Hi English Learning Students! I continue writing about business telephone conversation in English. Today let’s look at conference call English vocabulary, specifically at common English phrases and words you might find useful when attending a conference call – business meeting in English over the phone.
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How to Start a Conference Call
The chairperson will usually start (kick off) the meeting with the following common expressions used in business English conversation:
- I would like to welcome everybody here today.
- Thanks for attending.
- Could you all when speaking state your name clearly?
- Please indicate (say) which office/department you represent so that the minutes are recorded properly.
How to Ask for Clarification in a Conference Call
Hearing somebody and understanding them are two entirely different issues.
You might hear them clearly but not understand what they are talking about or because of noise and connection issues you might simply not hear all of the points they are making.
Here are some common English phrases you can use for clarification during your conference call:
- Could you speak more slowly please?
- Could you repeat that again or could you repeat that last bit please?
- Could you speak up please (a little louder)?
- Could you explain that again? Or Could you explain that in layman’s terms (non technical
- I didn’t get that I am sorry could you say it again?
How to Interrupt a Formal Conference Call
It is OK to interrupt a formal telephone conversation in English if you wish to ask a question. You can interrupt by using any of the following phrases:
- Sorry, would you mind if I asked a question?
- Just to clarify are you saying that…
- Could I interrupt you for a minute?
- Would you mind if I jumped in there please?
- Can I stop you for just one minute please?
As you can see these are all usually polite statements so should not upset any one. However, sometimes in a heated (angry) exchange (discussion) the politeness may disappear.
Useful Phrases - Conference Call English Vocabulary
At some point in the call it may be your turn to make a presentation. Assuming you are well prepared it should not be a problem.
However, if English is not your native tongue (language) then a short clear presentation will help.
- Introduce yourself and tell them which department you represent.
- Start by telling them what are the key points you wish to cover
- Ask them to kindly hold questions until you are finished and that you will happily answer any
Some useful English phrases to use in a business telephone conversation:
- I won’t keep you long
- I will keep this brief (short)
- Well, that is all I wanted to say
- That covers everything I had to say
- Now, are there any questions?
- I am glad you asked that…
- That is a really good question
- Let me get back to you on that (I will give you a better answer later)
- Can you leave it with me? I’ll find out and let you know.
- I think you might have misunderstood me…
- Please allow me to clarify it once more.
When the conference call ends the chairperson will usually clarify some points and advise that minutes of the business meeting will be circulated later.
Action points will be identified and persons responsible to follow up will be notified. The next meeting will take place: time and date to be agreed.
Conference Call English Vocabulary
We will discuss the key points of a power point presentation in another blog.
For more information on English vocabulary words and phrases, English Idioms and English phrasal verbs, check out the following links: