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Business English Pod :: Learn Business English Online

Updated 4 days ago

Rank #53 in Language Learning category

Education
Language Learning
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Business English Pod publishes audio and video Business English podcast lessons and online learning materials for intermediate and advanced Business English learners. The lessons cover a comprehensive range of business English skills for meetings, presentations, telephoning, negotiating, job interviews, travel, and more.

Read more

Business English Pod publishes audio and video Business English podcast lessons and online learning materials for intermediate and advanced Business English learners. The lessons cover a comprehensive range of business English skills for meetings, presentations, telephoning, negotiating, job interviews, travel, and more.

iTunes Ratings

294 Ratings
Average Ratings
237
26
12
8
11

Love the approach!

By Stephen Pete - Jul 14 2015
Read more
The workshop style learning model makes you feel as if you are there. Very clever!

Great tools

By Dichak - Oct 08 2013
Read more
Always love those podcasts.. Perfect tools to learn English & update your knowledge.

iTunes Ratings

294 Ratings
Average Ratings
237
26
12
8
11

Love the approach!

By Stephen Pete - Jul 14 2015
Read more
The workshop style learning model makes you feel as if you are there. Very clever!

Great tools

By Dichak - Oct 08 2013
Read more
Always love those podcasts.. Perfect tools to learn English & update your knowledge.

Listen to:

Cover image of Business English Pod :: Learn Business English Online

Business English Pod :: Learn Business English Online

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

Business English Pod publishes audio and video Business English podcast lessons and online learning materials for intermediate and advanced Business English learners. The lessons cover a comprehensive range of business English skills for meetings, presentations, telephoning, negotiating, job interviews, travel, and more.

925 English Lesson 19 – How to Talk about Abilities

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In today’s 925 English video lesson, we’re going to learn how to talk about abilities in english.

There are lots of opportunities at work to talk about your abilities. And I don’t just mean job interviews. That’s an obvious one, but there’s also work planning, project meetings, and just discussing who should do what on a daily basis.

925 English is a course of video English lessons for beginners. With 925 English lessons you can learn business English phrases and expressions to use in work and business.
Members: PDF Transcript | Lesson Module | Quiz | MP3 Audio

Apr 15 2018

9mins

Play

925 English Lesson 30 – Talking about Times and Dates

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In today’s 925 English video lesson, we’re going to learn how to talk about times and dates in English.

If you’re like most people in business, every day is scheduled down to the minute. We’ve all got meetings, timelines, tasks, and deadlines to worry about. And it seems like our phones are constantly buzzing with calendar notifications.

To keep these complex schedules up to date, we often have to ask people when something is going to happen. An easy way to do that is with the word “when,” like “when is the meeting?” That could mean either the date – or calendar day – or the time. So if you need to be more specific, you might ask “at what time is the meeting?” Or “what’s the date for the meeting?”

925 English is a course of English video lessons for beginners (CEFR level A2). With 925 English video lessons you can learn business English expressions and phrases to use at work.

Members: PDF Transcript | Lesson Module | Quiz | MP3 Audio

Sep 29 2019

9mins

Play

BEP 327 – Expressing Opinions in English

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on expressing opinions in English.

Imagine you’re in a difficult meeting where everyone is disagreeing. Tension is high. And the boss turns to you and says “so what do you think?” In this situation, you need to express your opinion. But giving an opinion isn’t always easy, as you surely know. You’ve got to say it the right way.

But the right way has changed a bit. Ten to fifteen years ago business meetings were often quite formal. But many business English meetings today tend to be more informal. And you can see this change in the different ways of expressing your opinion in English. Sometimes we need to be cautious, while at other times we might want to be more direct or stronger. And there’s still a difference between giving opinions in a group setting and speaking informally.

When we want to be informal, we are often more direct. We say exactly what we think. But when we’re being formal or cautious, we tend to add words and expressions to soften our opinions. We also use words like “might” and “could” instead of “must” and “should.” Overall, we try not to sound too strong or direct.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear a conversation between Kerry, Nick, Gregory, and Lola. Their company hired a freelance writer to do some work, but the writer hasn’t communicated with them lately. Kerry is asking the group for their opinions about what they should do.

Listening Questions

1. How does Kerry ask Vincent for his opinion near the start of the meeting?
2. What expression does Gregory use to introduce his strong opinion?
3. What is one expression that Lola uses to make her opinion careful or cautious?

Premium Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

Jul 15 2018

20mins

Play

BEP 334 – Project Management English 10: Internal Debrief Meeting

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on project management English for debriefing a project with your team.

Project management can be a messy business. You can plan, but you can’t really predict all the challenges and obstacles that will come up. So on every project, and especially in agile project management, you have to learn and adapt as you go along. And at the end, it’s a good idea to discuss what you’ve learned in a project debrief meeting. If you’re following an agile approach, you might also hold sprint retrospectives, which are like mini-debriefs at the end of each sprint. Whether it’s a project debrief or one of these sprint retrospectives, you’ll cover similar topics.

A project debrief meeting might start out with a review of the project goals. You want to look back and see what you set out to do in the first place. Then you can talk about successes during the project. What did you do well? What would you do again? From there, you can move on to discuss mistakes, and what you’d like to change in the future. And finally, you’ll want to summarize everything that you’ve learned. The whole idea, of course, is that you’ll be able to do things better next time.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear a project manager named Martin, who’s running a debrief meeting at the end of a software development project. We’ll also hear Jill and Sumita, two of the engineers who’ve worked on the project. Together, the group is discussing the work they’ve done and what they’ve learned.

Listening Questions

1. After discussing the project goals, what does Martin ask about?
2. The discussion of mistakes leads Martin to ask a related question about what topic?
3. What does Martin do at the end of the meeting?

Premium Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

Dec 12 2018

21mins

Play

BEP 348 – English for Purchasing 1: Sourcing Suppliers

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for purchasing and sourcing suppliers.

Every company is in the business of selling something. But you can’t be a seller of goods or services without also being a buyer of goods and services. All companies require professional services, equipment, and supplies in order to function. And if they sell goods, they also need the raw materials and parts to build those goods.

Buying all these goods and services is called “purchasing.” Purchasing managers work hard to find the right products and suppliers, and to negotiate good prices. Bad purchasing decisions can impact profit margins, efficiency, and quality. Good decisions can make a company a lot more competitive and profitable. While purchasing managers can find suppliers in a variety of ways, one common way is looking for suppliers at trade shows.

And what kinds of questions do purchasing managers need to ask when talking with potential suppliers at a trade show? Well, for starters, you can begin the conversation by commenting on display products. Next, you can ask about their experience, their capabilities, and their turnaround time. And finally, you’ll also want to ask about their company’s business priorities. After all, a regular supplier functions a bit like a business partner, and you want a good overall match.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Adam, a purchasing manager who works for xFit, a company that makes fitness equipment. Adam’s at a trade show looking for a new supplier for an important part for one of their fitness machines. He’s talking with Jenny, who is representing a Vietnamese manufacturer. Adam is trying to find out if Jenny’s company is a good fit.

