2. ledna 2012 8:00 Lidovky.cz > Byznys > Angličtina

Byznys angličtina: Small Talk and Business Meals

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Server Lidovky.cz opět přináší pravidelné týdenní lekce byznys angličtiny, které pro vás připravujeme ve spolupráci s jazykovou agenturou Skřivánek. V první letošní lekci se dozvíte jak se správně chovat a o čem konverzovat na pracovním obědě či večeři.

Rules for business meals

As you read through the general rules, fill in the gaps with the words below:

orders          meal           dinner         luncheon        appetizers

Organizing a business ___(1)____ or ___(2)___ requires a thorough preparation. Remember that if you invite your business partner to a business ___(3)___, you should not start talking about the business immediately. Wait until all the ____(4)___ have been taken and the
___(5)___ served. Discuss general topics and allow at least the first ten minutes to small talk to establish rapport and good atmosphere.

Insert appropriate words into the gaps below:

As the people get ___(1)___, switch of the mobile phones in order not to get you and your partners ___(2)___. Also, the general ___(3)___ is that nobody should bring a spouse to the business meal unless your business partner is from out of town. In that case, you should bring a company of the same ___(4)___ for the spouse of your business partner.

When you decide to invite your partner to a business lunch, it is your ____(5)____ to pay. Even if it is your client who asks you for a business lunch or dinner, you will pay for the lunch.

Find words in the Rules for business meals section (above) that mean the following.

a husband or a wife =

a friendly relationship =

a subject of a conversation =

Small Talk Topics

Look at the four frequent small talk questions and match them to the paragraphs describing their function.

“What´s on TV?”      “What´s new with you?"     “How´s Business?”       “Have you heard about…?”


Usually it is natural to start a conversation with your business partner you have seen for some time using this sentence. Moreover, it is a good transition to more neutral topics such as new projects, news in general, and development of the economics and so on.


This is a very good topic, which you won´t use at the very beginning of a conversation but probably during meal times. At the beginning, you can come up with strictly business like topics, discussing for example politicians and then move to any general interesting topics appropriate for the company.


If the atmosphere gets relaxed, you can come up with this topic. Everybody is interested in watching news or reading interesting information; everybody has heard about this or that new programme and has his own opinion on it.


If you know you partner well and you haven´t seen him for some time, it is a good small talk question at the beginning of a conversation. With partners you do not know long, it is better to ask just about the company and general situation.

Characteristics of business meals

Sort out the characteristics of a business luncheon, business breakfast and dinner; there are two for each.

Allow at least 10 minutes for small talk

Keep the small talk to the minimum

Reserved only for urgent topics

Allow at least 30 minutes for small talk

Schedule 2 hours for these

Should be restricted as much as possible

Business luncheon -

Business breakfast -

Business dinner -

Read through the text and match the words/ phrases in bold with their definitions:

The more detailed preparation for the luncheon or dinner, the better; it is always advisable to search for a good restaurant in advance and to make familiar with the menu so that you are able to advise your partners on the choice of dish. Go to the restaurant and choose an appropriate table where you won´t be disturbed much and decide about the seating arrangements of all the participants to be able to show them where to sit. Also discuss the conditions of payment with the waiter in advance to prevent embarrassing situations. If you are planning to go to the restaurant repeatedly, try to ask for opening a house account for your company. If not, ask the waiter not to bring the receipt to the table and pay it on the way to your office or ask for sending the receipt to your company.

1) Luncheon

2) Make familiar with

3) Dish

4) Embarrassing

5) House account

6) Receipt

a) bill

b) formal lunch

c) a particular variety or preparation of food

d) to have a good knowledge of someone or something

e) causing one to feel confusion or self-consciousness

f) an open account paid later by the company



Fill in the gaps with the words:
1. luncheon ; 2. dinner ; 3. meal ; 4. orders ; 5. appetizers

Insert appropriate words:
1. seated ; 2. disturbed ; 3. rule, condition ; 4. gender ; 5. responsibility

Find words:
spouse ; rapport ; topic

1. How´s Business? ; 2. Have you heard about…? ; 3. What´s on TV? ; 4. What´s new with you?

Business luncheon - Allow at least 10 minutes for small talk, Schedule 2 hours for these

Business breakfast - Reserved only for urgent topics, Keep the small talk to the minimum

Business dinner - Allow at least 30 minutes for small talk, Should be restricted as much as possible

Match the words:
1b; 2d; 3c; 4e; 5f; 6a

Jazyková agentura Skřivánek

Skřivánek je největší jazykovou agenturou ve střední a východní Evropě. Na trhu jazykových služeb působí již od roku 1994. Kanceláře a učebny agentury Skřivánek najdete v 20 městech ČR a v dalších 14 zemích světa.

Jako jedna z největších překladatelských agentur v Evropě se Skřivánek stal uznávaným specialistou na evropské a asijské jazyky. Zaměstnává více než 400 kvalifikovaných jazykových odborníků a nabízí odborné překlady do všech jazyků.

Kromě různých typů kurzů pro veřejnost zajišťuje Skřivánek i výuku na klíč pro firmy a jednotlivce, jazykové audity, pobytové a zahraniční kurzy nebo přípravu na jazykové zkoušky pro děti i dospělé.

Více informací najdete na www.skrivanek.cz.

ve spolupráci s jazykovou agenturou Skřivánek, Lidovky.cz