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Business English And Its Importance To Business And Professional Success

Business English And Its Importance To Business And Professional Success

By Maria Eliza Raymundo

What is Business English?

Loosely defined, Business English refers to the English language used in international trade or business. It is a specialized area of the English language learning and teaching because it is largely attributed to non-native English speakers who study the subject to enhance their chances of doing business with companies from English speaking countries.
Largely depending on the intention for which learning is intended, Business English can refer to the study of business English vocabulary used in the fields of trade, business, finance, or international relations. If the study focuses on techniques on business presentations, negotiations, correspondence, writing and other kills needed for business communications, then it can be classified as the study of Business English communication skills in the workplace. There is really not much difference between the two classifications, as vocabulary and communication skills work together to achieve a common goal - to develop or enhance both written and verbal English skills for business or career advancement purposes.

Why Learning Business English Is Important

Around the world, there is an estimated 1 Billion people learning English. Many factors point to the reason why learning English has seen exponential growth in recent years, but it all boils down to the English language being the "global language" of business, politics, international relations, culture, and entertainment for so many countries worldwide. And that is just an understatement as in fact, while English is not an official language in many countries worldwide, it is the language most often taught as a foreign or second language.

Business Leverage

The rapid growth in technology for global communications notwithstanding, there are still many companies and individual professionals who fail in their quest for business or professional success. And oftentimes the failure primarily lies on one of the most basic foundations of making business relations - the language spoken. Undoubtedly, the English language is the global language for business and having a good command of English will definitely give one who is eyeing globally competitive business or career a clear edge. Any communications problem, whether personal or business, translates to losses, zero result in negotiations, incompetence for global business, or will just simply leave you ill-equipped to carry out international business.

Career Growth

Going down on a more personal level of career success, having the right Business English communication skills will surely equip you with a liberating confidence and ability to express yourself in the English language. It will surely be an advantage in interviews, thus giving you more opportunities to widen your career prospects. Or if you are not looking for a new job, having the confidence and ability to speak Business English is one way of enhancing your potential for earning by making you stand out for career advancement or promotions. Studies show a steady growth in the number of companies worldwide requiring employees who have bilingual skills.

Internet Proficiency Means English Proficiency

Research shows that 80% of the amount of Internet web content is in the English language and that content relating to business written in the English language largely comprises this figure. It goes without saying that having a good grasp of business information, data, or terminologies in the English language is very important to have a good understanding of the wealth of business information available on the Internet.
Maria Eliza Raymundo is a Virtual Assistant who contributes for PowerUp English [] and for the Business English Is Not Enough [] blog.
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How to Communicate Effectively Using Business English

How to Communicate Effectively Using Business English

Communicating effectively

: In the era prior to globalization, Business English was limited to just E-mails or sales letters. The advent of internet changed the way companies advertised their products. Advertisement meant more information about the products and services. Social media posts, user manuals, sales reports while maintaining existing customer base aimed at creating new customers.
Effective communication was required not just for advertising or information, but to outsource, getting things done quickly and achieving results without running into cost and time overruns.

Principles of communicating effectively:

· Principle of Brevity:

Communication in business is more about information and less about elaborate florid prose. Avoid sentences that beat round the bush. Come straight to the point. Understand that time is valuable and the fact that it is a constraint to many people. Hence "tell only what is required and do it quickly ".

· Principle of clarity:

Avoid language that is ambiguous, contains frequent references and citations.

· Principle of completeness:

Ensure that the information provided in the document is complete so that valuable time is not lost in clarifying doubts.

· Principle of correctness:

Any document would be less effective if it is full of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and typos. Ensure that the document is error free.

· Principle of coherence:

Ensure that the ideas or thoughts flow logically from one sentence to the other and from one paragraph to another.

· Principle of consistency:

Use formatting and layout that is consistent. Inconsistency makes a document messy and untidy which defeats the very purpose of communicating.

Tips to communicating effectively:

Understand your audience:

Whether it is a newsletter you are writing or an e-mail you are drafting, understanding your audience greatly helps. Understanding your audience implies trying to gauge your audience's understanding of the subject much in advance.It also means anticipating their reactions, queries and resistances.

Understand the objective of communication:

Understand the purpose of communication.
· Do you simply want to share information with a group of people?
· Do you need to teach a particularly difficult concept to someone?
Do not overlook the obvious: Most of the times, writers in an attempt to make their document more attractive miss on the facts that are essential to any business like the location of their business premises.
Think innovatively: Use clichés sparingly. At most they help stifle a yawn or worst make you lose a potential customer. "Quality oriented" "100% focused" are insipid, bland and don't do much for your business. Avoid them like plague.
Avoid the jargon: Sometimes jargon is unavoidable. Yet the fact neither the writer nor the reader loves jargon. Use business jargon only when you feel it adds value to any business communication.
Redundancy - A big No-No: Respect your readers. They are smart and let us face it they don't have all the time in the world. Don't talk to them about "Personal friends","new innovations" or "Serious disasters". Just talk to them about inventions and disasters. Also leave those verb/noun pairs alone. Do not "take a decision" or "Carry out the renovation", simply "Decide" and "renovate "
Keep it simple: Put the headings in bold. In case of E-mails, make sure that the subject line is clear and lacks any ambiguities.Use bullets for lists. Put the most important information at the top.

Avoid abbreviations and symbols:

Always remember the purpose of any business communication is creating a bond with a potential customer or client and not conversing. Hence avoid symbols like "&" "etc". They make the whole document or an E-mail look frivolous.

