LESSON 3: Telephoning

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BUSINESS SKILLS

LESSON 3: TELEPHONING


ANSWERING AND FINISHING A PHONE CALL

AIM OF THE LESSON: TO LEARN HOW TO ANSWER AND FINISH A PHONE CALL

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Pobierz lekcję w formacie PDF

1. WARM-UP

LOOK AT THE PICTURES AND ANSWER THE QUESTIONS BELOW THEM.

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What?s this?
a landline

and

What?s this?
a mobile phone
a cell phone

NOW THINK AND ASNWER:

  • Which one do you prefer and why?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of both?

 

 

EXERCISE 1 ? READING

 

READ THE TEXT.

 

MAKE THAT CALL!

Effective business telephone calls in English are not as difficult as you think (?)!

Are you afraid of using the phone in English? Do your hands start to shake when you

dial a telephone number
dial a number
to operate a telephone or make a telephone call to someone by pressing a particular series of buttons with numbers, or moving a disc with numbers, on the telephone / wykręcić
and know that you will have to not only speak in English ? but also understand the other person? Well, you are not alone. Millions of non-native speakers of English face exactly this situation every day ? often at work and in high stress environments, where there is no alternative to talking on the phone.

Steps to making the perfect business phone call

Stop! Take your hand off that

receiver
receiver
the part of the telephone that you hold to your ear and mouth/ słuchawka
. Before you
pick up the phone…
pick up the phone
to make a telephone call to someone / odebrać telefon
PREPARE! Get yourself ready first ? and you will find it much easier to make that important business call. Here?s a checklist of things you can do before you phone someone:

1. Write down the main points that you want to discuss with the person you are going to speak to.

These don?t need to be long notes ? in fact, it?s better that you don?t write whole sentences, as you will sound as if you?re reading from a script. Just jot down (write quickly) a few bullet points ? single words and short phrases are best.

2. Create the perfect telephoning conditions, if possible.

Get everything ready before you phone. If you?re in a noisy office, try and find a quiet place where you can make the call. Ideally in a room where you can shut the door to keep background noise to a minimum.

3.

Rehearse
rehearse
to practise a play, a piece of music, etc. in order to prepare it for public performance/ przećwiczyć, zrobić próbę
the call.

You can either do this silently in your head, or (preferably) speaking out loud. Think about what you will say, the type of reply you will receive and any possible points or questions that could come up during the conversation. If you know there are some tricky names or technical words that you will have to say, practice them before you ring the other person.

4. Take a deep breath.

If it?s a really important, make-or-break call, get yourself physically ready. Do some deep breathing exercises before you speak. Have a drink in front of you ? when you get stressed your throat can dry out ? which can make you sound even more stressed.

5. Go ahead and dial

Right, so we?ve looked at how you can prepare for that big call you need to make. Now, let?s consider some survival strategies you can use to help you to help you make it to the end of conversation.

6. Put yourself in control

If you

phone someone up
phone someone up
call someone (Brit. English) / zadzwonić do kogoś
? using the suggestions in the previous situation ? you will automatically
be in a better frame of mind
a frame of mind
the way someone thinks or feels about something at a particular time / nastrój
than if the other person calls you when you are not ready or in the middle of something else.

7. Get the other person to slow down

However, a native English speaker, particularly someone who has little experience of talking to foreigners, may not realise this. Trying to understand a British or American person

rabbiting on
rabbit on
to continue talking about something which is not interesting to the listener / gadać o czymś bez końca
at high speed can be incredibly frustrating. Why not tell the person you are speaking to at the beginning of the call that you do speak English, but you sometimes find it a bit tricky to understand everything, so it would be a lot easier if they spoke a little slowly.

8. Ask the other person to repeat something if you don?t understand

Don?t

assume
assume
to accept something to be true without question or proof / przyjmować, przypuszczać / zakładać
that if you miss something it probably isn?t that important anyway: it may be the most important thing in the conversation!

