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Business English Lessons

Speaking English for business, TOEFL-IELTS - Learn Business English 17 with Steve Ford


This week I have a question from a student from China who is studying English in the USA. She needs to give some presentations in English and she wants to know how to make them sound interesting for her audience. Knowing how to give a good presentation in English is so important nowadays. With the way things are now, you need to present something which is short and sweet. It should be dynamic and get the audience's attention. Here are some great tips. First and foremost, you need to "break the ice" with your audience. This means you need to either tell them a joke if you are good at doing it or try talking about something which everyone has in common such as; the weather, family or perhaps traffic jams.

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Once you have broken the ice, you need to make sure that your presentation in English does not sound too structured and mechanical. Remember, this is a presentation, not a piece of writing. So the trick is using a device called a "trigger" to end your introduction of your presentation to "lead the audience into" your main presentation. A trigger is a topic or idea which gets the audience's attention and helps them to be prepared for the main topic you will be talking about. It takes practice, but if you can master it the audience will never realize that you have already started into the main part of your presentation. 


Sounding like "the voice of authority" is used all of the time by politicians and business leaders. Giving a presentation with confidence in English means you should start considering using the same kind of language. This idioms and expressions can be used in both speaking and writing and can be anything from, "beyond the shadow of a doubt" to "it goes without saying". I name a few more in my lesson and I use them in context so be sure to pay close attention to how I use them in the lesson. 


The conclusion of your presentation should be a climax to what you are talking about. Try not to focus too much on your conclusion because your audience may have a pleasant surprise knowing that you finished your presentation with a bang(in a very successful way). Try to think of other ways to say you are finishing like "to end off my presentation".




Learn English with Steve Ford - Business English Pronunciation 16

Hello everyone! Here is a video answering questions from two English learners from Turkey and Brazil regarding using contractions in different contexts of business English. I teach business English to professionals around the world and will be sharing some of my experience in this lesson

Gonna and Wanna

There is a fine line between formal and informal ways of speaking in American business English. It's always been part of American tradition to distance themselves from a rigid social class system to which they rebelled against during the American revolution of 1776. You will find out in my lesson if "gonna" and "wanna" would be appropriate during a job interview or in the workplace in general.

Using Contractions

Do you use contractions when you're speaking English? Things like: I'm, I'll, I've, I'd? Something I address in my lesson is how different people view contractions and what my opnion is regarding their use in day-to-day business English

Faking Accents

I deleted a scene from my lesson which is an experience I had. I remember going in for a job interview and halfway through, I was introduced to the foreign owner who wanted to make a point of showing off his rural Texan accent. He spoke with a southern drawl, you know: Howdy Steve, you’re gonna like workin’ for us. It was a mix of an Asian-Texan accent. His manager, who was interviewing me(a native speaker), was so obviously afraid of the owner, he didn’t have the guts to tell him that his accent was far from being standard American English.