Listening Questions

1. What does Adam comment on to begin the conversation?
2. What does Adam suggest might cause challenges for a company in Vietnam?
3. After Jenny talks about tariffs, what specific issue does Adam ask about?

Premium Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

Oct 09 2019

21mins

Play

BEP 317 – Business Socializing: Checking In with Clients (1)

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on socializing in English with your clients.

Business is all about relationships. And the stronger your relationships are, especially with customers or clients, the more successful you’ll be. This is why we call up our customers or drop by their office. Sometimes we’ve got important business to take care of, but sometimes all we need to do is say hello and check in.

In fact, visiting with clients often sounds like a chat between friends. We might talk about sports, about family, about travel, or about mutual friends. Of course, it takes a while to get to this level with a customer. But once we’re there, our conversations are likely to be an interesting mix of the personal and professional.

Bouncing between these two modes naturally is the secret to the client visit. You might find yourself starting out by introducing some interesting piece of news. At some point, you may want to gauge the client’s satisfaction with your products or services. And the conversation may also turn naturally to gossiping about the competition. If a client needs a decision or information, you may have to promise to check back on it. And finally, you might want to make a social invitation, and move the relationship-building out of the office.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Markus, who works as an account manager for a company that sells computer servers. He is visiting the offices of one of his clients, a large Internet service provider. We’ll hear Markus chatting with Jose, his main client contact, and Tricia, another manager.

Listening Questions

1. What news does Markus deliver to Jose?
2. What does Markus say about his company’s competitor?
3. What does Markus offer to do next Friday?

Premium Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

Nov 26 2017

Play

BEP 343 – Interview English: Second Round Behavioral Interview

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on second round interviews in English.

You may know all about the basic English job interview questions. And you might be comfortable talking about your basic qualifications and experience. But most companies don’t stop the selection process after one round of interviews. They create a shortlist and invite a few outstanding candidates back for a second interview.

In many cases, that second interview is what we call a behavioral interview. Interviewers will ask questions about how you acted or reacted to challenges in past work, and how you dealt with or adapted to different situations. In this way, they can find out whether you have the right attitude, approach, and abilities for the job.

The behavioral interview is a special opportunity to demonstrate soft skills, such as leadership, or how you take a principled approach to problems. You might also want to show that you can remain calm in conflict. In many cases, the STAR approach can help shape your responses. This is when you describe four things: the situation, the task, the action, and the result. And in this kind of English interview, you have to be careful, because some interviewers will try to give you leading questions to get you to reveal mistakes or problems.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Kat, who is applying for a job with a private healthcare company. She is being interviewed by Denise. Denise is asking Kat some tough behavioral questions, and Kat is doing a good job of demonstrating some important soft skills.

Listening Questions

1. What example does Kat give of how she showed leadership and went above and beyond?
2. What situation does Kat describe in response to a question about an unpopular decision?
3. What attitude or attribute does Kat demonstrate when describing a situation of conflict?

Premium Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

May 26 2019

23mins

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925 English Lesson 27 – Using Questions to Ask for Details

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In today’s 925 English video lesson, we’re going to learn how to use questions in English to ask for details.

It would be great if everyone always told us exactly what we need to know. But it doesn’t usually happen. When we want detailed information, we need to go out and get it. And that means asking people questions.

You can confirm information with simple yes / no questions, like “Do you sell printers?” or “Are you the manager?” But I want to start by looking at questions that get different kinds of information, not just a “yes” or “no” answer. And one of the best ways to get information is with WH questions. We have five WH words in English: who, what, where, when, and why. You might also use “how,” which has a “w” and an “h” but not in that order.

925 English is a course of business English video lessons for beginners (CEFR level A2) English learners. With 925 English lessons you can learn business English expressions to use in work and business.

Members: PDF Transcript | Lesson Module | Quiz | MP3 Audio

May 05 2019

9mins

Play

BEP 32 A – English for Discussing Solutions to a Problem (1)

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on how to discuss solutions to a problem during a teleconference in English.

It’s not enough just to find problems or talk about problems at work. We need to figure out how to solve them. And problem-solving is one of the most important skills in any workplace. In fact, almost every meeting, conversation, or teleconference includes some problem-solving.

Sometimes talking about solutions means making suggestions. In other words, you’ve got an idea about how to solve the problem and you want others to listen to it. In that case, you need to be able to use the language of suggestions.

Of course, just because someone suggests an idea doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Another skill we need is to be able to disagree carefully so we don’t upset people or make them feel like they’re being attacked. And when you disagree with someone, you might want to suggest another way of solving the problem. These are all important skills when talking about solutions.

In today’s dialog, we’ll listen to a teleconference about a problem with paint fumes at a factory. The meeting is being led by Jim, who will show us how to start a teleconference. We’ll also hear Jack, Dan, and Angie, who are all talking about different ways of solving the problem.

Listening Questions

1. What solution does Dan suggest?
2. When Jack disagrees with Dan’s idea, what does he say before showing his disagreement?
3. What solution does Jack suggest instead of Dan’s solution?

Premium Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

Jan 14 2018

15mins

Play

Skills 360 – Levels of Formality in English (Part 1)

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Welcome back to Business English Skills 360 for today’s lesson on levels of formality in spoken English.

Imagine you are looking for a job, and you have an interview at a big company. You walk into the interview room and say to the panel of interviewers: “hey there, how’s it going?” Believe me, that’s a bad first impression.

Or what if you go to the bar to meet an old friend and when you see him you extend your hand and say “Good evening, and how do you do?” Chances are your friend is going to ask you whether you’re feeling okay.

In both these situations, the problem is that you used the wrong level of formality or register. You simply can’t use the same expressions, words, and idioms in every situation. You need to gauge the situation and adapt how you speak accordingly.

Lesson Resources: Lesson Module | Quiz & Vocab | PDF Transcript

Jan 05 2019

8mins

Play

Skills 360 – Top 10 Business English Skills (1)

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Welcome back to Business English Skills 360 for today’s lesson on the business English skills everyone needs in order to be successful.

As any guru worth his weight in salt will tell you, business is all about relationships. That means connecting with new people, and maintaining good relations with people in your existing network. And one of the ways we do this is through small talk.

We call it small talk because it’s not about big important business topics. It’s about things like the weekend, the weather, sports, or family. Making small talk in English allows us to connect with people, find out more about them, and set a mood. This kind of conversation involves a back and forth of simple comments, questions, and answers. You need to show interest in the other person, but also reveal a bit about yourself. And it’s important to stick to topics that are common to both people.

