Small Talk Tip – How To Introduce Yourself To Someone New!
These are my small talk tips to confidently introduce yourself to anyone in English!
This is my *foolproof* method to help you introduce yourself in English and start more English conversations!
I’ll share how to introduce yourself in three different situations:
🏡 Meeting your new neighbour
🏢 You are at the office
🏫 Dropping your kids off at school
Plus, you’ll get to practise your own introduction at the end. Make sure you share your introduction in the comments so I can give you some feedback!
This is my best small talk tip, how to introduce yourself to someone new. Right now I’m going to teach you my four-step method to make introducing yourself to someone in English easy and enjoyable. You can use these steps to introduce yourself at work, to a neighbour, at a bar, at the dog park, anywhere, and the best part is it’s short, it’s fast, it’s easy to remember so you can start practising your introduction today.
I’m Emma from mmmEnglish and I help English learners around the world to speak English confidently. I’m also the co-founder of Hey Lady!, an English-speaking community for women to develop confidence and fluency as English speakers. You can find me on all my socials, all the links are down in the description. But right now, let’s dive into my four-step process to help you introduce yourself to anyone.
Okay, I’m so excited to share my method to introduce yourself in English because it’s simple and it’s easy to remember. We can get so worried and so nervous about meeting new people. Perhaps you worry about making a mistake in English, perhaps you don’t quite know what to say or you worry about running out of things to say once you start. Maybe you’re an introvert and you really have to force yourself to meet new people. Is that you? What makes you nervous about meeting someone new in English? Let me know down in the comments.
So let’s get started with those four steps to introduce yourself.
Step one: Find an interesting point that connects you to this person in that moment.
Step two: Introduce yourself, tell them your name.
Step three: Engage with a relevant question about the context or the topic that you mentioned in step one.
Step four: Give good vibes and move on.
All of this should be over in two or three minutes. We worry about starting conversations but the reality is that most first-time meetings are really brief and they are the opportunities that we have to find connections, connections that you can use later on when you see that person again next time. So don’t think about this first conversation as being a huge commitment. It’s brief, it’s fast and you’ve got to hit some key points.
So I’m going to break down each of those steps now but to do that, I’m going to share three different scenarios.
- Meeting your neighbour, you’ve just moved into a new house.
- At the office, you’ve been working there for a few months now but you see someone that you haven’t met yet in the staff kitchen.
- When you’re dropping your kids off at school and you see some of the other parents chatting outside the classroom.
At each step, we’ll talk about these three different scenarios so that you can see how my method applies in each of these different contexts and I’ll give you some examples.
Step 1: Small Talk to start your conversation
Find an interesting point that connects you to this person in that moment.
- It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?
The weather is a perfect topic because most likely, you’ll be outside when you’re meeting your neighbour.
- That smells good! What have you got for lunch?Usually, you run into people in places like the staff kitchen so we’re using the context to start our conversation.
- Don’t forget your lunchbox, Ted! He forgot it three times last week.This is great because it’s relatable, everyone’s a parent here so they can laugh about the silly frustrating things that their kids do so it’s a really great way to start a conversation.
See how in each of those different situations, the comment or the question that I use to start the conversation connects you to that moment that you’re in. It could be the weather, it could be a sports game, it could be your kids or your car, whatever it is that is relevant in that moment and it can be really simple. In fact, it should be because you’re just getting started here, you want to keep it simple.
Step 2: Introduce Yourself
You want to take the opportunity to introduce yourself but this is not the type of introduction where you give lots of information about your family or what you do for work or where you’re from or anything like that. It should be fleeting, almost like a little extra piece of information.
- I’m Emma, by the way.
Adding “by the way” helps this interjection seem casual and relaxed. We use it in English conversations all of the time to give a little bit more information or to introduce a new subject to a conversation so it’s just like a little interjection, a little disruption and you can add a little bit more context to it if you want.
- I’m Emma, by the way. I just moved into number seven.
- I’m Emma, by the way. I just started in the policy team.
- I’m Emma, by the way, Ted’s mum. I think our kids are in the same class.
Easy, right? Just keep it simple. Once you’ve introduced yourself, then pause, let them speak. They’re probably going to introduce themselves or say something nice. They might even ask you a question.
Step 3: Extend your conversation
Engage them with a relevant question about the context or the interesting point you made in step one.
- How long have you lived in the area?
Hey, you wouldn’t have any recommendations about a great restaurant nearby, would you?
Do you know if there’s a dog park in the area?
How long does it take to walk to the beach from here?
- How long have you worked here?
Which team do you work in?
What projects are you working on at the moment?
So tell me, where is the best coffee around here?
- What’s your son or daughter’s name? I think Ted has talked about Sam before.
Are you going to the school concert on Friday?
Do you have any other kids at the school? How old are they?
These are just a few ideas but you can see that we’re just extending the simple ideas and the questions that are related to the context in that moment. And we’ve already made it to the last step guys.
Step 4: End your conversation
Give good vibes and move on. We’re not aiming for a ten-minute conversation here. We’re aiming to make a good impression and importantly, inspire the next opportunities for our next conversation. We’re going to take all of the information we collect at this first brief meeting and use it to build a stronger connection with this person next time.
So right now, all we need to do is leave this conversation in a friendly way so that that person you’re talking to looks forward to talking to you again next time.
- Well, I’ve got dinner on the stove so I’d better go but lovely to meet you.
- It was great to meet you anyway. I’m sure I’ll see you around.
- Well, it was lovely to meet you. I’ll see you at drop-off tomorrow!
Okay now it’s your turn to practise. I’m going to give you the opportunity to meet someone new and I want you to think about the four steps in this process. I want you to write down your answers in your notebook or type them down into the comments below. I want you to think about what you would say for all four steps. If you add it down into the comments, I’ll be able to come down and read your ideas, make some suggestions or some corrections if you need it. Sound good?
You see this woman while you’re out walking your dog. How can you start a conversation with her?
So step one is find an interesting point that connects you to this person.
Step two, introduce yourself.
Step three, engage them with a relevant question about the context.
And step four, give good vibes and move on. Pause the video and imagine your conversation.
And there you have it! I hope my small talk tips help you to introduce yourself to start more English conversations and make more English-speaking friends. Remember that the first time you introduce yourself to someone, your aim is just to have a friendly, positive interaction, not to have a long, deep, detailed conversation. Think of this first meeting as you laying the very first brick in a wall. That wall is going to grow, it’s going to become bigger with every short interaction you have with this person. Right now, you’re just creating the opportunity for your next friendly interaction.
If you enjoyed this lesson, please let me know. You can give me a like, you can drop me a little comment or even better, you can subscribe to my channel just down there so you never miss a mmmEnglish lesson. In fact, let’s go check out this one right now.
Links mentioned in the video
Make An Appointment: Practise Speaking on the Phone!
Discourse Markers: Sound Fluent & Natural in English Conversations
5 Tips To Improve Your Listening Skills