatives:

  • “What is the best place you have traveled to?”
  • Something about the weather or the season in general
  • Something about the food, if there is food at the event.


Don’t be boring at a networking event!

However, be careful when you find lists that provide alternative ways to start the conversation.

Maybe ask a native speaker friend what they think about the phrases on a list like this one before trying them.

Today we have given you a bunch of great options to start conversations in an interesting way.

What questions do you have today?

Let us know in the comments below.

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