BEP 321 – Project Management 6: Launching User Testing

BEP 321 Lesson Module - English for Project Management 6: User Testing

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for project management and launching user testing for a software project.

At the heart of every software project is the user. If the user finds the software confusing, or if it doesn’t do what the user needs it to do, what’s the point? For this reason, user testing is an essential part of the development process.

User testing can involve a range of activities. You might watch how users interact with the software. You might track or monitor how they use it. And you might ask them for their opinions. In this way, you collect information and feedback that helps you create the best user experience possible. And just as the software itself needs to be user friendly, so does user testing. If people don’t have a clear idea of what they’re supposed to do during testing, you’ll be wasting an opportunity.

So when you launch testing, it’s important to outline what you’re going to be doing, and what kind of feedback you’re interested in. Because the software is new to the test users, you’ll need to give them clear instructions on how to use it and give them an overview of the main features. You might also find yourself emphasizing key points along the way. After all, it’s much easier to make sure everyone understands upfront than to deal with confused users during testing.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Jill, a developer with a software company called OptiTech. They’ve been developing software for a logistics company, and now they are ready to launch the first round of user testing. We’ll also hear Liam, the IT manager for the client, and Carla, one of the test users.

Listening Questions

1. What does Jill say will be the final step in this test?
2. What three aspects of the software does this test focus on?
3. What does Jill emphasize is absolutely necessary for the drivers to do?

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BEP 305 – Business English Collocations for Emphasizing 2

Business English Pod 305 - English Collocations for Emphasizing 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on business English collocations for emphasizing a point.

Speaking English well isn’t just about speaking correctly. It’s about choosing words that make an impact, and about influencing people’s thoughts and feelings. And if you study the habits of great speakers, you’ll hear them use emphasis effectively. A great speaker won’t just say he “recommends” something. Instead, he might say he “strongly recommends” something. That word “strongly” triples the impact.

But how would you know that we say “strongly recommend” and not “heavily recommend” or “deeply recommend?” Well, “strongly recommend” is the natural combination of words that native speakers use. These natural combinations of words are called collocations. A collocation is just two or more words that native speakers commonly use together. And you can learn collocations of emphasis to sound more natural and increase the impact of what you say.

In this lesson, we’ll listen to the end of a presentation on the topic of leadership. Maria is summarizing her main points. During her presentation she uses several collocations to emphasize her ideas. Try to pick out these collocations, and we’ll talk about them later in the debrief.

Listening Questions

1. Maria asks her listeners to think of a person. What type of person does she ask them to think about?
2. What does Maria say about a great speech that isn’t supported by action?
3. What does Maria think about people’s search for meaning in work?

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BEP 304 – Business English Collocations for Emphasizing 1

BEP 304 - Business English Collocations for Emphasizing 1

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on business English collocations used to emphasize a point.

If you want to make an impact when you speak, you need to learn the importance of emphasis. I mean, if sales increased, that’s great. But what if they increased a lot? Or you might be concerned about something, but what if you’re very concerned? “A lot” and “very” are used for emphasis. But you don’t want to only use “a lot” and “very.” If you use any word or expression too much, it will lose its impact.

In this lesson, we’ll listen to the end of a presentation about the financial performance of an airline. The speaker is talking about what the company can expect to see in the coming year. And during the presentation, as well as during the question and answer session, the speakers give emphasis to their ideas using “collocations.”

A collocation is just a pair or group of words that go together naturally. For example, instead of saying something “increased a lot,” you can say it “increased sharply.” The words “increase” and “sharply” often go together. And if you want to say you are “very concerned,” you can say “deeply concerned.” That’s a natural way of emphasizing the idea of being “concerned.”

Native speakers use these word combinations naturally. And if you want to sound natural, it’s a good idea to learn these collocations. As you listen to the dialog, try to pick out some of these collocations, and we’ll talk about them later in the debrief.

In the dialog, we’ll hear Leo, the presenter, talking about some of the key financial indicators the airline uses to track its performance. We’ll also hear two managers, Rita and Mike, ask questions at the end of the presentation.

Listening Questions

1. What does Leo say the company has achieved in terms of costs?
2. How does Rita feel about the positive attitude concerning profits?
3. What does Leo say about non-fuel cost growth in their company, compared to other companies?

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Skills 360 – Presentations: Connecting with your Audience (2)

Business English Presentations - Connecting to Your Audience (2)

Welcome back to the Skills 360 for today’s lesson on how to connect with your audience while you’re actually delivering your presentation.

It’s easy to leave your connection with the audience to chance. I mean, you might think that giving a presentation should be about conveying a message rather than “connecting” with your audience. But I assure you, whatever your message is, you’ll get it across with much greater success if you have a good connection with your audience. And that connection isn’t a chance occurrence. You have to work on it.

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Skills 360 – Presentations: Connecting with your Audience (1)

Business English for Connecting your Presentation to your Audience 1

Welcome back to the Skills 360 for today’s lesson on how to connect with your audience during a presentation.

You’ve probably heard all sorts of advice about delivering a good presentation. But at the end of the day, every single presentation strategy is designed for one thing: connecting with the audience. In fact, if you don’t connect with your audience, you might as well pack up your PowerPoint and head home. You need to build a bridge to send your message across. No bridge, no message. And don’t think you need to be an easy-going extrovert to connect with an audience. This is something that you can learn to do well.

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