Anda di halaman 1dari 16


Communication in Business English

first year undergraduate students/ first semester of study
Silvia Mihu, Teaching Assistant, PhD Student
This course presents a basic introduction to the English of international business
and economic topics. One of the course objectives is to show the way English is
used to analyze and discuss various issues, focusing on terms, phraseology and
discourse employed in talking about business. The class aims to present
examples of the way English is employed to summarize business relevant
information, to ask appropriate questions, to make proposals, offers suggestions,
to persuade and compromise. These are the kinds of both academic business
economic and English language skills future professionals should gain
experience in. The course aims to give university students of international
business practice in the general English-language-based critical-argumentative
treatment of their subject matter.

Introducing Business Communication

Negotiating Session
Job Interview
Business Meeting
Business Presentation
Telephone Conversation


1. active class participation
2. a written exam at the end of the semester

I. Definition
II. Types of contacts in business
There are various types of contacts in business: contacts between people,
contacts between organizations, contacts between places, etc.
III. Forms of communication
- verbal communication
- nonverbal communication
IV. Communication Process
- objective elements (source/sender, receiver, message and channel)
- subjective elements (assumptions, purpose, intention, etc)
V. Internal/ External Business Communication
1. Internal communication, i.e. communication within the business.
Forms of internal communication: face-to-face interactions, meetings, team
briefings, phone calls, electronic mail messages, company websites, company
databases, internal memoranda, staff magazines, notices and posters, etc.
2. External communication, i.e. communication outside the business.
Forms of external communication: negotiating sessions, business presentations,
phone calls, electronic mail messages, business letters, market research
documents, advertising material,public meetings, press conferences, etc.
VI. Formality &Informality
Formal communication - the officially recognized communication within an
Informal communication - other forms of interactions between organizational
VII. Business Language

1. Lexical Items
-well-known abbreviations commonly used in business contexts (A.G.M.
=annual general meeting; C.E.O. =chief executive officer; V.A.T. = value added
tax; etc)
-standard economic terminology (investor, cash dispenser, dismissal, wholesaler,
retailer, installment, accountant, etc)
-idioms (bankers hours =short work hours, bean-counter=an accountant bottom
line= the total, the final figure on a balance sheet, etc)
2. Grammar
a. round figures(2,567=two thousand, five hundred and sixty-eight)
b. percentages(2%=two per cent)
c. decimals(5.78=five point seven eight)
d. fractions(2/3=two thirds)
e. verbs which describe upward or downward movements (increase, rocket, fall,
plunge, fluctuate)
f. adverbs (exactly, precisely, nearly, approximately, hopefully)
g. linking words (however, furthermore, nevertheless)
I. Definition
II. Types of Negotiation
- win/ win negotiation (integrative negotiation) - both parties win;
- win/ lose negotiation (distributive negotiation) - only one party wins while the
other loses;
III. What can be negotiated?
- base salary, various kinds of bonuses, benefits, stock options, product prices,
IV. The Process of Negotiation
-negotiation itself

-closing the deal

-implementing the results
V. Negotiation Techniques
VI. Counter Negotiation Techniques
Starting up

I wondered if I could start by mentioning/saying ...

We've got a busy agenda ahead of us, so why don't
we start up?

Proposing the agenda

As we see it, the main objective of our meeting is ...

We're looking to accomplish/achieve ...

Setting and clarifying


... will give a presentation/a brief outline of ...

... is going to take notes/minutes.
... would like to say a few words about ...

Dealing with conflict

We're afraid that ...

Perhaps we could ... instead of ...

Making proposals

We propose/suggest/advise ...
I think we should ...


If you are unable/can't ... we'll have to look/go

We could consider ...

Closing and agreeing

Let's recap on our main points.

We've agreed to the following ...


