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Telephoning tips

A business-English activity

This article is by Company Class teacher Ivan Garth. First: study the vocabulary in this activity: Telephoning Tips Vocabulary Español (with Spanish translations). Then, listen to the text in this activity and put the words in the order that you hear them in: Telephoning Tips WebSequitur.

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After that, read and listen to the article in this interactive activity: Telephoning Tips Cloze. Finally, take this Telephoning Tips Quiz.

If you prefer, simply listen and read the text below:


This week's topic is about a very common business tool, the telephone, and about all those wonderful tips I have found out there on the net. Although the widespread use of email has reduced its use, the phone is still a very important tool for business communication, yet few people ever do specific telephone skills training. Now just think of all those important phone calls you have made during the last month and well, the not so important ones too... Are you sure you're making the most of that time or could you improve?

As always, I'm sure there's room for improvement, but I'm not going to provide a full training course, but I will outline some interesting tips which you may use:

Smile - Smile when you pick up the phone, by smiling you'll project a friendly and interesting voice which is always important.

Prepare - If the phone call is difficult or very important prepare it well before calling. Think specially about what you want to achieve and the objections that may arise.

Slow down - Don't be in a hurry, there is no rush, by speaking slowly you transmit calmness and confidence. If you think you are speaking a touch too slow, you are probably speaking at just the right speed.

Resources at hand - Have all your resources at hand, don't waste time and confuse your caller by looking for pens, info, etc...

Take notes - Take notes and never interrupt your caller. Your notes will help you come back to things you want to say and remember the important details once the call has finished, but never use the keyboard, it will make them feel you are not with them.

Repeat Agreements - In the end, repeat concisely what you have agreed on to avoid confusion. Your notes will also be useful here.

Don't be provoked - Stay calm in all situations, a friendly response will calm down even the most beastly of creatures.

Speak loudly and clearly - Although you should speak in a low tone to avoid the shrillness of the phone, you should get you voice across without confusion and speak into the mouthpiece and do not place the phone under your chin.

Hang up gently - Although people say it's the first impression that counts, there's no need to cause a bad last impression by slamming down the receiver and causing a loud noise at the other end of the line.

If the telephone call is in English, I also recommend you pay special attention to the preparation and think through the imaginary phone call to recreate the situation. Also, make an effort to slowdown the conversation. It is in your interest to set a slow pace to help you understand and not get lost half way through the call. You can do this by first being modest and asking the caller to speak slowly as English isn't your native tongue and during the conversation speak slowly yourself and repeat information as the person speaks, giving you that extra time to think and digest the information.


Practice the vocabulary: Telephoning Tips Vocabulary

widespread - extendido
skills training
- formación de habilidades
making the most - aprovechando
improve -
room for improvement -
outline -
apuntar, describir
tips -
smile -
objections that may arise -
objeciones que puedan surgir
there is no rush -
no hay prisa
calmness -
- confianza
a touch too slow - un poco demasiado despacio
just the right speed - justo la velocidad correcta
don't waste time - no pierda el tiempo
take notes
- toma notas
concisely -
avoid -
shrillness -
tono alto
mouthpiece -
micrófono del teléfono
chin -
slamming down the receiver -
colgar con fuerza el auricular
slow pace -
paso lento

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