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Business English Lessons

Business English Communication Tips - Learn Business English with Steve 15

Hello everybody! Welcome to a brand new video lesson with optional closed captions to help anyone who needs to improve business English. There is a lot of vocabulary in this lesson that I teach during my business classes. Join with me now to learn some of the most used words in business English


What makes a good communicator in business?

There are many factors to consider in regard to how someone can be the best communicator possible in business. Sometimes factors come into play which may, at first glance, not be so apparent. Some people are naturally born as good communicators while others need to work on it. The bottom line is that without combining a number of different skills, even the most charismatic people are doomed to fail as communicators. For this reason I have highlighted the first of many factors which come into play when someone is communicating in business.


We all know there are some people that can come into a room full of people and as soon as they arrive, they light up the place with their presence. This type of person has such a strong presence that they are able to draw others toward them with ease. Nonetheless, charisma is not the only factor which determines whether or not someone can be successful in business communication. A wide range of factors also make up the larger picture

Breaking the ice

In this lesson, I have included two examples on how to break the ice with an audience. It's always about day-to-day topics like: the weather, traffic, sports etc. This is your way to get your foot in the door. The more you break the ice with people in the sincerest way possible, the easier it will be to move on to your next step.


The way to address your fluency in business English is to try and put yourselves in the shoes of the people who are listening to you speak. Are you going too fast? too slow? Do you tend to make long pauses or choose the wrong words? Such are some of the contributing factors which will make or break a negotiation in business. Without a doubt winning customers and clients over in business is all about trust and your fluency in English is a contributing factor  

Enjoy the video and the quiz everyone!


Learn English with Steve Ford - Business English 14

Hello! Hello! Hello Everybody! Welcome to my newest video. Learning business English is a must for many professionals who are starting to work or already work for a company that requires them to speak English: on the phone, on skype, or face-to-face. Another challenge that many English learners face is having to find the right level of formality when they are e-mailing someone in English for business purposes. Sometimes you might sound too formal, whereas other times you might use the wrong word to communicate your ideas. Don’t worry because you are not alone on this one.

How formal should I be?

Well that’s an excellent question! If you feel unsure about how to address someone in an e-mail, it’s mainly because your way of dealing with people in your own country can differ from the more informal way that native English speakers do. For business students who have a lot of experience dealing with Americans and Canadians, they know that they need to be practical and maybe use half the words they might use e-mailing someone. Time is money and an e-mail needs to be as straight-to-the-point, even at risk of having to read implied meanings.

Is there any way to learn vocabulary for business?

The answer is yes. I learned all of my business vocabulary having worked in the past for a firm in Toronto, Canada. So I try to pass on as much vocabulary as I can so that you can benefit from my experience in the business world. Quite often specific vocabulary is used in business and even some phrasal verbs like “give the go ahead”, “get the e-mail to me”, are specific language references for the business world. You wouldn’t say for example, I got the go-ahead from my wife to take a few days off. But you could say, I got the go-ahead from my boss to take a few days off.

Is starting an e-mail with “dear” for business e-mails formal?

I talk about this in the video and from time to time I get an e-mail from someone who feels the need to be formal. I think it’s CLASSICAL in a way, but to be quite honest, I never saw it in my business experience. It can be indicative of someone who doesn’t use e-mail very much and they are just writing an e-mail the same way they would write a letter.

Would I use any of the e-mail vocab. from your video when I am speaking?

Of course! You will hear it being used by native speaking Business professionlas all the time. But, be careful! For example you could write something like:

Hi George,

As per our last discussion………

This “as per” means “in regard to” and would sound VERY formal if you used it in your speaking. So be careful!

Does formality differ from American to British business English?

That all depends. I get feedback from my students all the time and if you are working in a company that has a more open corporate culture, the answer is no. However, I have had some feedback from students working for more traditional corporate culture companies and the answer is a resounding yes. That was the feedback I got from a student who got his MBA from NYU and had problems switching back and forth between informal American co-workers and British co-workers who tended to be more formal. If this is your case, you will need to develop ways to switch back and forth between semi-formal or informal business culture to a formal business culture within the same company.