9. Check that you both understand and agree on what has been said or decided

At the end of the conversation, summarise what you have agreed or check to see what the other person thinks you have said.

 

Source: http://milanenglishblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/make-that-call-part-1.html

 

NOW COMPLETE THE TEXT ABOVE WITH THE BELOW EXTRACTS.

Extracts:

  1. But using the phone in English doesn?t need to be a nightmare. If you follow the simple suggestions described below ? and learn some of the key business telephone expressions, you will soon find that making phone calls in English is one of the simplest and most direct ways of communicating with your clients, customers or other colleagues.
  2. It?s surprising how often (even in your native language) you think you?ve said one thing, but the other person has understood something completely different.
  3. Having these notes in front of you ? even if they?re just written on a yellow Post-It? will help you to focus on what you want you want to say and enable you to structure the conversation.
  4. If it?s a really bad time (for example, the fire alarm has just gone off or your boss is standing in front of you with a long list of figures that need to be checked, ask the other person if you can call them back).
  5. Spending a short amount of time creating a relaxed, well-ordered phoning environment will be worth the effort.
  6. Even if it?s only a bottle of mineral water, keep some liquid nearby so you can take a few sips when the other person?s speaking.
  7. This can be more of a problem if you?re talking to a native speaker: non-native speakers of English know that it is difficult to communicate in a foreign language ? particularly on If you suspect that you haven?t heard something properly ? or you simply haven?t understood ? ask the other speaker to say it again or to explain.
  8. Of course, if there is any really important written information that you need to pass on or receive, tell the other person you will send an email (and don?t forget to send it) ? or get them to send one to you.
  9. If you suspect that you haven?t heard something properly ? or you simply haven?t understood ? ask the other speaker to say it again or to explain.

 

 

 

Click here, to see the key!

Effective business telephone calls in English are not as difficult as you think (?)!

Are you afraid of using the phone in English? Do your hands start to shake when you dial a telephone number and know that you will have to not only speak in English ? but also understand the other person? Well, you are not alone. Millions of non-native speakers of English face exactly this situation every day ? often at work and in high stress environments, where there is no alternative to talking on the phone.

But using the phone in English doesn?t need to be a nightmare. If you follow the simple suggestions described below ? and learn some of the key business telephone expressions, you will soon find that making phone calls in English is one of the simplest and most direct ways of communicating with your clients, customers or other colleagues.

Steps to making the perfect business phone call

Stop! Take your hand off that receiver. Before you pick up the phone… PREPARE! Get yourself ready first ? and you will find it much easier to make that important business call. Here?s a checklist of things you can do before you phone someone:

1. Write down the main points that you want to discuss with the person you are going to speak to.

These don?t need to be long notes ? in fact, it?s better that you don?t write whole sentences, as you will sound as if you?re reading from a script. Just jot down (write quickly) a few bullet points ? single words and short phrases are best.

Having these notes in front of you ? even if they?re just written on a yellow Post-It? will help you to focus on what you want you want to say and enable you to structure the conversation.

2. Create the perfect telephoning conditions, if possible.

Get everything ready before you phone. If you?re in a noisy office, try and find a quiet place where you can make the call. Ideally in a room where you can shut the door to keep background noise to a minimum. Spending a short amount of time creating a relaxed, well-ordered phoning environment will be worth the effort.

3. Rehearse the call.

You can either do this silently in your head, or (preferably) speaking out loud. Think about what you will say, the type of reply you will receive and any possible points or questions that could come up during the conversation. If you know there are some tricky names or technical words that you will have to say, practice them before you ring the other person. Of course, if there is any really important written information that you need to pass on or receive, tell the other person you will send an email (and don?t forget to send it) ? or get them to send one to you.

4. Take a deep breath.

If it?s a really important, make-or-break call, get yourself physically ready. Do some deep breathing exercises before you speak. Have a drink in front of you ? when you get stressed your throat can dry out ? which can make you sound even more stressed. Even if it?s only a bottle of mineral water, keep some liquid nearby so you can take a few sips when the other person?s speaking.

