Language for presentations in English


Business Phrases in English

Venture English Business students have listed these 15 phrases as being some of the most important to know in the Business environment.  Hoping this could be useful for you!

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1. A rule of thumb: a personal principle, a gold rule
A good rule of thumb is not to spend more than you have

2. To put it in a nutshell: to summarize the main facts clearly
Let me put the problem in a nutshell

3. To hear it on the grapevine: to hear news because the information has been passed from one person to another
I heard on the grapevine that she was pregnant, but I’m not sure about it

4. A show of hands: means that people raise their hands and vote if they agree with a measure to be taken
Can I have a show of hands for the new plans?

5. Red tape: excessive bureaucracy
Cameron pledges to cut red tape for small business

6. To get the wrong end of the stick: to misunderstand
Her friend saw us arrive together and got the wrong end of the stick

7. Wrap this up: you’ll say a few more things and then the meeting will end
I’m going to wrap this up by saying that I’m very grateful for your assistance

8. To be on the same/a similar wavelength: to think in a similar way
I didn’t need to discuss things in detail because we found we were on the same wavelength

9. Slack off: work lazily
She doesn’t like her new position, and so she has been slacking off recently

10. Be in hot water: be in trouble
He found himself in hot water over his speech about human rights

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11. Can’t make head or tail: to fail to understand anything
We couldn’t make head or tail of the French film, it was impossible to understand

12. To beat around the bush: to avoid coming to the point
Don’t beat around the bush, just tell me how much it´s going to cost.

13. Get the sack: be fired
She got the sack when her mistake was discovered

14. Call it a day: to stop working
I’m tired, let’s call it a day

15. To keep someone in the loop: to keep someone informed
Thanks for the update.  Please keep me in the loop about what happens in the next few days

Academic Writing – some handy resources

This is my favourite resource for typical academic expressions and sentence structures:

And here are some more useful options…

Linking word list and practice activity:

More linking words in context:

Flo-joe linking words activities:

Useful Language for Business Meetings

Hello business English students!

We explored in class some typical language used during brainstorming meetings, informative meetings and decision-making meetings.  Now here are some additional useful resources, all focused on the language of meetings!  Enjoy…

Asking for and giving opinions, and diplomatic disagreement

Politely interrupting and disagreeing

Key phrases for chairing a meeting

Key phrases for participating in a meeting (this is especially useful for language of clarification, verification, asking for repetition and keep the meeting on track!)

Extra English Exercises for Advanced English Users

Hello Business Students!

As you only have four hours of English classes per week, and they are focused on Business Communication Skills, it’s useful for your language development to take a couple of hours out of your free time each week to self-study.

The question is, what activities could help you, as high level English users who live and work in Scotland?!

Based on your individual requests, I’ve put together some resources to get you started.  We can add to these and vary them as time goes on, and increase or decrease the challenge:)

So then, here are some activities for those of you wanting to practise:

listening skills

tricky exercises to stretch your language skills and vocabulary(!) (parts 1-4)

reading skills (parts 5-8)

If you’d like some authentic listening practice, listen to a short radio programme or podcast from the following suggestions, take notes on it then write up a summary, plus your commentary, to show to me (Lorna):

BBC Radio Four (e.g. Woman’s Hour)

This American Life

Stuff You Should Know

Stuff to Blow Your Mind

If you fancy doing the same kind of language exercise with something visual, try:

Ted Talks (podcasts also available!)

And, finally, for those of you wanting speaking practice, I strongly suggest being as social as possible!  Invite people for coffee or a pint, and join fun groups of locals and/or internationals!  You’ll find your pronunciation comes on leaps and bounds too:)

Best of luck! x