Business English is the type of usage of English language which is used in business context in various areas and sectors such as trade, commerce, insurance, banking, human resources, accounting, etc.
- What does Business English mean
- Importance of Business English
- Common expressions or phrases used by professional
- Meeting etiquette for conferences and meetings
- Business English for Emails
- Telephone etiquette and manners at work
- How to learn Business English
What does Business English mean?
Regardless of your type of industry, all business people need to have a basic knowledge of English terms. It is the form of formal and professional language. Both spoken and written business English is different from informal way of writing and speaking.
Business English is structured in such a way that the communication barrier becomes easy and clear and includes different type of vocabulary, grammar and sentence structuring. It is very important to deliver or provide your message in such a way that there is no need of interpretation to the reader.
Learning to write and speak well in professional setup is a practice that can be improved over time. It is the lingua franca which means it is the most commonly used language spoke everywhere in the world of business.
Importance of business English
In business activities we have to effectively communicate with our clients, business partners, bosses or stakeholders to achieve our goals and objectives.
Business English can give owners skills for participating in business meetings and successfully compiling business reports.
A good business owner will ensure that adequate resources are allocated for training and development of communication skills.
Regardless of your background you are always expected to speak and know the language, you need to show that you are extremely competent and fluent in both writing and speaking. It helps you to own your individuality and represent yourself in front of other people. People judge you by the way you speak.
Good business English always make not just a first impression but also a lasting one.
You may write well, but unless you can speak clearly, you are unlikely to make an impact in the workplace.
If you want to improve and excel in this skill, you have plenty of courses on them that can help you climbing the corporate ladder. They will also help you in mastering “soft skills” and “life skills” too.
Some common expression or phrases that are used by professionals are-
1. To be on the same page- To have same amount of understanding as someone else
2. Bandwidth- Used to express the willingness to do something.
3. Circle back- To talk later.
4. Face time- A face to face meeting.
5. Leverage- To take maximum advantage and benefit of key resources.
6. Phone tag- Common situation where two people trying to call each other but miss it.
7. Seamless- Smoothly without any interruption.
Meeting etiquette for conferences and meetings
Meetings and conferences put you in front of your co-workers and leaders with whom you don’t work on regular basis.
To know a better understanding of how to maintain a positive and professional setup so that the way you put yourself in front of them would have a lasting impression, the etiquette rules that you need to follow are-
- Time is precious so it is extremely important to be on time and also prepare yourself you the meet up before so that you don’t mess up when you are required to speak.
2. Introductions are really essential so acknowledge them. When you a room you need to acknowledge other attendees. If you don’t know anyone, make sure to introduce yourself.
3. Keep your phone on “do not disturb” mode and also don’t keep your phone on the table as it can be a big distraction for you and the people around you.
4.Speak up- Speak when you need to, don’t shy away from conversations. when you are putting your point be clear and loud. But also keep in mind that you don’t interrupt someone when they are speaking.
5. Take notes so that you can speak at the right time.
6. Frame your questions well and do not save your questions for last. You don’t want to be someone who asks questions when people are ready to leave. So ask right questions at the right time and add correct information.
7. Sit appropriately– you need to sit in such a position that you are comfortable and you need to adjust your chair so that you’re at the equal height with everyone else.
Business English for Emails
Writing a good email is not that hard. It is much easier than speaking. In order to write good email you need to communicate really well. Writing is not just enough, you also need to learn how to grab people’s attention.
For more detailed guide on writing skills check our article on Written communication skills.
Email is an incredible skill to use in today’s day and age especially in the business world. Some rules to make your email look really savy –
1. Structure your email-
You know what to convey but before starting to write structure your email in such a way that it is clear. Use short sentences, simple language and correct grammar.
2. Keep you emails brief-
No one wants to get confused, it costs nothing to send different emails for different topics and focus on giving the correct information.
3. A strong subject line-
A strong subject line is like the heading of the newspaper or heading of the online article that you are reading. The subject line need to grab the receiver’s attention.
4. Be nice-
Be polite and set the right tone so that someone who reads your email feel very professional.
If you are sending an attachment file, then make sure to tell the person you’re writing to that you have attached to it.
Telephone etiquette and manners at work
Many a times we don’t understand how and what are we speaking over a telephonic conversation. We sometimes don’t know how to talk over a call especially at work.
1. Answering the phone-
Greet the person with good morning, evening whatsoever with their name if you know.
When the call is directly directed to a department, if you are the person answering the call, don’t forget to mention your department followed by “How may I help you?” question.
2. Caller wants to talk to someone who is not available and you are the person who took the call-
Tell the caller that the person is not available right now and ask them if you can take the message.
3. Connecting the caller to another person-
“Please hold while I connect you to him” while doing this don’t sound like a robot. Do it in a respected manner.
4. Network issue-
Telephonic mechanism could any time fail. So you have to be very precise, when you are taking a message or calling somebody. Some phrases that can be used-
- I am sorry, I can’t hear you. Could you please repeat yourself?
- Could you please spell that for me
- I am sorry you have the wrong number
- I’d like to speak to….
- I’m calling from….
How to learn Business English
1. Listen to talk shows, radio, or even podcasts whenever you get time .
2. Rehearse new phrases everyday in front of the mirror.
4. Watch English language TV shows and movies for business such as-
- The office
- Wolf of Wall street
- Mad Men
- The West Wing
- House of cards, etc.
5. Ask for help from someone who is better at corporate language.
6. Don’t just learn words, also learn how to apply them.
7. Practice conversation with someone who also wants to improve.
8. Put yourself in such uncomfortable situations at your workplace where you have no other option but to speak.
Business communication is the most effective ways to communicate in today’s business world. Although the scope is very broad, businesses use this for better management and to take better decisions. I hope you now have a better understanding as to how to use as well as understand them.