Successfully leading or participating in a conference call can be challenging, even in your own language.
Here are our tips for being confident and clear on English conference calls, so you get the outcome you want.
1. Learn key phrases before the call
English conference calls have their own jargon. Review key phrasal verbs beforehand and get familiar with the idioms.
Key call-related phrases
- To call back = To call someone after the call has finished
- To hang up = To end the call
- To cut in = To interrupt
- To put through = To connect someone to the conference call, usually when a colleague or secretary is calling in on someone else’s behalf
- To hold on = To wait
- To join in = To participate
- To get back to = To return to a topic or person at a later time
- To mute = To silence your microphone so other participants can’t hear you
If you’re leading the call, it’s also helpful to prepare phrases for dealing with difficult situations or disruptive people.
Key phrases for managing difficult situations and people
- I’d like to hear what other people think
- If nobody has any better ideas, how about…?
- Thank you for your comments – we’ll take them into consideration
- We have a lot to get through and time is short
2. Focus on listening – and remember to summarize
The less you talk, the more you can focus on listening and understanding. And that means actively listening rather than getting distracted by your computer or smartphone. This is especially important if figures, statistics and data feature heavily.
If you’ve spoken at length, finish by summarizing your point and then ask if everyone has understood.
Key opening and closing phrases
- To begin,
- As you can see…
- Let’s turn to…
- Let me sum up…
- That brings me to…
- Let me finish by saying…
Are conference calls becoming increasingly important in your role?
Our business English trainings can help you become a more effective call participant and leader – so you impress your clients and work more efficiently with colleagues to achieve your goals.