Once you’ve broken the ice with small talk, then you can move on to bigger topics. And that’s where you bring in the skill of expressing opinions in English. Exactly how you do that depends on the situation. If you’re in a meeting and want to add your perspective, you might just introduce it with an expression like “the way I see things” or “as far as I’m concerned.”

But if you’re making a suggestion or pitching an idea, there are a couple of ways to go about it. You might do it carefully with words like “perhaps” or “maybe” or “we could.” Or, if you want to state something more confidently, you can use stronger words like “have to” or “should.” The important thing here is that you assess the situation and adapt your language accordingly.

After all, English conversation isn’t just about speaking; it’s also about listening, and that leads me to asking questions. I don’t just mean “yes or no” questions. I mean substantive questions that show that you’re listening and engaged. This also includes discerning and sincere questions about people’s ideas. This is a big part of being an active listener, which means listening to understand, not just listening to respond.

Of course, being a good listener doesn’t mean being a yes-man. Participating in a meeting or negotiations in English requires the ability to reject ideas. And that’s not as simple as saying “no” or “I disagree.” Most situations require a more nuanced or careful approach.

But be careful with this kind of softening language. If you’re in a position to say no or reject something, be clear about it. You can still be diplomatic without waffling. To do that, you can comment on the positive aspects of the idea, or the intention behind them, before saying “no.”

Rejecting ideas effectively is one aspect of being decisive and getting results. And that brings me to one last skill I want to mention today: getting people to take action. You’ve probably been in an English meeting where there was a lot of great discussion, but no real action points. So you need to learn how to delegate effectively.

Alright, so we’ve looked at five essential business English skills. Let’s do a quick recap: you need to know how to make small talk, express opinions, and ask good questions. At the same time, you need to be able to reject ideas and get action from people.

Lesson Resources: Lesson Module | Quiz & Vocab | PDF Transcript

Jul 20 2019

7mins

Play

BEP 318 – Business Socializing: Checking In with Clients (2)

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on socializing in English with your clients on the phone.

There’s an old saying that you should never mix business and pleasure. And sure, it might not be a good idea to get too close to your customers and clients. But if you are all business, and you shy away from anything personal, you’ll seem cold. And people won’t connect with you.

Ultimately, you have to find the right balance. You want to be personable, but not nosy. You want to be friendly, but not pushy. And you have to take your time. A conversation with a new customer will be naturally more formal than with an established one. That’s true not only in person, but on the phone as well.

In our last lesson, we learned about paying a visit to a client’s office. Today, we’ll look at checking in with a client by phone. As you’ll hear, we often make friendly conversation at the beginning of the call, and you might find yourself showing understanding of a client’s personal situation. But eventually you’ll want to switch from the personal to business. And once you’re talking business, you might mention personal connections, gauge needs, and discuss developments in your industry. This is all part of maintaining and building a relationship with your client.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Markus, an account manager for a company that sells servers. Markus is calling up a client named Jana. He wants to check in with her, find out how she’s doing, and see if she needs anything. And you’ll hear him strike a balance between business and personal issues.

Listening Questions

1. Jana mentions a personal issue at the start of the conversation. What is it?
2. When Markus switches from personal matters to business, what topic does he mention?
3. How does Markus ask Jana about their server needs?

Premium Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

Dec 03 2017

23mins

Play

BEP 325 – Business Development 1: Networking with Customers

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on how to talk with customers in English. Potential customers, that is.

If you work in sales or business development, a big part of your job is meeting new people in search of new customers. That might include cold-calling, where you phone someone at work or drop by their office. But often this kind of networking takes place at events, like conferences, forums, and pretty much anywhere else you have a lot of people in one place.

At these events, you don’t usually begin a conversation talking about business. Instead, you talk about the weather, or sports, or other non-work topics. This is where socializing in English and doing business in English are closely connected. You’ve got to break the ice socially before you introduce your company, the work that you do, and other clients. And then you’ve got to lead into talking about the customer’s needs and asking to follow up at a later time. The trick is doing this naturally.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Nick, who works in business development for an HR consulting company. Nick is at a dinner event during a big HR conference. He is seated at a table with Andria. Nick clearly demonstrates how an English sales conversation works, as he identifies Andria as a potential customer.

Listening Questions

1. How does Nick introduce his company?
2. What do Nick’s company and Andria’s company have in common?
3. What does Nick ask to identify a gap in Andria’s HR strategy?

Premium Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

Jun 03 2018

22mins

Play

BEP 332 – Business Development 3: Following Up with Prospects

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on following up with prospects.

English for Business development is all about the art of conversation. A smile, some chit chat, and a few good questions should be able to tell you if someone’s worth following up with. And when you do follow up, you’ll need to take your English conversation skills to next level.

When you’re following up with a prospect, you’ll likely start off with some English small talk. But pretty soon you’ll have to steer the conversation toward business. More specifically, you might ask leading questions to get the prospect to talk about their challenges. From there, you can set up solutions, and connect these solutions to their goals. If they have doubts along the way, you’ll need to address them. And if you’re successful, you should be able to arrange a follow-up meeting.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Nick, who works in business development for an HR consulting company. He is talking on the phone with Andria, the HR manager for a manufacturing company. Nick met Andria at a conference, and now he’s trying to find out more about Andria’s potential as a customer.

Listening Questions

1. What does Nick say he wants to understand about HR departments?
2. What does Nick say engagement surveys can help with?
3. What doubts does Nick ask Andria to explain in more detail?

Premium Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

Nov 08 2018

21mins

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925 English Lesson 16 – How to Talk about Similarities

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In today’s 925 English lesson, we’re going to learn how to make comparisons and talk about similarities in English.

Every day, we compare products, companies, jobs – all kinds of things! We talk about how they are different, and how they are the same or similar.

925 English is a new series of English lessons for beginners. 925 English lessons focus on English phrases and expressions that you can use in work and business.
Members: PDF Transcript | Lesson Module | Quiz | MP3 Audio

Dec 10 2017

8mins

Play

BEP 339 – Business English Idioms: Food Idioms (1)

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on business English idioms related to food.

Food is an important part of life and culture. And even when we’re not eating, or talking about food, it slips into our conversation in the form of idioms. What do I mean when I say “idiom?” I mean special expressions where one thing actually means another. For example, we have the idiom “to go bananas,” which has nothing at all to do with bananas. It means “to go crazy.”

English has idioms that come from specific foods, like bananas, butter, bacon, and bread. We also have English idioms that come from meals or use the word “food” itself. Some of these idioms describe people and activities, while others describe situations, relationships, and ideas. Learning how to use these idioms can really help “spice up” your conversation in English.

