Good business English requires perfection in 3 areas. You need to be good at writing, great at speaking, and have a high level of overall confidence. Master these areas and you will be sure to advance quickly in your career. Of course, all this takes time and a lot of practice. It may seem a lot of work at first, but persistent practice, and a great teacher can do a lot to significantly improve your skills.
Before signing up for lesson, there are also a few things you can do learn the basics of business English. Below, we’ve listed a few important steps that can really help to put your career on the fast track.
Increase Your Vocabulary and Learn Some Jargon
Speaking in simple sentences is fine if you just want to be understood, but if you’re looking to persuade and encourage people, particularly if you’re a manager, you need an advanced vocabulary. While using “big” and important-sounding words isn’t necessarily better, it does help to expand your vocabulary to an extent where you know the core terms and expressions in your field.
A quick search on Google will show you there are hundreds of techniques, websites, and apps to help you learn new words. It’s really important to mix and match these to create a system that works for you. It might take a few tries to get it right, but creating good learning habits will benefit you in the long run. Make sure to put more emphasis on learning vocabulary that’s related to you and your field. Knowing your professional jargon will help you make yourself understood to your coworkers and clients.
General language learning resources might not be the best place to turn to in this case. Instead, search for business magazines, websites, and journals related to your job and read them extensively. If you don’t understand a word, look it up, write it down a few times, and try to use it in some new sentences. You’re more likely to remember it that way.
Study How People Speak to Improve Your Fluency
If you want to sound natural speaking English, you need to copy other people’s speaking styles. You can use videos from YouTube to get familiar with different speaking styles. Try to think of speakers and lecturers you find inspiring and look them up. This can be useful way to learn intonation, pronunciation, and even to figure out what makes a speaker easy to listen to. You can compare videos to learn the difference between a boring and an engaging presentation, and avoid becoming the former!
One good way of improving your language skills, is, of course, signing up with a teacher who specialises in business English. But, it’s also important to keep improving outside of lessons. There are many ways of doing this, luckily. For example, watching a business news channel or interesting documentaries. And, when it comes to great speeches, TED Talks are definitely among the best resources.
Volunteer for Projects at Work to Practice Speaking
As the saying goes – ‘practice makes perfect’. Immerse yourself in business English by practicing speaking and writing as much as possible. In lessons with a native English teacher, you can set up role playing exercises. Job interviews, mock presentations, and topic debates are all useful.
Making sure you get some real life practice is equally important. If you’ve got a job at an English speaking company already, then get involved in some extra projects. If they involve team work and coordinating with teams in another country, that’s great. If the project will involve writing reports, having debates, or making presentations, then even better – you’ll have the perfect chance to practice everything you’ve been learning so far in lessons.
And one final thought. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Don’t feel the need to be perfect, like a native English speaker. It’s ok to experiment and try, you’ll never improve if you don’t take risks. And besides, your boss will often reward you for taking the initiative.