BEP 327 – Expressing Opinions in English

BEP 327 - Expressing Opinions in Business English

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on expressing opinions in English.

Imagine you’re in a difficult meeting where everyone is disagreeing. Tension is high. And the boss turns to you and says “so what do you think?” In this situation, you need to express your opinion. But giving an opinion isn’t always easy, as you surely know. You’ve got to say it the right way.

But the right way has changed a bit. Ten to fifteen years ago business meetings were often quite formal. But many business English meetings today tend to be more informal. And you can see this change in the different ways of expressing your opinion in English. Sometimes we need to be cautious, while at other times we might want to be more direct or stronger. And there’s still a difference between giving opinions in a group setting and speaking informally.

When we want to be informal, we are often more direct. We say exactly what we think. But when we’re being formal or cautious, we tend to add words and expressions to soften our opinions. We also use words like “might” and “could” instead of “must” and “should.” Overall, we try not to sound too strong or direct.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear a conversation between Kerry, Nick, Gregory, and Lola. Their company hired a freelance writer to do some work, but the writer hasn’t communicated with them lately. Kerry is asking the group for their opinions about what they should do.

Listening Questions

1. How does Kerry ask Vincent for his opinion near the start of the meeting?
2. What expression does Gregory use to introduce his strong opinion?
3. What is one expression that Lola uses to make her opinion careful or cautious?

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Business English Course – Lesson 1: Giving Opinions in English

This is a preview of one of the lessons from our Business English Course:

YouTube video

The lesson looks at language for asking for and giving opinions in English in both formal and informal business situations. You can check out the original lesson here: BEP 27 – Giving Opinions in English

The Business English Kickstart Course covers the 3 main Business English Skills of meetings, presentations and talking on the phone with 20 lessons appropriate for intermediate English Speakers. The course is available on the Udemy platform which provides desktop and mobile access.

BEP 191 – Getting Your Ideas Across in Meetings (3)

English Meeting Dialogue

This is the third and final part of our Business English Pod series on getting your ideas across in meetings.

Meetings in English are a great opportunity to get your ideas across and influence other people. But doing that is no easy task. You need the right combination of tact, frankness, confidence, and humility. And you need some effective language techniques to manage that combination.

In today’s lesson, we’re going to look at several advanced techniques for expressing your ideas and commenting on other people’s opinions. These include leading into opinions, highlighting consequences, and redirecting a discussion. A lot of these techniques revolve around agreeing and disagreeing. We’ve looked at many of these in the first two parts, and today we’ll continue by learning about strongly agreeing and disagreeing with negative questions.

We’ve been listening to a dialog among four managers who have to find ways of reducing travel and transportation benefits by 15%. They are continuing their debate on how best to achieve this goal. Let’s listen as the chairperson Alison leads the discussion with Stewart, Pat, and Nate.

Listening Questions

1. What idea does Pat believe is easier to sell to employees?
2. What is Stewart’s concern about Pat’s idea?
3. What does Alison suggest doing?

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BEP 190 – Getting Your Ideas Across in Meetings (2)

English Meetings - Expressing your Ideas 2

This Business English Pod lesson is the second of our three-part series on expressing your ideas clearly and tactfully in meetings.

Meetings are a great opportunity to present your ideas and become engaged in the decision-making process. Meetings often involve open-ended discussion among different types of people. For this reason, there is no easy formula that will guarantee success. Instead, you need to develop a range of skills and techniques that will help you express your ideas clearly and tactfully.

In our last episode, we looked at giving, supporting, and contradicting opinions. In today’s lesson, we’ll cover more techniques of agreeing and disagreeing. We’ll also learn how to change the scope of a meeting, which is an especially important skill for the chairperson.

Last time, we heard four managers – Alison, Stewart, Pat, and Nate – discussing how to reduce travel and transportation benefits. Today we will continue that dialog. The situation becomes a little more heated as the participants express their ideas with more force.

Listening Questions

1. What does the CEO of the company want to focus on?
2. How does Alison respond to Stewart’s ideas?
3. What does Nate think about Stewart’s ideas?

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