In today’s lesson, we’ll hear a conversation among three coworkers: Jessie, Luke, and Ben. They are discussing their general work situation and Jessie’s idea to start her own company. During their discussion, they use many useful idioms related to food.

Listening Questions

1. How did Ben feel about working with Ian?
2. Why does Luke say he is not willing to complain to Ian about his approach to work?
3. What does Luke say Jessie is always stressed out about?

Premium Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

Apr 02 2019

23mins

Play

Skills 360 – Top 10 Business English Skills (2)

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Welcome back to Business English Skills 360 for today’s lesson on the top 10 business English skills.

In our last lesson, I focused on small talk and English conversation skills such as expressing opinions, asking questions, rejecting ideas, and getting action. Of course, “conversation” is what comes to mind when someone talks about language skills. But a lot of our English communication is not conversation, per se. Your skill set has to include a lot more than expressing opinions, agreeing, disagreeing, and making small talk.

Imagine for a second that you’re delivering a presentation in English or conducting a training session. What kind of skills do you need in those situations? Well, one thing you need to master is talking about how something happens or how something is done. By that I mean describing a process or giving instructions.

The key skill here is what we call sequencing, or putting your ideas in a logical order and making that order clear to your audience. To do this, you might use simple words like “first,” “second,” “third,” “next,” and “finally.” But you might also use expressions like “at this point,” “meanwhile,” and “subsequently.” Using this kind of language helps you organize your ideas, and you’ll be less likely to lose your audience.

Connecting words aren’t limited to processes and instructions. Adept English speakers will use all sorts of words to connect their ideas and structure a good argument. Think about proposing an idea to your boss. Will you rattle on and hope he picks up the thread of what you’re trying to say? Or will you present a cohesive and persuasive argument using expressions like “because of this,” “therefore,” “nevertheless,” and “furthermore?”

Now I am not suggesting that you pepper your speech with these kinds of words just to sound intelligent. There’s a time and place for these formal expressions. But the importance of organizing your ideas holds true in any situation. And in more casual circumstances, you can simply rely more on simpler words like “and,” “but,” and “so.”

Besides presentations or training, another important situation with a special skill set is bargaining, or negotiating in English. And I’m not just talking about high-level talks on corporate partnerships or negotiating a major business deal. Any situation that involves give and take, cooperation, or compromise involves a kind of bargaining.

Maybe you and a colleague are trying to design a website together. Or you and your boss are trying to figure out a work schedule. Or you are trying to get two of your employees to agree on a project budget. These are all situations that demand bargaining skills. You need to acknowledge both sides and propose trade-offs. Often this requires you to make conditional sentences, using words like “if,” “unless,” and “as long as.” And if those statements are hypothetical, you’ll have to make sure you get a handle on important helping verbs like “would” and “could.”

I’ve talked a lot today about organizing your ideas, and about situations that require clarity of information. This brings me to another essential skill: summarizing. What happens after you’ve presented a clear and logical argument, or you’ve negotiated a compromise in a meeting? Well, you need to ensure everyone can latch on to the main ideas. That’s when you summarize.

You might hear a summary introduced with expressions like “to sum up,” or “let’s recap briefly.” But the real skill is figuring out what those main ideas or points are and then stating them concisely. You can’t repeat everything that was said verbatim. You need to distill only what is essential and paraphrase ideas appropriately.

Now before I do exactly that with my own ideas for this lesson, I’ve got one more essential but challenging skill for you: speaking clearly. You probably know some people who seem to just have a knack for clear speech. But it’s not just innate talent. You can learn to sound clear too, if you put in the time and effort.

So practice correct pronunciation. Try to enunciate clearly, even when it doesn’t feel natural for your mouth to make certain shapes or sounds. It gets easier with practice. But if you mumble, or don’t make the effort to try to produce the right sounds and intonation, then it doesn’t matter what you say, because people won’t be able to understand you.

Now how about that summary? I’ve covered five essential skills for every ace English speaker. First, there’s the ability to present a sequence or step-by-step instructions. Next is the skill of connecting your ideas logically. Then there’s bargaining and summarizing. And finally, you need to work on your pronunciation and intonation.

Lesson Resources: Lesson Module | Quiz & Vocab | PDF Transcript

Jul 30 2019

8mins

Play

BEP 164 R – English Idioms: Football Idioms (Part 2)

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on business English idioms that come from football, or soccer.

Since sports and business are so similar, it’s easy to see how there could be so many related English idioms. Companies are like teams; employees are like players. Ideas are like balls that get kicked around. Success is like scoring a goal. And there’s always plenty of competition.

In the previous lesson, Marilyn and Karl, two colleagues at a publishing firm, discussed Karl’s interest in a job at the company’s Sydney branch. Karl isn’t completely sure it’s the right move for him and has asked Marilyn for her opinion. Today, we’ll hear more of their conversation, as Karl explains his hesitation about applying.

Listening Questions

1. How does Karl’s wife feel about moving to Sydney?
2. Why does Karl feel like he’s cheating on his own company?
3. What advice does Marilyn give at the end of the conversation?

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Jul 01 2018

17mins

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Business English News 41 – Data Privacy

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The digital age has brought unprecedented access to information and new online services. And in exchange, people have proven very willing to provide personal information and to have their online activities monitored. But is it worth it? As Wired reports, more and more people are questioning this trade-off:

The US has found itself in the middle of a data privacy awakening, and you can credit the recent spate of headline-grabbing scandals as the kick-starter. Cambridge Analytica illicitly took the personal information of up to 87 million Facebook users and turned it into targeted political ads. And Equifax let slip the sensitive details of 148 million Americans because it couldn’t be bothered to patch a known vulnerability.

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Jul 22 2018

5mins

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BEP 345 – Management English: Conflict Resolution (2)

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on resolving conflict in the workplace.

Conflict happens. There’s no way around it. But not everyone has the same attitude toward conflict. Some people run from it, or refuse to even admit it exists. Other people acknowledge it but simply hope it goes away on its own. And some people are able to approach it with confidence, dealing with it openly and honestly.

The first step in conflict resolution is for the people involved to sit down and try to work it out themselves. But that doesn’t always work, and in many cases it takes a third party to attempt to find solutions. That third party might be a peer, or colleague. But mostly it’s a manager or leader. In fact, helping mediate conflict between people is an important function of a manager.

Effective mediation is a tricky business. You need to help people have the open and honest conversations that they might not be able to have on their own. Part of that involves ensuring each person has their turn to speak. One of your aims, of course, is common understanding, so you may need to encourage empathy and confirm understanding at different steps along the way.

As a conflict mediator, your ultimate aim it to find a solution. To do that, you’ll want to have people agree on a common goal. You may also ask them to focus on positive actions, rather than negative ones. Positive actions are more solution-focused.

