Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on how to get action over the telephone in English.
Being productive at work means getting stuff done. And sometimes to get our own work done, we need other people to get things done. So when you need action from someone, what’s the best or quickest way to get it? Well, often we just pick up the phone and call the person.
And what do you say? Is it okay to just come out and say “hey, do this” or “hi, do that?” Not really. You need to be firm and direct, but not that firm and direct. You might need to emphasize how important the issue is. Next, you might lead into the main issue before you actually talk about what you want or need done.
But that’s not all! If you want action, you want to make absolutely sure you’re going to get it. That’s why you might ask for a guarantee, which is like a promise from the other person. And finally, just to be 100% sure, you should finish off by confirming the action. In this way, you’re not being too direct or bossy, but you’re still firmly doing more than just making a polite request.
In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Nathan, who works for an aircraft company called Cyclops. Nathan is calling George at a company called Airtronics. Nathan is calling because he wants to get action on a proposal from George. More specifically, he wants to make sure George is going to submit the proposal to Cyclops today.
1. Why does Nathan think it’s important for George to submit a proposal today?
2. What important question does Nathan ask that relates to whether George can complete his proposal?
3. Near the end of the conversation, Nathan asks George to do something just to confirm that the proposal is being sent. What does he ask George to do?
Download: Podcast MP3
4 thoughts on “BEP 23c – Telephone English: Getting Action”
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accents is essential to learning English.
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Thanks for the feedback hadi. We do use Ed quite a lot but we also have 2 other hosts: Tim and Leon and in the existing lessons you can hear 4 other hosts (Jennifer, Clayton, Jeff and Atelie). I’m always on the look out for new hosts (would be good to have a regular female host too), but it is actually quite difficult to find people who can deliver in a natural style as that generally goes against everything a recording artist is usually required to do. Availability and scheduling are also further hurdles. So it’s quite hard to find suitable voices, but we are always on the look out.
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