Business English for Telephoning Lessons

Learn telephone English with Business English Pod lessons for making telephone calls in English. Our English for telephoning lessons are listed below with the newest lessons first.

BEP 384 – Business by Phone 4: Unexpected call

BEP 384 - Business English for Telephone 4: Unexpected Call

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on doing business by phone. Last time we looked at a routine check-in call with your boss. Today we’ll focus on spontaneous, or unexpected, phone conversations.

You might start a telephone conversation with an idea about how it will go and what you will talk about. And many routine conversations are pretty straightforward. But what happens when the conversation gets into things you haven’t anticipated? What if the other person asks you tough questions that you don’t have easy answers for? In particular, what if your boss is pressuring you to justify your decisions?

There are a few things that you might have to do to succeed in this situation. For starters, you might need to just pause and gather your thoughts. Next, you might find yourself explaining your assumptions and clarifying some of the specific aspects of your decision. You might also try explaining what would have happened it you hadn’t made the decision you did. And finally, it’s a good idea to be able to accept feedback graciously and politely.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Sonny, a English for logistics manager in Asia working for an American clothing company. Sonny is talking with his supervisor Cam. If you listened to our last lesson about a routine check-in, you’ll notice a big difference with this conversation. This time, Sonny has to think on his feet and deal with some tough questions.

Listening Questions

1. What assumption does Sonny make about delivery times?
2. What does Sonny say might have happened if he didn’t make a tough decision?
3. What will Sonny do differently in the future based on the feedback he gets?

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

BEP 383 – Business by Phone 3: Routine Check-in Meeting

BEP 383 - Business English for Telephone 3: Routine Check-in

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on doing business by phone. This is the first of a pair of lessons on routine and spontaneous business phone conversations.

Now what do I mean when I say “routine” and “spontaneous” phone conversations? Routine means something we do often or something that follows a set pattern. But spontaneous means suddenly, without any planning. Having a spontaneous conversation in English is very challenging. Today we’ll start with a more routine weekly check-in, and our next lesson will show you how to handle more unexpected situations.

A weekly check-in is a chance to talk with your supervisor about how your work is going. That might include reporting your progress or the status of different projects or work. It might also mean sharing your successes and asking for help or guidance with challenges. And if you’re like most people, there’s always lots to talk about, so you may also have to request time to look at a specific issue.

In today’s dialog, we’ll join Sonny, a logistics manager for a clothing company called Boston Vintage. Sonny works in Asia and is talking on the phone with his supervisor Cam, who works in the U.S. Their conversation is a weekly check-in about recent work, challenges, and progress.

Listening Questions

1. What topic does Sonny request time to discuss during the call?
2. What does Sonny report that he is making some progress on?
3. What success is Sonny happy to report?

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

925 English Lesson 36 – Ending a Phone Call

YouTube video

In today’s 925 English video lesson, we’re going to learn how to end a phone call in English.

Last time, we looked at lots of useful expressions for answering the phone and starting a call. But what about ending a call? If you’ve finished your conversation, what can you say to end the call politely?

Well for starters, one thing you want to avoid is just suddenly saying goodbye. To end a business call professionally, there are three simple steps to follow. First you signal that you want to end, secondly, you review your action points, and finally you say goodbye.

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

Members: PDF Transcript | Lesson Module | Quiz | Video

925 English Lesson 35 – Answering the Phone

YouTube video

In today’s 925 English video lesson, we’re going to learn some expressions for answering the phone in English.

Using the telephone is an important part of business. But the way we communicate is a little different from in-person conversations. We have some special expressions we use to answer the phone, ask for clarification, and get a callback.

At the start of a phone call, it’s a good idea to make sure the other person knows who you are. You can identify yourself in a few different ways. Besides saying “my name is,” we often use the expression “this is” before our name. But don’t try to use this expression in person. I only say “this is Tim” when I’m talking on the phone.

925 English is a new series of English videos for beginners (CEFR level A2). With 925 English you can learn business English expressions for work.

Members: PDF Transcript | Lesson Module | Quiz | Video

BEP 312 – Business by Phone 2: Discussing Staffing Issues

BEP 312 - Business English Telephone 2: Discussing Staffing Issues

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson about discussing staffing issues over the phone.

One of a company’s most valuable assets is its staff. A good staff can mean the difference between success and failure. But even with an excellent staff, every manager knows there will be challenges. I don’t mean big problems, just the regular, ongoing challenges of planning, hiring, training, and support.

Everyone knows the importance of communication skills in business, especially when it comes to HR and staffing. But effective communication is even more important on the phone, because everything depends on technique and your choice of words.

Discussing any sort of issue on the phone might start with informing someone, like your boss, of a problem or challenge. And when you do that, you should also be sure to show how you’ve taken ownership of the challenge. Of course, staffing costs money, which means dealing with issues might involve asking for budget approval. And, if you’re discussing turnover of staff, you might also have to outline retention strategies, or ways of keeping good people around. Finally, any time you present an idea, you’ll probably want to want to gauge support for that idea.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Cam and Annette. Cam is a production manager for Boston Vintage, an American clothing company with an office in China. Annette works in the China office, and she’s calling Cam to discuss some staffing issues. As you’ll hear, she’s dealing with the resignation of an important company employee.

Listening Questions

1. What does Annette say she could have done to avoid the issue?
2. What are Annette’s ideas about retention, or how to keep good people at the company?
3. Why does Annette ask about “head office” near the end of the dialog?

Premium Members: PDF Transcript | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module
Scroll to Top