In today’s dialog, we’ll continue hearing about a conflict between Trevor and Andrew, two retail managers in the same company. Trevor has tried talking with Andrew about their personal conflict, but they haven’t been able to reach a clear solution. So their boss Ann has stepped in as a third-party to help resolve the conflict.

Listening Questions

1. What does Ann do when Trevor interrupts Andrew at the start of the dialog?
2. After Andrew explains his side of the story, what does Ann ask Trevor?
3. What is the common goal for the solution Ann proposes?

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Jul 09 2019

20mins

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Skills 360 – How to Get a Year-End Bonus (2)

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Welcome back to Business English Skills 360 for today’s lesson on how to make sure you get a great year-end bonus.

When I say “bonus,” I’m not talking about a Christmas card from the boss with a $20 gift certificate for Starbucks. I’m not talking about tokens of appreciation. I’m talking about a nice fat year-end bonus that says your employer believes you’re worth investing in.

In our last lesson, I talked about how to demonstrate your value through your approach to work. Today, I want to focus not just on your approach, but on the work itself. When all is said and done, it’s your performance that will be valued above all else. So how can you show that?

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Dec 12 2019

7mins

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Skills 360 – How to Get a Year-End Bonus (1)

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Welcome back to Business English Skills 360 for today’s lesson on how to secure a great year-end bonus.

We all know that money’s not the only workplace incentive, but it sure is an effective one. Nothing beats a nice cheque at the end of the year to say “thanks for all the hard work.” That bonus can help us enjoy the holiday season more, and feel better about heading back to the office when the holiday is over.

So, how can you make sure you get that bonus? Or how can you increase the size of your bonus? Well, first of all, if you just started thinking about this now, you might be out of luck. You can’t just suck up to your boss in December and expect to be rewarded. If you’re looking for an easy workaround to hard work, I’m sorry to disappoint you.

And if you think that you deserve a bonus because you showed up on time every day and never ducked out early, then think again. If you make hamburgers at McDonalds, then your employer pays you for your time, in the form of a wage. But in professional settings, where people earn salaries, it’s not your time that your employer pays for. It’s your value.

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Dec 01 2019

7mins

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BEP 351 – Idioms for Describing Relationships (Part 2)

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on business English idioms for describing relationships.

We all spend a lot of time every week at work. So much, in fact, that sometimes it feels like our colleagues are a kind of family. And just like families, workplace relationships can be a source of both satisfaction and stress. Sometimes we support each other, while at other times we argue bitterly. And sometimes our disagreements are constructive, while at other times they can generate conflict.

In any case, whether they’re positive or negative, workplace relationships are a constant source of fascination. And English has many idioms and expressions to describe how people get along, or don’t get along. These idioms will help you discuss the often complicated relationships in your workplace.

In the dialog, we’ll rejoin three colleagues at an insurance company. They’ve been talking about the relationships between the people on a new team. In their discussion, they use many English idioms to describe how people get along, both past and present.

Listening Questions

1. How was the relationship between Dave and Diego?
2. What happened when Ivan and Dave were asked to open a new office together?
3. What does Mark say about his relationship with Chuck?

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Nov 19 2019

22mins

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BEP 350 – Idioms for Describing Relationships (Part 1)

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Hello and welcome back to Business English Pod. My name’s Edwin, and I’ll be your host for today’s lesson on business English idioms for talking about relationships.

They say that success in business is all about relationships. Certainly, your success in a particular workplace is greatly dependent on how you relate to those around you. That includes your colleagues, your collaborators, your staff, and your bosses. If you don’t develop good relationships, then it probably doesn’t matter how great your work is.

Relationships aren’t just important, they’re also interesting. What do you and your colleagues talk about when you chat socially? A lot of your conversations are probably about the people at your workplace. Who isn’t getting along, who is getting along a little too well, who doesn’t like who, and who is being a bit too nice to everyone.

Whatever kind of relationships you’re talking about, there are hundreds of English idioms you can use. If you listened to our 925 English lesson on describing people, then you learned some useful basic expressions. In this lesson, we’ll take that to the next level with some great idioms for describing relationships.

In the dialog, we’ll hear a conversation between three colleagues: Brooke, Mark, and Ivan. They work for an insurance company that has just put together a new team to work on a new product. The three colleagues are keen to talk about the complex web of relationships among the people on this team.

Listening Questions

1. What is the relationship between Chuck and Dave?
2. What does Brooke think will change between Dave and Anna?
3. What’s the relationship between Becky and Dave?

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Nov 10 2019

22mins

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925 English Lesson 31 – Describing People and Characteristics

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In today’s 925 English video lesson, we’re going to learn how to describe people and their characteristics in English.

Listen in on any office conversation or meeting and you’ll hear a lot of talk about people. Who we like, who we don’t like, who’s right for a team, who should get a promotion, who is going on vacation… The list of topics goes on and on.

And one aspect of people we often discuss is their appearance, or how they look. To do that, we use adjectives, like “tall” or “short” or “well-dressed” or “heavy” or “thin.” When we describe people, we also talk about the color of their hair. And here’s a couple of special hair words for you: “brunette” means someone with brown hair, and “blonde” refers to someone with light hair or yellow hair.

925 English video lessons for beginners (CEFR level A2). With 925 English lessons you can learn business English expressions for work.

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Oct 30 2019

9mins

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BEP 349 – Purchasing 2: Product and Vendor Requirements

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for purchasing and discussing product requirements.

For purchasing managers, choosing the right vendor can be like choosing a business partner. After all, your company’s reputation is tied directly to the performance of your vendors. People judge you by the goods you use to run your business or build your products. If something goes wrong, your customers blame you, not your vendors.

But what makes the “right” vendor? Well, that discussion begins with your needs. If you’re in manufacturing or product development, you’ll be talking about design requirements. These design requirements, or product specifications, are going to help you determine whether a vendor can do the job. And the engineers or merchandizers in the room are going to have some strict technical requirements.

Once you have a sense of what you need, then you can discuss vendor criteria and qualifications. And because purchasing relationships are ongoing, you may also want to establish performance indicators to ensure everything goes well once you’ve selected a vendor.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear a meeting in a company called xFit, which makes fitness equipment. Adam is a purchasing manager in Asia who has been looking for a new manufacturer of an important component. He’s on the phone with Crystal, another manager who is leading the meeting, and Jason, an engineer. The team is talking about the product requirements and vendor criteria.

Listening Questions

1. What does Jason emphasize as a “must” in terms of design requirements?
2. What does Crystal say is the most important criteria for evaluating potential vendors?
3. What other criteria does Adam want to discuss?

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Oct 20 2019

23mins

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BEP 348 – English for Purchasing 1: Sourcing Suppliers

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for purchasing and sourcing suppliers.

