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  • Hi there. My name is Emma, and in today's video, I am going to teach you about the telephone

  • and cell phones. Telephone English. I'm going to teach you some of my top tips on how to

  • speak well when you're on the telephone. A lot of students get very, very scared when

  • they talk on the telephone. Why is this? Well, you can't see the person's lips moving when

  • you're on the telephone, and the English -- it's sometimes difficult to understand what someone

  • is saying. So it's okay. You can get better at talking on the telephone. And I'm going

  • to tell you how. So let's get started. I have eight tips for you.

  • No. 1, one of the main problems students make when they're on the telephone, is they're

  • very direct. What does "direct" mean? Maybe they'll say something like, "I want to talk

  • to Mr. Bob." Okay? "I want to talk to Mr. Smith." This is very direct English. Why is

  • it direct? "Want." It's not the most polite way to speak. When you say "I want. I want."

  • It's better, when you're on the phone -- especially to someone you don't know that well -- to

  • use polite English, such as "could, would, may." "May I speak to Mr. Bob? May I speak

  • to Mr. Smith?" "Could you hold on a minute, please?" Okay? It sounds a lot nicer. So remember

  • your "could, would, may". Try not to use "want".

  • Tip No. 2, practice. Practice, practice, practice. Practice makes perfect. But how do you practice?

  • Who will you practice with? Well, one idea is if you know that there's a business, and

  • the business is closed for the day, you can call their telephone number. Maybe they have

  • an answering machine you can listen to. What I would recommend is call a business you know

  • will be closed; listen to their answering machine message; and try to take notes on

  • what they say. And then call back, and see. Did what you hear -- is it the same? Is it

  • the same from the first time you called to the second time? Are your notes correct? So

  • very key is practice. You can also practice with a friend. You can practice in front of

  • the mirror. "Hello!" Okay? So practice, practice, practice.

  • No. 3, spelling. A lot of the time, we have to spell on the phone. Sometimes you have

  • to spell your name, your last name, your address. So it's very important to be able to pronounce

  • alphabet letters, a-b-c-d-e. So it's very important that you can say these letters correctly.

  • And also that you know how to spell things out on the phone. So what do I mean by this?

  • Well, for example, if you have to call someone, and they need to write down your last name,

  • and your last name is -- we'll say your last name is White, so White. So you're on the

  • phone, and they say, "What's your last name?" "My last name is White." And then you start

  • spelling it. "W as in 'Wilson'; H as in 'Hilgar' -- it's a weird name, but -- I as in 'Iceland'."

  • So what you do is you spell out your name using examples. So for example, if I'm spelling

  • "Emma", I'd say, "My name is Emma. That's E as in 'Erin'; M as in 'Mary'; M as in 'Mary';

  • A as in 'Anne'." Why do we do this? It's because some English letters sound the same. If you're

  • on the phone, and you say "p-d-t-v", they all sound so similar. By spelling out in this

  • way, the person will know which letter you're talking about.

  • Tip No. 4, numbers. A lot of the time, when you talk on the phone, you have to use numbers

  • or someone will tell you a number, and you may have to write it down. It's very important

  • to practice your numbers. Practice listening for numbers. So for example, a lot of students

  • have trouble with 30 vs. 13, okay? What's the difference? 30, the first part is long,

  • "thir"; the second part is short, "ty". "Thirty". Versus 13, where the first part of the number is short,

  • and the second part is long. So it's very important to get used to numbers like 14 vs.

  • 40, 15 vs. 50. And you should also practice listening to long numbers. Okay? Maybe if

  • I say the number one, you understand that. It's easy. But try to listen to this number.

  • If I say "4-45-1-7-8-10-100", maybe it would be more challenging. So practice your numbers.

  • No. 5, very important tip, ask if you don't understand. A lot of students get nervous

  • on the phone, and they're too embarrassed to tell the person they're talking to, "I

  • don't understand." It's very important you tell the person that, okay? So when you're

  • on the phone, you can say, "I'm sorry. Can you repeat that, please?" Or "I'm sorry. Could

  • you repeat that?" Or "I'm sorry. Can you please slow down? My English is not strong." This

  • will help for the other person on the line to slow down their English, and then, hopefully

  • you can hear what they're saying, okay? So always ask for them to slow down if you don't

  • understand, and you can ask them to repeat.

  • No. 6, it's very good to memorize -- so remember -- key phone expressions, okay? What are some

  • examples of these? Ring! Ring! Imagine someone's calling me. "Hello?" Okay, they say, "Is Josh

  • there?" I say, "Oh, I'm sorry. He's not in. May I ask who's calling please?" A lot of

  • the phone English, it's the same. You hear the same expressions again and again and again.

  • Just remember these expressions. "May I ask who's calling, please?" Okay? "Is so-and-so

  • there?" If you remember these expressions, it will make talking on the phone a lot easier

  • for you.

  • No. 7, when you're on the phone, it's important to know if you should use formal or informal

  • English. What's the difference? Formal English, you would use, maybe if you're talking to

  • someone you don't know. Maybe if you work at a business, you might use this with a customer.

  • So it's very polite English. Informal English is the English you would use with your friends.

  • So it's important to know which phone expressions are formal, and which ones are informal. An

  • example of this, when I made a mistake was, one time, in a job interview, somebody called

  • me, and they asked to speak to me, and I said, "Oh, hey! How's it going?" This is very informal

  • English. What I should've said was, "How are you?" Okay? So it's important to know the difference.

  • Finally, the last tip -- and a very important one -- smile. When you smile when you're on

  • the phone, it makes your brain think you're very happy, and it will calm you down. Okay?

  • So you'll feel less nervous if you smile. And also, people can usually hear if someone

  • is smiling. It sounds weird, but it's true. When you're smiling, people can usually tell

  • that you sound happier. So it's very good to smile when you answer the phone, when you

  • call someone. Have a smile on, and you will feel calmer.

  • So I hope you've enjoyed this video. I invite you to come to our website,

  • There, we have some quizzes where you can practice my phone tips. So until next time,

  • take care.

Hi there. My name is Emma, and in today's video, I am going to teach you about the telephone

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Telephone English: Emma's top tips

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    VoiceTube posted on 2014/02/18
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