5. Go ahead and dial

Right, so we?ve looked at how you can prepare for that big call you need to make. Now, let?s consider some survival strategies you can use to help you to help you make it to the end of conversation.

6. Put yourself in control

If you phone someone up ? using the suggestions in the previous situation ? you will automatically be in a better frame of mind than if the other person calls you when you are not ready or in the middle of something else. If it?s a really bad time (for example, the fire alarm has just gone off or your boss is standing in front of you with a long list of figures that need to be checked, ask the other person if you can call them back

7. Get the other person to slow down

This can be more of a problem if you?re talking to a native speaker: non-native speakers of English know that it is difficult to communicate in a foreign language ? particularly on the phone. However, a native English speaker, particularly someone who has little experience of talking to foreigners, may not realise this. Trying to understand a British or American person rabbitting on at high speed can be incredibly frustrating. Why not tell the person you are speaking to at the beginning of the call that you do speak English, but you sometimes find it a bit tricky to understand everything, so it would be a lot easier if they spoke a little slowly.

8. Ask the other person to repeat something if you don?t understand

Don?t assume that if you miss something it probably isn?t that important anyway: it may be the most important thing in the conversation! If you suspect that you haven?t heard something properly ? or you simply haven?t understood ? ask the other speaker to say it again or to explain.

9. Check that you both understand and agree on what has been said or decided

It?s surprising how often (even in your native language) you think you?ve said one thing, but the other person has understood something completely different. At the end of the conversation, summarise what you have agreed or check to see what the other person thinks you have said:

 

 

EXERCISE 2 ? VOCABULARY EXERCISE

Complete the sentences with the words from the box. Some verbs can be used twice.

dial a number pick up the phone a receiver
pass on information phone someone up call back
  1. If you need me, you just have to the phone.
  2. She said she’d later to pick up that report.
  3. She picked up the and dialled his number.
  4. If help is needed urgently,  999.
  5. them  and find out when they are coming.
  6. Can I this number direct, or do I have to go through the operator?
Click here, to see the key!

  1. If you need me, you just have to pick up the phone.
  2. She said she’d call back later to pick up that report.
  3. She picked up the receiver and dialled his number.
  4. If help is needed urgently, dial 999.
  5. Phone them up and find out when they are coming.
  6. Can I dial this number direct, or do I have to go through the operator?

 

EXERCISE 3 ? OPENING AND FINISHING A CALL – USEFUL PHRASES

PUT EACH PHRASE INTO A PROPER COLUMN:

  • I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.
  • Good morning/afternoon/evening, York Enterprises, Elizabeth Jones speaking.
  • How may I help you?
  • Thank you for calling.
  • Hello, my name is … . I’m with GPT Ltd in London.
  • This is Paul Smith speaking.
  • Hello, this is Paul Smith from Speakspeak International.
  • Who’s calling, please?
  • Many thanks for calling us.
  • How can I help you?
  • Good morning /afternoon/evening. How may I assist you?
  • Hello? Sales, speaking. / Hello, Martha Brown speaking.
  • What can I do for you today?
  • Is there anything else I can help you with today?
  • Could I help/assist you with anything else?
  • It’s been nice talking to you. Bye.
  • World Talk.com, Angela speaking!

 

OPENING A PHONE CALL

FINISHING A CALL

 

Click here, to see the key!

OPENING A PHONE CALL

FINISHING A CALL

  • How can I help you?
  • World Talk.com, Angela speaking!
  • How may I help you?
  • Good morning /afternoon/evening. How may I assist you?
  • Hello? Sales, speaking. / Hello, Martha Brown speaking.
  • What can I do for you today?
  • Hello, my name is … . I’m with GPT Ltd in London.
  • Good morning/afternoon/evening, York Enterprises, Elizabeth Jones speaking.
  • Who’s calling, please?
  • This is Paul Smith speaking.
  • Hello, this is Paul Smith from Speakspeak International.