-An applicant is usually asked questions on various topics

-He/she has to answer them
-The candidate can ask questions himself/herself
-The interviewee has prepared stories in order to impress the interviewer and
catch the job
-face-to-face job interviews, behavioural job interview, mixed job interview,
competency-based job interview, biographical job interview, critical incidents
job interview, general structured job interview, phone interview, network
A. Standard Job Interview
The recruiter questions about the applicants work history /experience, about
himself/ herself, about the new job and company, about his/ her future, etc.
B. Behavioural Interview
The employer decides what skills are needed in the person they hire and will ask
questions to find out if the candidate has those skills. The
questions in a
behavioural interview are more pointed
C. Mixed Job Interview
D. Competency-Based Job Interview
Competency-Based Job Interview deals with key competencies and attributes
required for a position.
E. Biographical Job Interview
The interviewer reads ones resume and talks about ones history from ones
education to ones various jobs, discussing them in turn.
F. Critical Incidents Job interview
Critical Incidents Job interview deals with the critical experiences of ones life
or career.
G. General Structured Job Interview
General Structured Job Interview puts ones career history first, then ones
personality, motivation and character

H. Unpatterned Job Interview

The request "So tell me about you is very important.
I. Stress Job Interview
Stress Job Interview induces stress in candidates, through challenging and
inappropriate or difficult questions.
J. Group Job Interview
Group Job Interview asks the candidates to work together on a task, or to discuss
a particular topic.
IV. Job Interview Questions
What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them?
Which was most / least rewarding?
What were the biggest accomplishments / failures in this position?
Questions about your supervisors and co-workers?
What is your greatest weakness?
What is your greatest strength?
Do you take work home with you?
How many hours do you normally work?
What interests you about this job?
Why do you want this job?
What applicable attributes / experience do you have?
Are you overqualified for this job?
What can you do for this company?
What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you?
I. Definition
II. Formal/ Informal Meetings
1) Formal meetings
a) Elements of a formal meeting
-a constitution, a chairperson, a secretary, a notice of meeting, an agenda

b) Types of formal meetings

- Board Meeting
- Weekly Departmental Meeting
2) Semi-formal Meetings
a) Elements of a semi-formal meeting
-well chosen surroundings and a basic structure
b) Types of semiformal meetings
-Problem solving meetings
-Mealtime meetings
-Video conferences
3) Informal Meetings
a) Types of informal meetings
-Impromptu meetings
-Virtual meetings
III. Conducting Meetings
A.Preparation for the Meeting
A chairman must:
-define the objectives and desired outcomes.
-create an agenda that is carefully scripted.
-deliver the agenda in advance so that the participants have time to plan and
prepare for the meeting.
B.The Beginning of the Meeting
The chairman must:
-communicate the purpose and desired outcomes to all participants.

-clarify the type of participation and interaction desired.

-show that he/ she values the participants ideas, opinions, and questions.
C.The Core of the Meeting
The chairman must:
-take time to tell and hear stories.
-clarify and paraphrase key ideas.
-ask for different points of view.
-stay focused on the agenda topics.
The chairman must:
-conclude by summarizing the group's accomplishments.
-thank group members sincerely for their participation and contributions.
E.Follow Up (Action Items)
The chairman must:
-evaluate the meeting.
IV. Participants Involvement
a) Information Meeting
b) Action Meetings
V. Meetings Language
Getting the Chairperson's Attention
May I have a word?
If I may, I think...
Giving Opinions

The way I see things...

If you ask me,... I tend to think that...
Asking for Opinions
(name of participant) can we get your input?
How do you feel about...?
I get your point.
I see what you mean.
That's (exactly) the way I feel.
I have to agree with (name of participant).
Unfortunately, I see it differently.
Up to a point I agree with you, but...
Advising and Suggesting
We should...
Let me spell out...
Have I made that clear?
Requesting Information
Please, could you...
I'd like you to...
Asking for Repetition

I'm afraid I didn't understand that. Could you repeat what you just said?
I didn't catch that. Could you repeat that, please?
Asking for Clarification
I don't quite follow you. What exactly do you mean?
I'm afraid I don't quite understand what you are getting at.
Asking for Verification
You did say next week, didn't you? (Did' is stressed)
Do you mean that...?
Asking for Spelling
Could you spell that, please?
Would you mind spelling that for me, please?
Asking for Contributions
We haven't heard from you yet, (name of participant).
What do you think about this proposal?
Correcting Information
Sorry, I think you misunderstood what I said.
I'm afraid you don't understand what I'm saying.
Keeping the Meeting on Target (time, relevance, decisions)
We're running short of time.
Well, that seems to be all the time we have today.
Please be brief.