Pep up your writing:

Use active voice to make your writing more cheerful.


Check out for those typos, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Proofread after every sentence, every paragraph and every document.

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Using Communication Styles That Entertain, Inform, Convince and Persuade Effectively - HK Negotiation Skills Training Course Workshop Hong Kong, HKSAR, China, Asia Using CommunicatioN Styles That Entertain, Inform, Convince and Persuade Effectively - HK Negotiation Skills Training Course Workshop Hong Kong, HKSAR, China, Asia

Using CommunicatioN Styles That Entertain, Inform, Convince and Persuade Effectively -

HK Negotiation Skills Training Course Workshop Hong Kong, HKSAR, China, Asia
Nigel Brooks

Effective communications

are essential for building both personal and professional relationships with others. First impressions count so it is important to choose words that others can relate to quickly.
Every industry and function has its jargon. For example, talking to bankers about interest rate sensitivity, to product developers about time-to-market, and to manufacturing enterprises about overhead costs builds rapport. Salespeople prefer words that convey energy and excitement; medical practitioners prefer words that suggest care and well being; accountants and attorneys prefer precise language; and technologists prefer words that convey solutions.
Because people often make decisions on emotion, and then justify them rationally, it is essential to use motivational language. Whereas ultimately that means using persuasive language, the entertaining, informing, and convincing styles are useful for raising emotion.

Successful salespeople

claim that it takes multiple interactions with a prospect to make a sale - at least five is not uncommon. Unsuccessful salespeople usually give up before they have reached the threshold required to close. Many interactions are required to build trust, which is based upon communications and the accompanying actions.

Large transactions between enterprises

, such as long-term contracts, or mergers and acquisitions may require field trips and site visits over multiple days. These events require discussions and presentations in meetings, and over breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Eventually the parties meet across the table to negotiate the deal. Minimizing the amount of face time with counter parties reduces the risk of something being said that is out of place. So face time should be reserved to those situations where messages can be powerfully transmitted with anticipation and deliberation.

During negotiations,

the parties must never be off guard, and all language to entertain, inform, convince, and persuade should be chosen carefully by understanding the needs of the audience and their backgrounds. Therefore, it is necessary to determine what motivates an audience and what it aspires to - their industry and functional backgrounds provide clues.
It is important to understand whether the audience prefers the "analytical" approach (findings followed by conclusions followed by recommendations), or "bottom-line" approach (recommendations based upon conclusions based upon findings). "Process-oriented" people, such as accountants, attorneys, and engineers, usually want to build the case, whereas "people-oriented" people, such as those in entertainment, health care, and sales, usually want to get straight to the point.

The four communications styles

can be used to inspire the audience accordingly:

Entertaining style

- appropriate as an "ice breaker" at a formal meeting or presentation:
  • Start with an example of a relevant event or situation, made humorous if possible
  • Describe images of the event or situation in vivid words, using poetic license if appropriate
  • Relate to personal experiences with examples
  • Make a transition to the current event or situation
  • Make relevant points of comparison
  • End with a memorable statement related to the most important point

Informative style

- appropriate at larger "town hall" style meetings:
  • Start with an example of a relevant event or situation
  • Describe images of the event or situation with vivid words
  • Discuss what the complicated the situation, what the problems were, and how solutions were reached
  • Make a transition to the current event or situation
  • Talk about the presentation - give an overview
  • Discuss complications, problems, and potential or actual solutions
  • Be fact based, using examples where possible based upon observations and experience
  • Summarize key points
  • Talk about the presentation - what it was about
  • End with a memorable statement related to the most important point

Convincing style

- appropriate for smaller meetings where the audience needs to be convinced of an idea or condition in order to modify behavior:
  • Start with an example of a relevant event or situation
  • Make a transition to the specific idea or condition
  • Answer the "why?" - initial benefit statement regarding the idea or condition
  • Answer "what is it?" - a summary of the idea or condition
  • Answer "what's in it for the audience?" - benefits of the idea or condition in detail
  • Describe the rationale of the idea or condition with facts, statistics, and metrics
  • Respond to objections as suggestions
  • Summarize the idea or condition
  • Call to action - describe the behavior modification as a consequence of convincing the audience
  • End with a memorable statement related to the most important point

Persuasive style

- appropriate for small meetings where the audience needs to be persuaded to do something based upon an opportunity or threat:
  • Start with an example of a relevant opportunity or threat
  • Make a transition to the specific opportunity or threat
  • Answer the "why?" - initial benefit statement regarding the action required to respond to the opportunity or threat
  • Answer the "status" - what is the current situation, and what complicates it
  • Answer "what is it?" - describe the problem
  • Answer "where does the audience want to go?"- describe the alternative solutions
  • Answer "how does the audience get there from here?" - use either the "analytical" approach or the "bottom-line" approach supported by facts, statistics, and metrics
  • Respond to objections as suggestions
  • Confirm the opportunity or threat with the recommendations and the principal benefit
  • Call to action - describe what the audience must do
  • End with a memorable statement related to the most important recommendation

Every individual operates within their own world from which they perceive events, situations, ideas, conditions, opportunities, and threats. Their personal style determines what they aspire to and what inspires them. It is important to understand the personal style of each individual member of an audience so as to use a communication style that gets results.
...and to understand personal styles in thirty minutes or less, claim your opportunity for instant access when you go to
From Nigel A.L. Brooks - Management Consultant and Motivational Speaker
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HK Negotiation Skills Training Course Workshop Hong Kong, HKSAR, China, Asia

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