Be Better at Business English Small Talk: Your Favorite TV series.

Small talk TV Series

Small talk: Many business professionals feel uncomfortable making small talk in English. AND it’s a really important skill for being better at business in English.

Today, you’ll work on your small talk skills and practice talking about a fun topic: your favorite TV series.

Small talk is important, but not always easy.

Do you know that a lot of advanced English speakers AND native speakers of English have a hard time with small talk?

Yes, native speakers need to work on their small talk too. Especially entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals.

Ready to boost your small talk and your confidence?

Take the quiz at the end of this lesson!

I’ve created a quick and easy quiz to go with this lesson so that you can practice everything you see here today? I want you to make this part of the English you actually use in real life! To try out today’s quiz, just scroll down to the last section and you’ll find the instructions there…and the answers too!

What you’ll learn in this article:

1. Business English Small Talk Strategy: ask more questions than you answer!
2. Small talk questions you can ask about your favorite TV Series.
3. Follow-up questions about your favorite TV series (and why you should ask them!)
4. Business English Small Talk Strategy: practice listening and paying attention.
5. Your Small Talk Quiz!

1. Business English Small Talk Strategy: ask more questions than you answer!

Today we’ll focus on one Business Communication strategy for making great connections: Ask more questions than you answer.

Your goal is to ask questions about your conversation partner. But without getting too personal. A favorite TV series is a great topic. A lot of people watch TV, and feel comfortable talking about their favorite series, and there’s nothing too personal there.

Remember, in small talk, your goal is to

  • find common ground–or things you have in common
  • create rapport–or strengthen your business relationship.

You do this by showing interest in the other person.

Also check out my lesson: How to avoid awkward silences in small talk.

2. Small talk questions you can ask about your favorite TV Series.

Some people might recommend a basic question like:

“Have you seen any interesting TV shows lately?”

…but that sounds kind of random if you’re not already talking about TV! We can do better…

You can put your conversation partner in the position of advisor or authority (OK, it’s “just” talking about TV… but most people enjoy it when we ask for their advice on something!)

So ask for their advice:

“You know, I just finished watching a great series recently–do you have any you recommend?”

A lot of times, you will meet someone from a culture different from your own. If someone tells you they’re from another country or culture you could show interest in them:

“Wow, I’ve always wanted to visit Brazil–do you know of any series that take place there that I could watch?”

Also check out my lesson: How to describe a film in English.

3. Follow-up questions about your favorite TV series (and why you should ask them!)

Ok, so when you’re learning to make small talk, you’re not just going to want to ask one question.

You’re going to want to ask follow-up questions, extra questions that keep the conversation going and show interest in the other person.

Here are a few examples:

If the person you’re talking to tells you about a science fiction series they love, you could ask

“That sounds really interesting! Are you a big fan of science fiction?”

You could ask the person to share what they enjoy about the series.

“I’ve never seen Downton Abbey, but people have told me I should watch it! What do you like about it?”

If you’ve seen the series, score, you have something in common!
So you could ask a follow-up question that lets you talk about what you have in common:

“Oh, that’s a great one–who is your favorite character?”
“I love that one–what’s your favorite episode?”

I’m a Neurolanguage coach, so I know that when you practice a little bit at a time, but more than once, you’ll learn better.

By the way, a great place to practice small talk is in our Faster Fluency Conversation Club–where you can talk about the themes in my videos with people from all over the world.

4. Business English Small Talk Strategy: practice listening and paying attention.

When you’re worried about your Business English–you might get nervous about small talk because you’re afraid you won’t know what to say or you won’t understand the other person’s answer. Really, listening can be the real challenge. And listening is a really, really important part of small talk!

So here’s a challenge. Let’s say we’re at a networking event.

You just asked me about my favorite TV series. I’m going to give you my answer…a typical answer from a native speaker. See if you can catch 4-5 expressions to describe TV shows. Ready?

5. Your Small Talk Listening Challenge!

Ok, so here’s a quiz to help you test your understanding–and improve your listening for your next small talk conversation.

Here’s how:

  1. Take a look at the description of some series I enjoy (with some expressions missing!) just below these instructions.
  2. Watch the video on today’s lesson (this challenge is at the very end–where I talk about my favorite series).
  3. See if you can write down the expressions you hear as you watch.
  4. Then scroll down to the comments section to find the answers to this quiz (in bold) Check them out and tell me how you did!


Here’s your quiz:

___________________________a series called The Roman Empire. It’s ___________________ about ancient Rome, ________________. And seriously, with the political plots, betrayals, and fighting your enemies, it’s as good as any_________________!

__________________Inventing Anna, _________________this young Russian woman who pretends to be German heiress. ________________tricking New York high society, investors, and banks out of billions of dollars… and___________________________!

The answers to this quiz are in the comments section. Check them out and tell me how you did!

Did you hear all those useful expressions for talking about series? Did you catch what series I was talking about?

If you want, you can listen again…or check your answers with the text below.

This way you can test your understanding. Deliberate, smart practice like this is a great way to improve your listening skills.

Also check out my lesson: What you need to become fluent: Individual lessons are NOT the only way.


Improve your English in the comments

Alright, so today, you learned one new strategy for having better small talk in English: asking plenty of questions. And you heard several great questions you can ask.
But now I’m asking you…

Here’s your Confidence Challenge for this week:

  1. What’s your favorite TV series?
  2. Tell me about it in the comments.

If you learned something from this lesson, please share it with your coworkers & friends. You can send your message to them in English for more practice!

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Become more fluent & comfortable in conversations

If you would like to take the next step with me, discover my Faster Fluency Conversation Club Membership Program!
It helps you become more confident speaking in conversations, and get a lot more vocabulary on many different topics! And it’s a fabulous community of “English buddies” from around the world!

TIP: Use the code FFCC40 to save -40% off your 1st month of membership!

More details at

Can’t wait to see you in the Club,


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