Every company is in the business of selling something. But you can’t be a seller of goods or services without also being a buyer of goods and services. All companies require professional services, equipment, and supplies in order to function. And if they sell goods, they also need the raw materials and parts to build those goods.

Buying all these goods and services is called “purchasing.” Purchasing managers work hard to find the right products and suppliers, and to negotiate good prices. Bad purchasing decisions can impact profit margins, efficiency, and quality. Good decisions can make a company a lot more competitive and profitable. While purchasing managers can find suppliers in a variety of ways, one common way is looking for suppliers at trade shows.

And what kinds of questions do purchasing managers need to ask when talking with potential suppliers at a trade show? Well, for starters, you can begin the conversation by commenting on display products. Next, you can ask about their experience, their capabilities, and their turnaround time. And finally, you’ll also want to ask about their company’s business priorities. After all, a regular supplier functions a bit like a business partner, and you want a good overall match.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Adam, a purchasing manager who works for xFit, a company that makes fitness equipment. Adam’s at a trade show looking for a new supplier for an important part for one of their fitness machines. He’s talking with Jenny, who is representing a Vietnamese manufacturer. Adam is trying to find out if Jenny’s company is a good fit.

Listening Questions

1. What does Adam comment on to begin the conversation?
2. What does Adam suggest might cause challenges for a company in Vietnam?
3. After Jenny talks about tariffs, what specific issue does Adam ask about?

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Oct 09 2019

21mins

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925 English Lesson 30 – Talking about Times and Dates

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In today’s 925 English video lesson, we’re going to learn how to talk about times and dates in English.

If you’re like most people in business, every day is scheduled down to the minute. We’ve all got meetings, timelines, tasks, and deadlines to worry about. And it seems like our phones are constantly buzzing with calendar notifications.

To keep these complex schedules up to date, we often have to ask people when something is going to happen. An easy way to do that is with the word “when,” like “when is the meeting?” That could mean either the date – or calendar day – or the time. So if you need to be more specific, you might ask “at what time is the meeting?” Or “what’s the date for the meeting?”

925 English is a course of English video lessons for beginners (CEFR level A2). With 925 English video lessons you can learn business English expressions and phrases to use at work.

Members: PDF Transcript | Lesson Module | Quiz | MP3 Audio

Sep 29 2019

9mins

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BEP 347 – English Sales Collocations (Part 2)

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English collocations for talking about sales.

Sales has never been tougher. In the digital age, competition for people’s attention is fierce. And customers are armed with more knowledge than ever before. For these reasons, companies can’t get lazy about their approach to sales. They need to be strategic; they have to find new ways to manage customer relationships, and they need effective ways to track how they’re doing.

In this lesson, we’ll listen to a pharmaceutical sales team discuss new strategies to improve and track their performance. In their discussion, you’ll hear a lot of what we call “collocations.” Collocations are just groups of words that combine naturally. For example, if you want to say that someone finishes making a sale, you can say that he “closes a sale.” Everyone uses that verb “close.” Nobody says “shut a sale” or “do a sale.” The correct collocation is “close a sale.”

Native speakers learn and use these collocations naturally. And if you want to improve your vocabulary and sound more fluent, you can learn to use them too. As you listen to the dialog, try to pick out some of these collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll listen to a discussion between Fran, Gus, and Nick. In our last lesson, the team discussed the need to improve their company’s sales. Now they’re talking about ways to do that. During their discussion, they use many English collocations related to sales.

Listening Questions

1. What does Nick think his colleague Dennis is doing wrong?
2. What does Nick believe is an outdated way of measuring their success?
3. What does Nick believe will happen if they improve their performance metrics?

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Sep 17 2019

24mins

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BEP 346 – English Sales Collocations (Part 1)

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Hello and welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English collocations related to sales.

Sales is at the heart of any business. Without the hard work of salespeople who move prospects down the funnel, turning interest into sales, no business would even exist. But the game of sales is constantly changing. Good salespeople, and good companies, learn to adapt to changes in the marketplace, in consumer preferences, and in the competition.

In this lesson, we’ll listen in on a sales team meeting in a pharmaceutical company. The team is discussing past performance and future strategy. During their discussion, they use many expressions that we call “collocations.” A collocation is just a natural combination of words that native speakers learn as one expression. For example, the first collocation you’ll hear is “sales volume,” which refers to the number of units sold in a given period of time.

Native English speakers use collocations like this automatically. And people in a certain field of work share an understanding of these special expressions specific to their area. By studying these collocations in different fields, you’ll improve your vocabulary and sound more fluent. As you listen to the dialog, try to pick out some of these English collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll hear Fran, Gus, and Nick. Fran is the sales manager, and she’s just finished talking about the past year’s sales results. Now she wants to talk about reasons for their disappointing results and strategies for improving them. The three colleagues use many sales English collocations and vocabulary specific to the pharmaceutical industry.

Listening Questions

1. What is the group hoping to increase or improve by discussing sales performance and strategy?
2. What does Fran believe is the reason for a reasonably good third quarter?
3. What have better sales analytics helped the company understand?

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Sep 08 2019

25mins

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925 English Lesson 29 – Talking about Possibility in English

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In today’s 925 English video lesson, we’re going to learn how to talk about possibility in English.

What do I mean by “possibility?” I mean answering questions like: will the stock market go up? Will you get that job you applied for? Will your manager be in a good mood today? Maybe? Probably? Or probably not? This is how we talk about possibility.

Let’s start with “probably.” That means you are pretty sure something will happen. You’re not certain. It’s not 100%. But you can say you’re “fairly certain that something will happen.” That’s like saying it’s 80 or 90 percent. Another way of saying the same thing is “there’s a really good chance.” In that case, “chance” doesn’t mean opportunity. It means “probability.”

925 English is a course of English video lessons for beginners (CEFR level A2) English learners. With 925 English video lessons you can learn business English expressions to use in work and business.

Members: PDF Transcript | Lesson Module | Quiz | MP3 Audio

Aug 26 2019

10mins

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Skills 360 – Top 10 Business English Skills (2)

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Welcome back to Business English Skills 360 for today’s lesson on the top 10 business English skills.

In our last lesson, I focused on small talk and English conversation skills such as expressing opinions, asking questions, rejecting ideas, and getting action. Of course, “conversation” is what comes to mind when someone talks about language skills. But a lot of our English communication is not conversation, per se. Your skill set has to include a lot more than expressing opinions, agreeing, disagreeing, and making small talk.

Imagine for a second that you’re delivering a presentation in English or conducting a training session. What kind of skills do you need in those situations? Well, one thing you need to master is talking about how something happens or how something is done. By that I mean describing a process or giving instructions.

