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How to master any conversation in English

in the Conversation in English you have to understand your counterpart and at the same time formulate your own thoughts. And then there is also the nervousness! You can be speechless. But it doesn't have to be! Prepare yourself thoroughly and this will be an effective way of combating nerve flutter! We'll give you some sample formulations right away with which you can introduce yourself. Our tip: practice these sentences a few times before a meeting.

Conversations in English: no problem with good preparation

You probably already know many of the tricks you can use to effectively prepare yourself for a business situation in another language. But how often is there a lack of implementation in the hectic pace of everyday life? Do it better now! Take a closer look at the following list before your next meeting with English-speaking customers or business partners and consciously try out the tips for conversations in English! You will be surprised how much easier it will be for you to communicate effectively.

The dos in conversation in English ...

  • Prepare for important meetings and occasions by using vocabulary and sentences. Look up difficult words beforehand. You can also make notes that you can carry with you and consult in an emergency.
  • If you are having trouble following a conversation in English, ask the other person to speak slowly. In the heat of the moment, your English interlocutors can forget that you are not a native speaker. So it's perfectly fine for you to remind her.
  • Maintain eye contact with the person you are speaking to! That makes communication easier. Body language plays an important role in any type of conversation. On the one hand, it helps us to understand what the other is saying and how he means it. On the other hand, the gestures and facial expressions of the other person serve as important feedback as to whether we have been understood ourselves. At a meeting, choose a place where you can see all participants clearly and make eye contact.
  • If you are attending a lecture or attending a course, sit in one of the front rows as close as possible to the speaker or course instructor. Don't hide all the way in the back. There you will have difficulty understanding what is being said.

... and the don’ts

  • Don't expect yourself to hear every single word. This will only frustrate you unnecessarily. Just think about your mother tongue: If you are speaking in German in a large group, it can also happen that you overhear fragments of conversation.
  • Don't try to translate every word! You don't have time to talk in English for that. While you are still translating everything into German for yourself, the person you are talking to is already moving on to the next topic.
  • You don't have to be uncomfortable if you don't understand something. Don't be afraid to ask!
  • Native speakers often use slang expressions that you may not be familiar with. Ask for an explanation here too!
  • British and Americans love abbreviations. Sometimes there is no complete word in a whole sentence. Again, if you don't understand something, ask for clarification.
  • There will often be times when you need to have a conversation in English with people who have a different mother tongue themselves. Then differences in pronunciation can make understanding even more difficult. Be open about it and kindly point out to the person you are speaking to if you have problems understanding them.

As you introduce yourself in English

In business life there are often situations in which you have to introduce yourself and your company and talk about your position. This can be difficult, especially in another language, because you have to use a lot of more formal expressions. You should therefore use the English formulations that we present to you below. By the way: You can use many of these sentences not only in English in a business conversation. They can also be of use if you make contacts in private.

How to start a conversation in English

Whether in business or in private life - when you get to know someone, first of all introduce yourself. At a business meeting, however, there is also the fact that you are not only talking about yourself, but also about your company. The following sentences will help you start the conversation in English:

My name is ... / My name is ...My name is …
I am …In the …
I work for …I work for? (not: "I am working for ..."!)
I am the office assistant at ... (You are the only office assistant.)I'm office assistant for ...
I am an office assistant at ... (You are one of several office assistants.)I'm an office assistant at ...
The company produces software / machines /….The company produces software / machines / ...
We develope …We develop ...
We sell …We market ...

Your area of ​​responsibility - this is how you describe it in an interview in English

So that the person you are talking to knows who he is dealing with, he or she will be interested in your tasks and your work environment in your company. You can use these sentences to describe your position:

I am responsible for …I'm responsible for ... / I look after ...
I work in a team with eight colleagues.I work in a team of eight people.
I support our sales department.I support our sales team.
My tasks include ...My job involves ...
I report to the head of the business development department.I report to the Business Development Director.

How long have you been with the company? Say it in business English

The description of your role in the company also includes information on how long you have been working there. There are several ways to communicate this in English during a conversation:

I have been working for Weißenhaus Elektronik since 2014 / for two years.I have been working for Weißenhaus Elektronik since 2014 / for 2 years.
I have been working at Weißenhaus Elektronik since 2014.I have worked at Weißenhaus Elektronik since 2014. (not: "am working at"!)
I started at Weißenhaus Elektronik in 2014.I joined Weißenhaus Elektronik in 2014.

For more personal conversations in English

Business is the most important topic in business talk. Nevertheless, you should make sure that your company's partners get to know you a little better personally. After all, a good relationship makes working together easier. The following example sentences can give you a little glimpse into your private life:

In my spare time I like to read, cook and play the piano.In my free time I enjoy reading, cooking and playing the piano.
After work, I like to do inline skating and Nordic walking.Outside of work I enjoy inline skating and Nordic walking.
I am very interested in football and I am a supporter of our local club.I'm very keen on football (American English: "soccer") and support our local team.
I am married, have two children and live in Kiel.I'm married with two children and live in Kiel.

The salutation in English: first or last name?

In English-speaking countries, it is common to address colleagues, business partners and even customers by their first name. This in no way suggests a special relationship. You can even create unnecessary hurdles in a business relationship if you only use your family name when talking in English. When introducing yourself or meeting someone for the first time, introduce yourself by your first and last name. Many British or American interlocutors will then address you by their first name on their own. However, it is also possible for someone to address you by your family name until you ask them to use your first name. To offer someone to call you by your first name, say e.g. For example: "Please call me Gabi." If you want to ask your counterpart for permission to use the first name, use a sentence like: "May I call you David?"

"Business English on the phone" dossier

Gone are the days when you had to struggle for words and breath! This dossier offers you best practice examples for telephone calls.

You will learn how to

  • best to take a call
  • Calm down and forward angry callers
  • Maintain and deepen customer contacts with skillful small talk
  • Clearly state names and numbers
  • Hold conference calls and
  • ask for information.

Download now and benefit straight away:

Dossier: Telephoning in English

translated from: Dean, Stuart: Business Talk English