Skills 360 – Diplomatic and Direct Language

In this Business English Skills 360 lesson we take a look at the language we use in a crisis. In our last two lessons (BEP 179 and BEP 180), we listened to a team dealing with a serious crisis: an accident at a factory. You probably noticed how some of the people are quite careful about the words they use.

A crisis is a sensitive situation. Emotions are running high and people are on edge. There is the potential for conflict if you do or say the wrong thing. At the same time, the clock is ticking and you may not have time to manage everyone’s feelings. For these reasons, you have a very fine balancing act between being diplomatic and being direct.

So, when should you be diplomatic and when should you be direct? Well, you need to assess the situation and determine which is best. Diplomatic language can protect people’s feelings. It can also avoid conflict and build trust. Those can all be very important in a crisis, when everybody needs to be on board with a plan. On the other hand, direct language can show a sense of urgency and seriousness, and it can prevent confusion. Those are also important in a conflict, when things must happen quickly and misunderstanding is just not an option. Remember that to be a good crisis manager, you need to adapt your style and strategy to the situation.

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BEP 178 – English Presentations: Making an Impact (2)

English Presentation

This is the second in a two-part usiness English Pod series about adding impact to your business English presentations.

Nobody likes a long and boring presentation. In fact, a long and boring presentation can do a lot of damage. People might actually feel less convinced of your idea. And that’s certainly not what you want. It doesn’t matter if you’re giving a presentation at a staff meeting or a sales presentation to a potential client. You have to make an impression. Most business people have to sit through a lot of meetings and presentations, and it can be difficult to impress them. So how are you going to make them sit up and listen? How are you going to convince them of your idea?

You need impact. Fortunately, there are specific things you can do to add impact. And that’s what we’re talking about today.

In our last episode, we heard Ben talk about the problem of too many documents on too many computers in too many locations. He finished by suggesting that he has a solution to this problem. In today’s lesson, Ben will continue his presentation. He’s going to talk about cloud computing, which he thinks can solve many problems in the department. He’ll use several different techniques for adding impact.

Listening Questions

1. What are the benefits of the system that Ben is suggesting?
2. Why does Ben mention several large companies such as IBM and Dell?
3. What does Ben think that people should spend less time doing?

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BEP 177 – English Presentations: Making an Impact (1)

Presenting in English>

This is the first in a two-part Business English Pod series about adding impact to your business English presentations.

We’ve all sat through boring presentations before. And we’ve all worried during our own presentations that others might be feeling that way. So what can we do to prevent this?

A presentation needs impact. It needs to make the audience feel something, understand something, or believe something. And it needs to make them want to do something. Fortunately, there are some simple techniques and language that you can learn that will add impact to your presentations. And then people will look at you, and not out the window.

In this lesson, we’ll hear part of a presentation delivered by Ben. Ben is going to talk to his colleagues and managers about cloud computing. But first he is going to identify a problem and then show that there needs to be a solution to that problem. Only then can he help them understand what cloud computing is and what benefits it might bring to the company.

Listening Questions

1. What happened to Ben on Monday morning?
2. Where is Ben’s stuff stored?
3. What does Ben say about the number of documents in their department?

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