The key skill here is what we call sequencing, or putting your ideas in a logical order and making that order clear to your audience. To do this, you might use simple words like “first,” “second,” “third,” “next,” and “finally.” But you might also use expressions like “at this point,” “meanwhile,” and “subsequently.” Using this kind of language helps you organize your ideas, and you’ll be less likely to lose your audience.

Connecting words aren’t limited to processes and instructions. Adept English speakers will use all sorts of words to connect their ideas and structure a good argument. Think about proposing an idea to your boss. Will you rattle on and hope he picks up the thread of what you’re trying to say? Or will you present a cohesive and persuasive argument using expressions like “because of this,” “therefore,” “nevertheless,” and “furthermore?”

Now I am not suggesting that you pepper your speech with these kinds of words just to sound intelligent. There’s a time and place for these formal expressions. But the importance of organizing your ideas holds true in any situation. And in more casual circumstances, you can simply rely more on simpler words like “and,” “but,” and “so.”

Besides presentations or training, another important situation with a special skill set is bargaining, or negotiating in English. And I’m not just talking about high-level talks on corporate partnerships or negotiating a major business deal. Any situation that involves give and take, cooperation, or compromise involves a kind of bargaining.

Maybe you and a colleague are trying to design a website together. Or you and your boss are trying to figure out a work schedule. Or you are trying to get two of your employees to agree on a project budget. These are all situations that demand bargaining skills. You need to acknowledge both sides and propose trade-offs. Often this requires you to make conditional sentences, using words like “if,” “unless,” and “as long as.” And if those statements are hypothetical, you’ll have to make sure you get a handle on important helping verbs like “would” and “could.”

I’ve talked a lot today about organizing your ideas, and about situations that require clarity of information. This brings me to another essential skill: summarizing. What happens after you’ve presented a clear and logical argument, or you’ve negotiated a compromise in a meeting? Well, you need to ensure everyone can latch on to the main ideas. That’s when you summarize.

You might hear a summary introduced with expressions like “to sum up,” or “let’s recap briefly.” But the real skill is figuring out what those main ideas or points are and then stating them concisely. You can’t repeat everything that was said verbatim. You need to distill only what is essential and paraphrase ideas appropriately.

Now before I do exactly that with my own ideas for this lesson, I’ve got one more essential but challenging skill for you: speaking clearly. You probably know some people who seem to just have a knack for clear speech. But it’s not just innate talent. You can learn to sound clear too, if you put in the time and effort.

So practice correct pronunciation. Try to enunciate clearly, even when it doesn’t feel natural for your mouth to make certain shapes or sounds. It gets easier with practice. But if you mumble, or don’t make the effort to try to produce the right sounds and intonation, then it doesn’t matter what you say, because people won’t be able to understand you.

Now how about that summary? I’ve covered five essential skills for every ace English speaker. First, there’s the ability to present a sequence or step-by-step instructions. Next is the skill of connecting your ideas logically. Then there’s bargaining and summarizing. And finally, you need to work on your pronunciation and intonation.

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Jul 30 2019

8mins

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Skills 360 – Top 10 Business English Skills (1)

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Welcome back to Business English Skills 360 for today’s lesson on the business English skills everyone needs in order to be successful.

As any guru worth his weight in salt will tell you, business is all about relationships. That means connecting with new people, and maintaining good relations with people in your existing network. And one of the ways we do this is through small talk.

We call it small talk because it’s not about big important business topics. It’s about things like the weekend, the weather, sports, or family. Making small talk in English allows us to connect with people, find out more about them, and set a mood. This kind of conversation involves a back and forth of simple comments, questions, and answers. You need to show interest in the other person, but also reveal a bit about yourself. And it’s important to stick to topics that are common to both people.

Once you’ve broken the ice with small talk, then you can move on to bigger topics. And that’s where you bring in the skill of expressing opinions in English. Exactly how you do that depends on the situation. If you’re in a meeting and want to add your perspective, you might just introduce it with an expression like “the way I see things” or “as far as I’m concerned.”

But if you’re making a suggestion or pitching an idea, there are a couple of ways to go about it. You might do it carefully with words like “perhaps” or “maybe” or “we could.” Or, if you want to state something more confidently, you can use stronger words like “have to” or “should.” The important thing here is that you assess the situation and adapt your language accordingly.

After all, English conversation isn’t just about speaking; it’s also about listening, and that leads me to asking questions. I don’t just mean “yes or no” questions. I mean substantive questions that show that you’re listening and engaged. This also includes discerning and sincere questions about people’s ideas. This is a big part of being an active listener, which means listening to understand, not just listening to respond.

Of course, being a good listener doesn’t mean being a yes-man. Participating in a meeting or negotiations in English requires the ability to reject ideas. And that’s not as simple as saying “no” or “I disagree.” Most situations require a more nuanced or careful approach.

But be careful with this kind of softening language. If you’re in a position to say no or reject something, be clear about it. You can still be diplomatic without waffling. To do that, you can comment on the positive aspects of the idea, or the intention behind them, before saying “no.”

Rejecting ideas effectively is one aspect of being decisive and getting results. And that brings me to one last skill I want to mention today: getting people to take action. You’ve probably been in an English meeting where there was a lot of great discussion, but no real action points. So you need to learn how to delegate effectively.

Alright, so we’ve looked at five essential business English skills. Let’s do a quick recap: you need to know how to make small talk, express opinions, and ask good questions. At the same time, you need to be able to reject ideas and get action from people.

Lesson Resources: Lesson Module | Quiz & Vocab | PDF Transcript

Jul 20 2019

7mins

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BEP 345 – Management English: Conflict Resolution (2)

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on resolving conflict in the workplace.

Conflict happens. There’s no way around it. But not everyone has the same attitude toward conflict. Some people run from it, or refuse to even admit it exists. Other people acknowledge it but simply hope it goes away on its own. And some people are able to approach it with confidence, dealing with it openly and honestly.

The first step in conflict resolution is for the people involved to sit down and try to work it out themselves. But that doesn’t always work, and in many cases it takes a third party to attempt to find solutions. That third party might be a peer, or colleague. But mostly it’s a manager or leader. In fact, helping mediate conflict between people is an important function of a manager.

Effective mediation is a tricky business. You need to help people have the open and honest conversations that they might not be able to have on their own. Part of that involves ensuring each person has their turn to speak. One of your aims, of course, is common understanding, so you may need to encourage empathy and confirm understanding at different steps along the way.

As a conflict mediator, your ultimate aim it to find a solution. To do that, you’ll want to have people agree on a common goal. You may also ask them to focus on positive actions, rather than negative ones. Positive actions are more solution-focused.

In today’s dialog, we’ll continue hearing about a conflict between Trevor and Andrew, two retail managers in the same company. Trevor has tried talking with Andrew about their personal conflict, but they haven’t been able to reach a clear solution. So their boss Ann has stepped in as a third-party to help resolve the conflict.

