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Snake Oil feat. Grace, Matthias, and Sayo- 022

Snake Oil!: a game of clever persuasion!

Episode Overview

In this episode of “Board Gaming with English” Dustin and Rich talk about the tabletop game called “Snake Oil” by Jeff Ochs. This game is a great game for English learners. In the game, you try to convince other players to purchase your product. Everyone in the game gets to participate and it helps English learners improve their fluency and listening comprehension.
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Let us know what you think of the game in the comments below! Or find us on Facebook!
Thank you to Jeff Ochs and all the publishers for their wonderful contribution to the board game and tabletop community by making an enjoyable and educational game.
Thank you to Purple Planet Music for their “Playdate” song during our gameplay time: http://www.purple-planet.com

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(Transcript coming soon- support our podcast and email us a transcript of episode 22)

Where Can You Play Snake Oil?

You can purchase “Snake Oil” through our Amazon affiliate link:

Purchasing through, our affiliate link not only supports the board game developers but provides us with a small compensation to keep bringing you more board games to help with improving your English.

 Listener Objective (Learner + Lecture)

If you are a student studying English, after listening to this episode you will be able to…

  • …use different persuasive phrases.

  • …learn different people vocabulary and other vocabularies from the game.

  • …learn some vocabulary from other players.

In the game, you are a salesperson. You will need to come up with various ideas to help sell your product. Below are examples of different sales pitches (sales pitch– how you persuade someone to buy your product) from the episode with some phrases.

Sales Pitch #1
Bunny Mud 
Well, any pro wrestler would need a nice pouch of bunny mud in their pocket for the purpose of winning the match. Sometimes, pro-wrestlers encounter some very shady and sneaky characters, and you always want to have your special pouch of bunny mud. You can throw bunny mud in their eyes. You can throw bunny mud in their ears and smear their rear end in bunny mud, all for the sake of winning the match. So, as a pro-wrestler, I suggest you buy my bunny mud.

Well… This is a great phrase for starting your sales pitch.
…any [customer type] would need a [name of the product]… This is a great way to show the customer they need something. This is a good way to persuade the customer.
Sometimes,… Transitionary phrase to also show need.
…you always want to have…[name of product] This is also another great way to establish need.
So, as [customer type], I suggest you buy
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Another way to establish need an conclude your sales pitch.

Sales Pitch #2
Soup Trap
So, Grace, you want to win right? I would recommend that you buy my product called soup trap. This product can help you to win a match because you can use this in the ring. You will have this soup trap. Your opponent will try this soup and get sick. So, you can win easily!

So, [name of customer] you want [need of customer], right? Assure the customer your product will help solve the need by opening with a question.
I would recommend that you buy my product called [name of product]. A great and basic way to introduce your product.
This product can help you because [what the product can do]. Shows what the product can do.

Sales Pitch #3 
Shadow Nap
Well, Sayo, welcome to Earth. On Earth, sometimes, we don’t get enough sleep at night. I really don’t know what the sleep patterns are in your planet. But we really like to have it dark when we go to sleep. So, what I’m selling you is this wonderful product called a shadow nap. Most people need a covering to make it dark, or they need to turn the lights off in order for it to get dark, but not with the shadow nap. The shadow nap, you press a button, and instant darkness you can sleep nice and easy for at least an hour.

So, what I’m selling you is this wonderful product called a [name of product]. A great and basic way to introduce your product after saying what the product does.
Most people need [what most people do], but not with the [name of product] because [what the product does differently]. This sentence structure shows your customer what most other products cannot do and explains how your product can do it.

Sales Pitch #4 
Listen to the episode and write down another sales pitch that you hear. What are some of the same phrases that were used in the above sales pitches?

Download the learner lecture as a PDF.

 Listener Objective (Teacher + Resources)

If you are a teacher teaching English, after listening to this episode you will be able to…

  • …teach and use a fun, interactive, game to engage your students in the classroom.

  • …help students learn some basic grammar structures of persuasion.

  • …help students learn different vocabulary from the game.

This is a great game for English learners! The rules are very simple. Each player will try to sell their product to the current customer. It is great for practicing fluency and listening comprehension.

Be sure to download our PDF to use in your classroom. Feel free to modify it to fit your specific classroom needs.



Listen to the episode to learn how to play and listen to us play the game! It is a very simple game and a lot of fun.

We also want to share this excellent resource from the TEFL Gamer. There you can find a great review and explanation of the game as well.

(Transcript coming soon- support our podcast and email us a transcript of episode 22)


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