Skills 360 – Getting the Most out of a Conference (Part 2)

Business English Skills 360 - Conferences 2

Welcome back to the Skills 360 for today’s lesson on getting the most out of a conference.

Some people see conferences as a way to get away from the office for a few days and take a break. And sure, it’s helpful to step back from the daily grind and learn something, or reflect on your work and business. But if you really want to get the most out of a conference, you should look at it as more than just a learning opportunity. I mean, if you’ve got hundreds or even thousands of people in one place looking to connect with others, it’s a golden opportunity for networking.

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Skills 360 – Getting the Most out of a Conference (Part 1)

Skills 360 - Getting the most out of a conference

Welcome back to the Skills 360 for today’s lesson on how to get the most out of a conference.

The digital age has changed the way we communicate and build relationships. And while it’s great to be able to connect with someone on the other side of the world by email, phone, or chat apps, face to face contact is certainly not dead. In fact, in this hyperconnected world, face to face contact is even more valuable, and one of the best opportunities for face time is at a conference.

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BEP 235 – English for Conferences 3: Actively Participating

Conference English Training

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on attending a conference.

Conferences in English and other corporate events can be fantastic learning opportunities. They can also be good chances to connect with other people in your field. But just how good they are depends on more than just the speakers, the workshops, and the other participants. How much you get out of an event depends in large part on what you as a participant do.

You need to put your best foot forward, get engaged in the activities, and meet the people around you. In this way, you’ll learn a lot and make some good connections. But if you sit back, don’t ask questions, and just wait for others to talk to you, you’ll miss out on a great opportunity.

Today we’ll learn some techniques that can be very useful at any kind of event such as a conference, a networking social, or a fundraiser. We will learn how to ask good questions and show you’re engaged. We will also learn how to ask people about their background, give a compliment, and connect a topic to your own experience.

In the dialog, we’ll rejoin a regional HR conference of a large American company. We’ll hear Hanna, a conference attendee, during a workshop. Then we’ll hear Hanna approaching the presenter – Brent – later during lunch.

Listening Questions

1. What concept does Hanna express interest in?
2. What is the first topic of discussion between Hanna and Brent during lunch?
3. What does Hanna think Brent did well?

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BEP 234 – English for Conferences 2: Hosting a Social Event

English Conference Party Socialize

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on hosting social events at a company conference.

Conferences and other corporate events are about much more than just speakers and workshops. They’re a chance for people to network, to socialize, and to have some fun. Every good host knows this. And every good host works hard to make sure that people are enjoying themselves.

If you think about it, hosts actually have a pretty tough job. They have to organize activities and people while maintaining a smile. They have to solve frustrating problems with a positive attitude. It’s a tricky balance, but there are techniques you can learn to help you get that balance right.

Today we’ll learn a few useful techniques that will help you to be a good host. We’ll learn to ask people about needs, elicit feedback on the event, and make yourself available for help. We’ll also learn to keep conversations going and connect people.

In the dialog, we’ll revisit a company’s regional HR conference. The host is Amy, VP of HR at the company’s Chicago office. She’s organizing people during the evening conference event. We’ll hear Amy talking with two of the participants: Tom and Hanna.

Listening Questions

1. What topic does Amy invite more detail from Tom about?
2. How do Tom and Hanna meet?
3. What does Amy encourage Tom and Hanna to do at the end of the dialog?

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BEP 233 – English for Conferences 1: Opening Presentation

Conference Presentation in English

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on hosting a conference in English.

If you’ve ever had to play host, for a conference, a meeting, a fundraiser, or any other type of event, you know it’s a lot of work. There’s months of planning and preparation, all for a single day or single weekend. And you want things to be perfect. You want the attendees to have a fabulous time. You want no problems or glitches.

Of course, it rarely works out that way. There are always problems to solve, but as the host, you can’t lose your cool. You’re the face of the event, and you’ve got to smile and make sure everyone has a great time. So, how can you do that?

Today we’ll look at some of the techniques you need to be a great host. In particular, we’ll focus on giving an opening address to kick off a conference or other event. We will learn how to officially welcome people, introduce the theme, outline goals and events, and introduce a speaker.

In the dialog, you’ll hear the official start to a conference that has brought together a company’s HR personnel from throughout the American midwest. The opening address is being delivered by Amy, the company’s VP of Human Resources in Chicago. You will hear the techniques Amy uses as host of the conference.

Listening Questions

1. What is the first goal of the conference that Amy mentions?
2. What are some of the events in Day 1 of the conference?
3. What kind of information does Amy give about the keynote speaker?

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