Quick Technique To Feel Calm Making Small Talk In English - The English Training Company

Quick Technique To Feel Calm Making Small Talk In English

‘Making Small Talk In English With Confidence’ is my latest Amazon ebook with audio (Available 15th February 2018) for busy professionals.


Most of us feel nervous and not calm when we have to make small talk in English, and that applies both to non native English speakers and to native English speakers. To help you, here is chapter 3 from my new book.

‘ARE’ is a quick technique to feel calm making small talk in English.  Watch the video and/or read the blog post below.


A-R-E – Anchor, Reveal, Encourage (ARE) is a simple small talk technique and really easy to use at a business lunch or dinner.

1) Anchor. Make a comment or observation about the situation you and the other person are in. This comment/observation (“anchor”) will join you both together, a bit like a ‘boat’ and the ‘sea floor’.

2) Reveal. After he or she acknowledges your comment/observation with a smile and his or her own comment, say something about yourself that is related to your anchor sentence

3) Encourage. Finally, ask a question that relates to the topic to maintain the conversation.


Example – Business lunch/dinner.

(Anchor) -“The seafood menu looks delicious.”

(other person)- “I like seafood but I don´t know a lot about it.”


(Reveal) – “I really like seafood and the best seafood in Spain is from Galicia. It´s a lovely green region in the northwest of Spain and is also good for walking.”

 (other person) – “Yes I love the outdoors and going walking in the countryside.”


(Encourage) – “Yes me too, I did the ‘Camino de Santiago’ last year, it´s one of Europe´s most popular walking routes (comment). Where are the best places to go walking near San Francisco?” (question) 



#TIP 1: ‘ARE’ is an easy way to break the ice and start a conversation.

#TIP 2: Remember to alternate between making comments and asking questions so you don´t sound like the police.


**Practice Activity

Think of a business lunch/dinner where you had to make small talk with a colleague/client in English.

 – Practice making small talk and record yourself speaking (1-3 mins).

– Record it twice. Give yourself feedback and decide which one is better.


I hope this helps you in your job and professional career, Christopher!


Recommendation: I also recommend that you read my top tip – How To Change The Chip To Write Good Emails In English – Part I


Help a colleague

If you think a colleague or friend would find this post really useful, please share it with them via email or social media.

¡Hasta pronto!



For Business English classes and courses (face to face in Madrid and online), contact us via the website or by email info@englishtco.com or a chris@englishtco.com


This post was written by Christopher Wright and published on 7th February 2018 under the categories: Meeting In English Tips, Speaking In English Tips
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