In Proceedings By Catherine

Breaking the ice: how to start a conversation in English

It is known that conferences and public events — excellent event to make useful contacts (to pick up an acquaintance) and meet with colleagues from other companies (to meet new colleagues). It is also a great way to learn a lot during presentations (presentations) and workshops (workshops). Time for a coffee break (coffee break) and evening activities (evening events) — a great way to make new friends (to make new friends). The initial phase, which is necessary to melt the ice cold business atmosphere (to breake the ice), is the most difficult. What to do, how to establish communication in this situation?

Imagine that you were alone at a conference abroad. What is the action plan? The easiest way to find a group of people who are discussing something and join the conversation (join the conversation). Politely listen a few minutes talking about what was going on, and then introduce yourself. Do not forget that smile (a smile) and a positive attitude (positive attitude) offers to you buddy:

Hello, my name is Aleksandr. Is it OK if I join your group? — Hello, my name is Alexander. Mind if I join your group?

Sorry, do you mind if I join you? — Excuse me, do you mind if I join you?

Do not try to immediately offer the group to buy your product or service, tell us about your company. The purpose of attending a conference still is communication.

You can walk slowly around the room in search of the same «friends in misfortune» (companions in misfortune), who came to the conference alone. They usually stand at the tables with the serving of coffee. You can start a conversation like this:

Do you know where I can find cups? — Do not tell me where I can find a cup?

Could you, please, pass me the milk? — Could you pass me the milk?

Are you here alone or with your team? — Are you here alone or with your team?

Do you know many people here? — Do you know many people here?

I was able to observe that those who smoke, have a priori advantage to socialize. They’re going to have smoking areas, where there are fewer people and it is easier to start a conversation. If you smoke, you can start a conversation in a room for smoking (smoking room), starting out like this:

Do you have a light? — Do you have a lighter?

It’s nice here, is not it? — It is good, is not it?

It’s cold outside, is not it? — Cool in the street, do not you?

Under no circumstances should smoking area does not oblige you to smoke, so you can just get some fresh air:

I just came out for some fresh air. There are too many people in there. — I went out for some fresh air. Too many people in the room.

Of course, the conversation can start with a simple presentation of:

Hi, I am from Russia. — Hello I am from Russia.

But do not forget that you need to pay due attention to the other party and not be selfish, adding:

And what about you? — And you?

Also, you can start a conversation with a discussion of the event:

Are you giving a presentation at the conference? — You will make presentations at the conference?

I was at your workshop. It was amazing! — I visited your training. That was great!

How do you like the conference / party? — How do you conference / party?

Is it your first time at the conference? — Your first time at the conference?

Topics that are better not to discuss

Regardless of the format of the event, there are some topics that are not accepted to discuss at the first meeting. How would any international conference audience was best to avoid the following topics:

  1. Religion and politics (religion and politics). Do not discuss the religious and political issues in the workplace, it’s purely personal matters, the views on which are often at odds. On this basis it easy to rekindle the conflict from a small dispute, and it can seriously damage the business and interpersonal relationships.
  2. Problems with your spouses, children or colleagues (problems with her ​​husband (oops), children or co-workers). Questions of education of children, quarrels, gossip and problems — is not what they want to hear your interlocutors. Communication on these themes can cause irritation and negative towards you.
  3. Salary (salary). Being close friends with someone, you can ask a question of the amount of earnings. But we’re talking about your new friends, so foreign colleagues answered evasively and hurry to finish a conversation with you.
  4. Low level of event you are attending (a low level of activity that you visit). If you are invited to a specific event, it is not accepted to criticize him directly during the event itself. You invited guest, you need to respect the organizers of the event. Not necessarily all know that dinner would be with dessert, and not just end in the main course. If you really do not like something, you can always write a review about this event, indicating that the cost to improve his conduct.


Now I propose to view a video that shows how to behave at the first meeting and talking with strangers.

Confidence Confidence
Opinion Opinion
Urge Desire
Silence The Silence
To doubt Doubt
To stress out Jitter
To figure out Find out
To pretend Pretend
To apologies Apologize
To unleash Writing a will
To encourage Encourage
To approach Approach
To recap Briefly repeat
Intelligent Clever
Genuine Genuine
Respectful Valid
Laid back Calm
Phrases and idioms
A woody guy Strange guy
Awkward silence An awkward silence
To be in a talkative mood Being attuned to the conversation
If it does not work out If this does not work

Below, I present to you the key points of this video: How to Break the ice. Confident conversation.

  • Be yourself. Do not pretend to have seen a movie that you have not. — Be yourself. Do not pretend to be someone who you are not really.
  • Confidence. Be confident in your opinions and yourself. — Confidence. Be confident in your looks and confidence.
  • Do not stress out over periods of silence. Allow silences and encourage other persons to be ok with them. — Do not worry because of the pauses in conversation. Allow them to be and keep other people, so they do not worry about it.
  • Be an active listener. Often we are spending more time thinking about what we are going to say instead of listening to another person. — Be an active listener. Often we spend more time thinking about what we will continue to say, instead of listening to the other person.
  • Encourage the other person to talk about himself. It’s much easier to become interested in others than it is to convince them to be interested in you. — Encourage the other person to talk about himself, not about you. It is much easier to be interested in the other person than to convince him to take an interest in your person.
  • If you get shot down, take it in stride. — If you do not succeed, just forget about it.

I hope these tips will be useful to you in real life. The main thing you need to remember that in most cases the person with whom you want to talk, too shy and does not know how to start a conversation. Be the first to be able to melt the ice of tightness in the conversation.



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