The BUT Categories

The BUT Categories

Okay, but …

Now last time I covered ‘Starting Off with Small Talk’ and I gave you two strategies for starting off: useful phrases and asking questions. This is the final part of a 5-week training course on small talk. You can download the free pdf workbook for the 5-week training course hereIf you’ve just started reading then I recommend you start with this post first, there I’ve explained why small talk is important. Today I’m focussing on two categories I encounter very often, the BUT categories. During the past few weeks, you’ve been given the basics, the topics, the phrases for starting off and a strategy for asking questions, right? Okay, but …

So you’re ready, right?

Well, honestly some of you might be and some of you aren’t just quite there yet.

Let me explain what I’m talking about. From my experience I know there are many people, who have everything, e.g. topic-based vocabulary, phrases, they can ask questions, they listen actively and they are observant. Sounds great, doesn’t it? So where’s the catch? Here comes the big BUT.

This BUT has two categories:

First BUT category – you get stuck in the middle of the conversation. All of a sudden you don’t know what to say anymore.

Second  BUT category – you don’t even start a conversation, because you are scared silly of reaching this point.

Which BUT category are you?

In both cases it’s essential to have a strategy or road map. Let’s look at each category and see what you could do.

1.  BUT category 

If you get stuck in the middle of the conversation and don’t know what to say anymore. A common problem here is, that you get stuck because you’re focussing on ‘not knowing the correct expression’. That’s when you start to panic. Your brain goes blank and nothing sensible comes to mind. Don’t worry if this has happened to you, here are three useful tips to help you in such a situation:

  1. Focus on what you know
  2. Try to describe what you want to say
  3. Ask for help

Not sure how to ask for help? Here are three phrases you can use to ask for help:

1. ‘I forgot what it’s called’ or just ‘What’s it called?’

2. ‘It’s slipped my mind’

3. ‘It’s on the tip of my tongue’

Oh and by the way, there is no shame in asking for help. It’s not a sign of weakness. By doing so you are taking control of the situation and playing the ball to your counterpart.

2.  BUT category 

If you don’t even start a conversation, because you are scared silly of reaching this point then you actually only have one choice. You have to take the plunge or walk through that door and overcome this obstacle. To do so here are seven tips to help you reach your goal.

  1. Take a deep breath 
  2. Visualise your success
  3. Imagine you’ve already met the person you’re talking to, like he or she is an old acquaintance
  4. Tell yourself your excited and not nervous
  5. You have the basics, use them
  6. Think of yourself as a superhero who is rescuing someone from a bad conversation
  7. Put a smile on your face

Finally just do it! 

Now for both categories I’ve given you a road map. In case that’s not enough, just feel free to contact me or you can just schedule a call with me  click here to schedule a call and together we will come up with a solution to help you get your point across.

Remember I told you, that everyone has his or her own style of communicating and we’re all unique. Yvette and I will help you find and manifest your unique style of communicating successfully in English.

One more thing

We’d like to thank you for tuning in and downloading the podcast. We’d love to hear more from you. Most importantly you can help us by rating us on iTunes and if you like leave a review. By doing that you’ll help us get a bigger reach. We know that rating us takes up your time and that’s why we’ve decided to raffle three books among all of you who rate us on iTunes.

All you have to do to take part is to rate us and leave a comment. Make a screenshot of your rating and comment and send it to us either by email or as a DM on Instagram.

These are the books you can win: Atomic Habits by James Clear, Denglish for Better Knowers by Adam Fletcher and Paul Hawkins and Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker. We’ve been told to prolong the raffle. You can participate till April 12. 2019. We will make the draw on 3 May 2019. Good luck!

Take care


PS Yvette and I have a podcast called “Your English Podcast”.  You can find it on iTunes and on Spotify sign up for it, so you don’t miss the next episode.

Are you on social media? Let’s connect on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing and Twitter. 

Go ahead and share...

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below