Updated: Oct 17, 2021
Learning Business English is no different to learning any new skill.
There are only three steps you need to take:
1. Find the required information
2. learn it
3. Use it
Using Business English is a question of finding the relevant and correct vocabulary and phrases, learn how and when to use them and then... practice using them.
Fantastic sources of business vocabulary are found when you:
Read good quality English language newspapers & Watch and listen to news and business podcasts.
Obviously you won’t have time to read ALL the newspapers, or watch and listen to ALL news and podcasts, so pick
information that is relevant to YOUR business. If you work in the financial industry, then choose some articles from the Financial Times (although, if you find that very tricky
then the financial pages in The Mail or Guardian might be easier). If you work in IT – then try..... Forbes or CNET. Are there any trade magazines or websites that provide useful and up to date information about your industry? Find information which contain vocabulary and idioms that your international colleagues and customers use during meetings.
Make a note of these relevant ocabulary and phrases as you come across them.
Literally, have a notepad and pen ( or notes app on your phone) and make a note of them as you read or hear them. Then, take the time to go through each word / phrase and write the meanings and make up an example sentence – USE the word or phrase yourself. It will help you to remember it for the future.
Then, most importantly, regularly review the new vocabulary.
As in, quickly read over all your new words and phrases several times daily. It won’t take long and the more times you read over it, the easier it will be for your brain to retain it.
There is no point in making all this effort to find this valuable and useful information, unless you are going to put it to good use. Take time to practice using the words and phrases out loud and then role play business situations whenever possible. Whenever you know your are taking part in a meeting which will be conducted in English – prepare which phrases and words may be useful and practice saying them in front of a mirror.
The best way to practice using the vocabulary is to role play your meetings before they take place. Contact a colleague that you like and trust or even a Business English coach and go through particular scenarios with them – making presentations, negotiations etc. Role playing will allow you to make errors and correct them – this will give you the confidence and skills that you need to speak up confidently in meetings and most importantly, it will help you to get your voice and opinions heard!
If you only pick up one new word or phrase every day – that is 365 in a year!!
Consistency is key... always. So, review your vocabulary as regularly as you can! Without this step – you have wasted your time finding all the new words and phrases. You need to remember them and their meanings so that you will understand them when you hear others use them and you will have the confidence to use them yourself!!
Download a summary of these top 6 business idioms here. Ensure that you review them regularly and this will help you retain the information and give you the confidence to use them correctly!
My top 5 Best Business Books can be found right here.
Get your business tips right here! You can download email templates, interview tips, tricky interview questions and business phrases! Download them here.