 

  • Thank you for calling.
  • Is there anything else I can help you with today?
  • Could I help/assist you with anything else?
  • It’s been nice talking to you. Bye.
  • Many thanks for calling us.
  • I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.

 

EXERCISE 4 ? USEFUL PHRASES

Complete the conversations with a proper phraseConversation number 1

Receptionist = R

Customer = C

R: Good , engineering office, receptionist’s desk. How you?

C: Good morning. Yes, I need to confirm an appointment with Mr McGregor this afternoon.

R: Can I your name, please?

C: Yes, Charles Smith.

R: Your appointment is at three forty-five.

C: Thank you very much. Please tell him that I am confirming today?s meeting.

R: Certainly, I will.

C: Thank you very much for your help. Good bye.

R: Thank . Good bye.

 

Conversation number 2

Guest = G

Concierge = C


G: Hello.

C: Good afternoon, Madam. How?

G: Would you be able to get two tickets to the theatre for tonight?

C: I will certainly do my . What kind of play would you like to see?

G: A comedy.

C: All right. I can get you tickets to the Buffo Theatre, for ?A funny day?. Don’t you mind sitting on the balcony level. I am afraid all other comedy plays for tonight are completely sold out.

G: That?s fine. Would you mind finding out for me tonight’s availability at your Exclusive Restaurant as well?

C: Certainly. I will call your room within the next hour with some answers. What is your room number?

G: I’m in 803.

C: Thank you, Madam. I do hope that we can  you.

G: Thank you for your  !

 

Conversation number 3

Clerk = C

Client = CL

 

CL: Hello!  speak to Ian Turner, please?

C : He is not at his desk at the moment, I am afraid. May  who?s calling, please?

CL: I?m his client. My name is Brown, James Brown. I?ll call him later.

C: Is there anything I can  to him?

CL: Yes, actually yes. Could you tell him that I will be coming earlier tomorrow?

C: Of course! What time exactly?

CL: An hour earlier!

C: Of course. I?ll  your message.

CL: Thank you.

C: Thank you for  us. Good bye.

 

Click here, to see the key!

Conversation number 1

Receptionist = R

Customer = C


R: Good morning, engineering office, receptionist’s desk. How may I help you?

C: Good morning. Yes, I need to confirm an appointment with Mr McGregor this afternoon.

R: Can I have your name, please?

C: Yes, Charles Smith.

R: Your appointment is at three forty-five.

C: Thank you very much. Please tell him that I am confirming the today?s meeting.

R: Certainly, I will.

C: Thank you very much for your help. Good bye.

R: Thank you for calling. Good bye.

 

Conversation number 2

Guest = G

Concierge = C

 

G: Hello.

C: Good afternoon, Madam. How may I help you?

G: Would you be able to get two tickets to the theatre for tonight?

C: I will certainly do my best. What kind of play would you like to see?

G: A comedy.

C: All right. I can get you tickets to the Buffo Theatre, for ?A funny day?. Don’t you mind sitting on the balcony level. I am afraid all other comedy plays for tonight are completely sold out.

G: That?s fine. Would you mind finding out for me tonight’s availability at your Exclusive Restaurant as well?

C: Certainly. I will call your room within the next hour with some answers. What is your room number?

G: I’m in 803.

C: Thank you, Madam. I do hope that we can assist you.

G: Thank you for your help!

 

Conversation number 3

Clerk = C

Client = CL


CL: Hello! Can I speak to Ian Turner, please?

C : He is not at his desk at the moment, I am afraid. May I ask who?s calling, please?

CL: I?m his client. My name is Brown, James Brown. I?ll call him later.

C: Is there anything I can pass on to him?

CL: Yes, actually yes. Could you tell him that I will be coming earlier tomorrow?

C: Of course! What time exactly?

CL: An hour earlier!

C: Of course. I?ll give him your message.

CL: Thank you.

C: Thank you for calling us. Good bye.