BEP 184 – Discussing Training Plans (Part 2)

This is the second part of our Business English Pod series on English training and development vocabulary and collocations.

Good training is crucial for any company, big or small. How can we expect people to do a good job if they don’t have the right knowledge, skills, and tools? Providing employees with these tools is a key function of training.

And training is what we’ll be talking about today. We’ll be looking at some important vocabulary and collocations related to training. Remember, collocations are natural combinations of words that native speakers commonly use. There are no clear rules to collocation, only patterns. When you learn a new word, you should try to learn what other words are used with it. For example, you might think that “crime” is a useful word to know, but it will be difficult to use it if you don’t know that we usually use the verb “commit” before it, as in: “commit a crime.” …

BEP 183 – Discussing Training Plans (Part 1)

In this Business English vocabulary lesson, we’ll take a look at some common collocations related to some of the different approaches to training and training programs.

Training is one of the most important investments a company will make. Poor training can lead to poor performance, inefficiency, employee dissatisfaction, and a range of other problems. Good training, on the other hand, can make a company run smoothly, efficiently, and profitably. Training programs take many different shapes and forms, ranging from highly developed online systems to informal on-the-job training. Regardless of what form the training takes, it’s essential to think about the desired outcomes and plan accordingly.

Before we listen, let’s talk a little about collocations. A collocation is a group of words that native speakers often use together. A correct collocation sounds natural, while an incorrect collocation sounds unnatural. For example, in English we say “go online” to talk about using the Internet. But we can’t say “proceed online” or “travel online,” even though “proceed” and “travel” mean “go”. Those simply aren’t natural expressions.

You’ll hear many useful collocations in today’s dialog. As you listen, try to pick out these natural combinations of words. Then we’ll explain what they mean and how to use them in the debrief. We’re going to hear a conversation between two people about training and development. Jeff works in HR for a firm of engineering consultants. He’s talking to David, who has just given a presentation about new approaches to training.

Listening Questions

1. Why does Jeff think his company needs to find a new approach to training?
2. What type of training does Jeff’s company currently do?

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BEP 172 – Meeting with a Vendor (Part 3)

This is the third of a three-part Business English Pod series on discussing a proposal with a vendor.

Meeting with a vendor to discuss a proposal is partly about getting information and partly about negotiating a good deal. Your conversation is like a dance in which you and the vendor are trying to get the most out of a possible deal. You need to come out of the meeting feeling confident about the vendor’s abilities and sure that you are getting as much as possible at the best possible price.

Last week, we looked at how to show concern about cost, introducing topics with tact, and showing tactical hesitation. In this episode, we’ll focus on the negotiation phase. That will involve highlighting concerns, getting concessions, and making a counter-proposal. We’ll also look at how to set criteria for evaluation and how to maintain momentum at the end of a meeting. …

BEP 171 – Meeting with a Vendor (Part 2)

This is the second of a three-part Business English Pod series about meeting with a vendor to discuss a proposal.

As we discussed last time, meeting with a vendor to discuss a proposal is partly about getting information and partly about negotiating a good deal. You need to use your soft skills to come out of the meeting feeling positive about the vendor and confident that you are getting as much as possible at the best price. …

BEP 170 – Meeting with a Vendor (Part 1)

This is the first of a three-part Business English Pod lesson about meeting with a vendor, or potential supplier.

When you meet with a vendor to discuss a proposal, it’s partly about getting information and partly about negotiating better terms. You may be meeting with several vendors who are bidding on the same job. You want to make sure you understand each proposal and can have confidence in each vendor’s ability to deliver. You’ll also want to get the best terms possible in the deal. Then you can make a wise decision about who deserves the contract.

In this lesson, we’ll look at using probing questions to dig for more information, ensuring vendor expertise by asking about past experience, asking leading questions, and confirming information. We’ll also see how a vendor attempts to address the client’s concerns.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Steve, who works for a company that wants to hire someone to run Business English training courses for its employees. Steve is meeting with Karen, a potential vendor, who works for Lexis Training Solutions.

Listening Questions

1. What are Lexis Training Solutions’ strengths?
2. What are Steve’s biggest concerns in this meeting?
3. Why does Karen say that each company is unique?

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