Speaking: meeting new people

Topic Focus

In this topic we look at language we can use when meeting and speaking to new people.

20 minutes

What do you talk about when you meet people at a social event such as a conference or networking event? How do you start the conversation? How do you finish it? Write your ideas in your personal notebooks.

The following expressions can be used when meeting strangers at a social event. Click through the expressions and think about whether they are used to:

  • Start a conversation
  • Keep a conversation going
  • End a conversation
"Nice to meet you."
A - "It was nice chatting with you." - B: "You too. See you."
"Really? That’s interesting!"
A: "Hiya, what’s your name?" - B: "I’m Peter and you?" A: "Hi, nice to meet you, I’m Chloe."
A: "Nice talking to you, I’m going to talk to more people." B: "Yes, me too. See you!"
"What about you?"
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Below you can read some useful phrases that we can use when meeting and speaking to strangers.

You are going to read an example dialogue in which people meet strangers at an international conference in Sheffield.

Note: In English-speaking countries, people normally use: 

Their first name only: Hello, I’m Colin.

OR their first name and surname: Hello, I’m Colin Smith. 

NOT: Hello, I’m Smith OR Hello, I’m Mr Colin

Think of questions you would like to ask the people you will meet in the live session. Some questions you can ask are the following. In preparation, fill in the gaps with is/ are/ do: