Ana, Spain: When a friend introduces me to someone at a party and I have to make small talk, I sometimes stumble over my words and start mumbling. I’ve watched more confident people and they always speak up. I read something about giving people compliments and asking questions. It’s a good way to start a conversation; you can say something like, “I really love your shoes! Where did you get them?” So, that’s what I’m going to do next time I meet someone new. Also, feeling confident about what I look like helps me Read the text, translate – so I always wear clothes that make me feel good.
Mark, Australia: I work in a big company and I meet new colleagues all the time. I like meeting new people and I’m quite confident, but in my experience people definitely form an instant opinion about you. Personally, I try not to be too judgemental /dʒʌdʒˈmentl/, but I’m sure your unconscious /ʌnˈkɒnʃəs/ mind takes over a bit! You need to think about the language you use, especially when you greet people. I always say, “Hello, pleased to meet you.” I can’t stand Read the text, translate it when people you don’t know are really informal and say something like, “Hey, what’s up?” I think it also sounds ridiculous /rɪˈdɪkjələs/ when people are too formal and say, “How do you do?”
Elena, Poland: As I’m writing this, I’m nervous because I’m starting a new class tomorrow and I’m going to meet lots of new classmates. I think it’ll be fine though. I know one person and I’m meeting her before the class. Also, most people are nervous in new situations. My parents always told Read the text, translate me to treat people as you want them to treat you. You should never talk down to them or gossip about them. I’d like people to chat to me and be friendly, so I’m going to do that. I think it’s also important to make eye contact and listen to people. You shouldn’t talk about yourself all the time, boast about things or dominate the conversation.
Try to explain the meaning of each phrase by looking at the sentences around the verb phrases.
|make small talk||talk Read the text, translate down to smb|
|greet someone||stumble over your words|
|give someone a compliment|
Some more new words you should remember:
judgemental /dʒʌdʒˈmentl/ - категоричный, нетерпимый
unconscious /ʌnˈkɒnʃəs/ - бессознательный, подсознательный
ridiculous /rɪˈdɪkjələs/ - смехотворный, нелепый
keep things bottled up - скрывать, сдерживать чувства