Listening Questions

1. What does Ann do when Trevor interrupts Andrew at the start of the dialog?
2. After Andrew explains his side of the story, what does Ann ask Trevor?
3. What is the common goal for the solution Ann proposes?

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Jul 09 2019

20mins

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BEP 344 – Management English: Conflict Resolution (1)

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on how to resolve conflict.

Just say the word “conflict” and people usually get uncomfortable. Most people want to avoid conflict at all costs. But conflict in the workplace is unavoidable. In fact, it’s a natural result of people working in groups. And in a healthy organization, conflict can actually be constructive. It can lead to personal and professional growth, as well as new ideas and ways of working.

But those positive results of conflict can only be realized if people are willing to face conflict directly and honestly. If people ignore conflict, or refuse to face it, then bad things can happen. Unresolved conflict leads to toxicity and poisoned relationships or teams. Given enough time, it can destroy a company.

So if you experience conflict with someone at work, what can you do? Well, the first step involves trying to work things out one-on-one. You need to talk, privately and openly. And when you do, it’s important to focus on the impact of the other person’s behavior and to try to identify the root cause of the problem. At the same time, you should consider the other sides views and ask them about their perceptions, rather than just focusing on yours. Stick to the facts as you try to resist arguing, and always look for possible solutions.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear a retail manager named Trevor try to resolve a conflict he’s having with Andrew, a manager at another store in the same company. Trevor is trying to calmly deal with the situation and find a way to improve their working relationship.

Listening Questions

1. What does Trevor say he felt as a result of Andrew’s behavior?
2. How does Trevor respond when Andrew gives him examples of employees that have changed workplaces?
3. What solution does Trevor propose?

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Jun 29 2019

25mins

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925 English Lesson 28 – Using Hypotheticals in English

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In today’s 925 English video lesson, we’re going to learn how to talk about hypothetical situations in English.

Humans are always using their imagination. Sometimes we think about what might happen in the future. Other times we have to imagine different situations in order to figure out what is the best decision to make today or in the future. And when we talk about ideas like this, we use particular words and structures.

For example, when we introduce a hypothetical – or imagined – situation, there are a few expressions we can use. We often start with the words “say” or “suppose.” So, something like “suppose you were the boss” is understood as “imagine you were the boss.” You can also ask a question using “what if,” such as “what if you were the boss?” That word “if” is especially important. We’ll see that word again later in this lesson.

925 English is a course of English video lessons for beginners (CEFR level A2) English learners. With 925 English video lessons you can learn business English expressions to use in work and business.

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Jun 19 2019

9mins

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Business English News 42 – Trade Wars

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According to Donald Trump, “trade wars are easy to win.” However, as usual, reality appears to contradict Trump’s claims. In the current dispute between the U.S. and China, it doesn’t look like a winner will emerge any time soon. As CNN notes:

The Trump administration made good on its threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports from 10% to 25%, marking a sharp rise in tensions between the world’s two largest economies. After months of talks aimed at ending a year-long dispute that has already hurt global growth and rattled stock markets around the world, the latest US salvo risks triggering a new wave of tit-for-tat responses.

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Jun 05 2019

5mins

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BEP 343 – Interview English: Second Round Behavioral Interview

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on second round interviews in English.

You may know all about the basic English job interview questions. And you might be comfortable talking about your basic qualifications and experience. But most companies don’t stop the selection process after one round of interviews. They create a shortlist and invite a few outstanding candidates back for a second interview.

In many cases, that second interview is what we call a behavioral interview. Interviewers will ask questions about how you acted or reacted to challenges in past work, and how you dealt with or adapted to different situations. In this way, they can find out whether you have the right attitude, approach, and abilities for the job.

The behavioral interview is a special opportunity to demonstrate soft skills, such as leadership, or how you take a principled approach to problems. You might also want to show that you can remain calm in conflict. In many cases, the STAR approach can help shape your responses. This is when you describe four things: the situation, the task, the action, and the result. And in this kind of English interview, you have to be careful, because some interviewers will try to give you leading questions to get you to reveal mistakes or problems.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Kat, who is applying for a job with a private healthcare company. She is being interviewed by Denise. Denise is asking Kat some tough behavioral questions, and Kat is doing a good job of demonstrating some important soft skills.

Listening Questions

1. What example does Kat give of how she showed leadership and went above and beyond?
2. What situation does Kat describe in response to a question about an unpopular decision?
3. What attitude or attribute does Kat demonstrate when describing a situation of conflict?

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May 26 2019

23mins

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BEP 342 – Interview English: 2nd Round Technical Interview in English

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Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on succeeding in a technical interview in English.

While we have lots of lessons on job interviews in English, nearly all of them are about the first round of an interview, or the initial screening interview. If you succeed at that, you’ll get called back for a second interview. And it’s the English interview skills for these 2nd round interviews we want to look at now. Today, we’ll focus on the technical interview. And in the next lesson, we’ll look at the behavioral interview.

Just like any interview, preparation for a technical interview is key. And you can think beforehand about how you might show things like innovative experience or a learning attitude. You might also decide to highlight certain attributes that you think are beneficial, like being a team player.

But what about the problem-solving part of the technical job interview? Can you actually prepare for every possible problem? No, you can’t. But remember that the purpose is not to trick you, or make you feel stupid. The interviewers just want to see how you approach problems. So it’s important for you to start by clarifying the question, and then clearly explaining your solution.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear a software developer named Kevin, who’s doing a technical interview for a new job. Kevin not only has to face questions about his experience, but he also has to explain a solution to a technical problem. He’s being interviewed by Mick. We’ll hear how Kevin navigates the interview.

Listening Questions

1. What kind of experience does Kevin demonstrate when he talks about an exciting project he worked on?
2. Besides having a happy client, why was the project so successful?
3. When Mick gives Kevin a technical problem, what is the first thing Kevin does?

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May 14 2019

23mins

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925 English Lesson 27 – Using Questions to Ask for Details

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In today’s 925 English video lesson, we’re going to learn how to use questions in English to ask for details.

It would be great if everyone always told us exactly what we need to know. But it doesn’t usually happen. When we want detailed information, we need to go out and get it. And that means asking people questions.

You can confirm information with simple yes / no questions, like “Do you sell printers?” or “Are you the manager?” But I want to start by looking at questions that get different kinds of information, not just a “yes” or “no” answer. And one of the best ways to get information is with WH questions. We have five WH words in English: who, what, where, when, and why. You might also use “how,” which has a “w” and an “h” but not in that order.

925 English is a course of business English video lessons for beginners (CEFR level A2) English learners. With 925 English lessons you can learn business English expressions to use in work and business.

Members: PDF Transcript | Lesson Module | Quiz | MP3 Audio

May 05 2019

9mins

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