Business English First Meeting-Ice Break


The manners and expressions used to give greetings and self-introductions to people who meet for the first time may differ from those used in Japanese. By properly holding down the points, you will be able to respond appropriately when you meet the person you meet for the first time.

  • *Meaning of meeting: In addition to "meeting, meeting", there is also the meaning of "meeting people". In this series, it is used to mean "meeting people".

Mr. Aoyama who participates in a business study session.
I introduced myself to a foreigner in a nearby seat as follows.

Mr. Aoyama
: Hello. My name is Minami.
: Hi. My name is Jane.
Mr. Aoyama
: It is nice to meet you, Jane.
: It is nice to meet you too.


How is it appropriate for Mr. Aoyama to continue the conversation after this?

  • A.How was your flight?
  • B.I work for ABC Company. What Company do you work for?
  • C.This is my first business workshop. Do you go to business workshops often?
  • D.I think there is a good Italian restaurant nearby. Would you like to have lunch together?

Correct answer C

Here, a common topic for Mr. Aoyama and Mr. Jane, that is, a conversation about a study session in which they are participating, is appropriate.
Conversations and exercises to relieve the tension of the first meeting are called "ice breaks" (sometimes called "small talks"), likening the image of breaking hard ice and melting it. For "ice breaks", it's a good idea to choose a common topic about each other's situation.

Explanation of other options

  • A: A:If you are in a place such as an airport, it will be a good conversation.
  • B:It's a good question, but I don't want to ask a job question as soon as I get to know each other. Let's put an "ice break" first, and then talk about work.
  • D:It's a good idea to make meal suggestions after you've had a good conversation and a close relationship.

Let's Practice! Let's practice ice breaks for different situations

In each of the situations 1-3, choose the answer that is appropriate for your ice break.

1. When welcoming a client at an airport in New York
  • a.How was your flight?
  • b.Do you like sushi?
2. On the scene from the airport to the office
  • a.Did you watch the baseball game last night?
  • b.Is this your first time to Japan?
3. At the dining table with the client
  • a.What do you think of the President of the United States?
  • b.Have you ever eaten sushi before?
1-a: How was your air travel?
2-b: Did you come to Japan for the first time?
3-b: Have you ever eaten sushi?