I. Definition
II. Contexts for a Business Presentation
-raise ones personal profile
-stand in for someone who has dropped out
-introduce a new product/ service to a group of prospective customers
III. Ways of Presenting the Information
-read the whole presentation
-script the presentation and memorize/practice it before
-use notes, etc
IV. Stages of a Presentation
-the research stage
-the production of the presentation
-questions time
V. Structure of a Presentation
-Getting started
-Introducing of the topic, the goals of the presentation
-Providing the content
-Asking/ Answering questions
VI. Language of Business Presentations
Introducing the subject
I'd like to start by...
Let's begin by...
Finishing one subject...
Well, I've told you about...
That's all I have to say about...


...and starting another

Now we'll move on to...
Let me turn now to...
Analyzing a point and giving recommendations
Where does that lead us?
Let's consider this in more detail...
Giving an example
For example,...
A good example of this is...
Dealing with questions
We'll be examining this point in more detail later on...
I'd like to deal with this question later, if I may
In conclusion,...
If I can just sum up the main points...
First of that...finally...




II. Reasons of a Business Phone Call
III. Making a Phone Call
A.The Beginning
-stating the reason for the call
B.The Middle Stage
-dealing with the matter at hand.








C.The End of a Conversation

-making sure that the call maker made a good effect during the call, and that all
matters discussed have been covered and understood.
-thanking the interlocutor for his/ her time
- setting a schedule for the next call
IV. Answering the phone
A. The beginning
-hold feature
B. The middle Stage
-active listening - various strategies
C. The End
-ending the call on a pleasant note
V. Phone Etiquette


-Phone calls generally should not be made before 7:00 in the morning or after
9:30/10:00 at night.
-Mealtimes must be avoided
-A person should always be certain of the number he is dialing to avoid
disturbing someone unnecessarily
VI. Phone Language
Answering the phone
Good morning/afternoon/evening, York Enterprises, Elizabeth Jones
Who's calling, please?
Introducing yourself
This is Paul Smith speaking.
Hello, this is Paul Smith from Speak International.
Asking for someone
Could I speak to John Martin, please?
Could you put me through to John Martin, please?
I'm sorry he's in a meeting at the moment.
I'm afraid he's on another line at the moment.
Putting someone on hold
Just a moment, please.
Could you hold the line, please?

I'm sorry, I don't understand. Could you repeat that, please?

I'm afraid you've got the wrong number.
Putting someone through
One moment, please. I'll see if Mr. Jones is available.
I'll put you through.
Taking a message
Can I take a message?
Would you like to leave a message?
Brookes Michael David, Business English, Editura Teora, Bucureti, 2006
Gibson Robert, Intercultural Business Communication, O. U. P., Oxford, 2002
Other articles on the internet
1. Explain the following terms in English: wholesaler, chairperson, interviewee,
phone etiquette;
2. Mention the advantages and disadvantages of a business phone call;
3. Enlarge upon two negotiation techniques;
4. Comment upon the following statement:
An interview gives you the opportunity to showcase your qualifications to an employer, so it pays
to be well prepared.

5. Create a dialogue between two business partners, as part of a sales negotiation;

6. Describe a persuasive negotiation;
7. Make up a short paragraph in which to use the following terms: agenda, graph,
increase, employee, plummet, meeting, figure, steadily, company, quarter;
8. Speak about the questions the applicant can ask his/ her interviewer;
9. State five qualities that an applicant must have in order to obtain the desired job;
10. Imagine that you are a chairperson and that you will run a meeting tomorrow.
Enlarge upon five things you are thinking of;
11. Translate the following statment into English:
Marii investitori vor crea mai multe filiale, vor duce la buna alocare a resurselor, si astfel la mai
multe locuri de munca pentru toata lumea.


12. Create the beginning of a business presentation on a common topic;