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  • Hello and welcome back to the Skills 360 podcast.

  • I'm your host, Tim Simmons, and today I want to finish off our look at

  • the top 10 essential 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, “conversationis 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 likefirst,” “second,” “third,” “next,”

  • andfinally.”

  • But you might also use expressions likeat this point,” “meanwhile,” andsubsequently.”

  • 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 likebecause

  • of this,” “therefore,” “nevertheless,” andfurthermore?”

  • 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 likeand,”

  • but,” andso.”

  • 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 likeif,” “unless,”

  • andas long as.”

  • And if those statements are hypothetical, you'll have to make sure you get a handle

  • on important helping verbs likewouldandcould.”

  • Okay, 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 liketo sum up,” orlet'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.

  • That's all for today.

  • So long.

  • And happy learning!

Hello and welcome back to the Skills 360 podcast.

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Business English – Business English Communication - Top 10 Skills (2)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/08
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