Unit 03 :
Small talk with clients


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Repeat these sentences with your teacher first.

  • gorgeous (adj.)  What a gorgeous day today!
  • a cinch (n.)  This project will be a cinch.
  • show you around (phr.)
  • highlight (v.)
  • provide (v.) Could you provide me with some information?
  • go over (v.)
  • give you a better idea (phr.)
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Read the dialogue aloud with your teacher.



Hi, Cooper. Nice to meet you.

Great to meet you too, Frank. You have a gorgeous office.

Thank you. I hope you found it okay.

Of course. It was a cinch.

Excellent. I’ll show you around and introduce you to some of or staff.

Great, thank you.

In our meeting, I’ll highlight some of the services we provide and what we can do for your company.

Okay, and I can also go over a few things to give you a better idea of us.

Sounds like a plan.

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Read the article with your teacher.

Small talk plays in American professional culture.

There’s nothing small about the role that small talk plays in American professional culture. Even for the most technically skilled worker in the world, their ability to progress in their job and move up the corporate ladder in the United States is highly dependent on their ability to build and maintain positive relationships with people at work. So, what skill is critical for building and maintaining these relationships? Small talk.

However, in many cultures, it can be particularly inappropriate to make small talk with strangers or to share any personal information with someone you don’t know. America may be one of the only countries in the world where it’s common to strike up a personal conversation with a complete stranger.

What can you do if you are from another culture and want to learn to use small talk in the U.S.? First, watch how others do it and work hard to hone your own version of American-style small talk. Second, as you are honing your style, also work hard to appreciate why Americans make small talk as they do from their cultural perspective.


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Answer the following questions to your teacher.

  1. Do you find it easy to start conversations with strangers? Why? Why not?
  2. When was the last time you had a conversation with a stranger?
  3. Have you ever attended a business/academic conference? If so, what was it like? If not, would you like to?
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Let’s practice

Choose the correct answer.

1. I bought my mom a beautiful necklace.

The highlighted part can be replaced by ________.

A.  Expensive
B.  Simple
C.  Special
D.  Gorgeous

2. A: What do you think of repairing the car?

B: ____________. I’ll finish it in just 2 hours.

A It’s tricky.
B It’s difficult.
C It’s too late.
D It’s a cinch.

3. You should review the textbook before taking examinations.

The highlighted part can be replaced by ________.

A. go into
B. go over
C. go on
D. go through

4. The government was not in a position to provide them ______ food.

A. about
B. for
C. in
D. with

5. Tom has __a.___ the importance of __b.___ good services for customers. Now, we should keep that in mind and get ___c.__ to our business.

down / strengthened / up / highlighted / providing

6. Jerry will give you more details about our product to that you can have a better idea about it.

The highlighted part means ________.

A. You can come up with some advice about it.

B. You can understand this thing better.

C. You will start thinking about buying it.

D. You can comment on it.