Mastering English is becoming a lucrative opportunity for non-native English speakers. There are more and more businesses expanding globally, into new markets and regions with English becoming the preferred language of choice, or in other words, ‘common ground’.
Immersing yourself in the English language can be very helpful in developing your English speaking, writing and listening skills.
In this article, we will share with you top 5 top tips to improve your Business English. Whether it’s spending more time developing your English speaking, writing or listening skills.
Become Obsessed with Business English Words & Phrases
Within a corporate environment, you will have to become familiar with certain ‘buzz words’ (commonly used phrases) that are used within this setting.
Business terms such as “Employment”, “Presentations”, “Correspondence”, “Leadership”, “Negotiation” and “Budget” are all very familiar words you will need to become accustomed to.
They are more traditional words and phrases you will learn and pick up over time. There will be some English idioms that will cause you a lot of confusion and leave you thinking ‘What did they say!?’.
Below, we’ve put together a quick list of Business setting related words and phrases that you may hear regularly:
- ASAP – “To do as soon as possible”
- Too much on my plate – “Too many responsibilities/ busy workload”
- Micromanage – “Manager has too much control over your workload/ project you’re currently working on”
- Workflow – “Steps involved in the completion of a current project”
You’re likely to be hearing new words and phrases like the above all the time, so it would be worthwhile to make a list of 5 phrases to begin with and start to weave them into business related conversations.
Make sure you don’t overload yourself, it could slow your progress down and make you feel slightly overwhelmed. Spend time each night, learning and using these new words as you’ve heard them within the conversations you’ve witnessed & experienced.
Read Business Books
Reading is a common and effective learning tool to improve your vocabulary and ability to put sentences together. To enhance your business English, it’s essential to research and find the best books to achieve your goals.
To maximise your reading time, find a business book that is written by someone within the industry you currently work in or seeking to work in.
These sets of books will be filled with industry specific jargon. They will not only allow you to improve your business English vocabulary but can also aid you in your career progression by improving your knowledge and understanding of the niche you work in.
For example, if you’re a budding economist you’ll be very interested in Chris Miller’s Chip War which is a gripping book on the eventful chip business and how the USA won the race.
You gain a better understanding of how the chip business transformed the global market from this best-selling book.
Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts have taken over the world by storm and become a very popular tool to keep up with current trends and events within the industry. Starting in a new business you want to show your value and be able to chip into conversations to provide your thoughts & opinions.
There is no better way to do this than listening to podcasts, keeping you well informed whilst improving your ability to understand the potential impact certain events can have on your business.
Within the financial industry, We Study Billionaires is a trending financial podcast where Stig Brodersen, Preston Pysh, Clay Finck, and William Green have conversations with billionaires and investors. Exploring topics such as investment tactics, marketing conditions, business and their entrepreneurial successes!
Another well known business related podcast is The $100 MBA Show where ex-teacher Omar Zenhom provides expert insight into topics such as Entrepreneurship, online businesses, and starting and growing a small business.
Watch Movies & Documentaries
Movies & documentaries are brilliant learning resources for non native English speakers to enhance their Business English skills. Some critically acclaimed films that tell engaging business stories include The Big Short, Wall Street, The Pursuit of Happiness and the Wolf of Wall Street.
Each film is based on true events and showcases how complex business related industries can be. It focuses on specific individuals/ groups and the impact of their decisions on their business and the environment they were in.
Netflix and Amazon Prime are also extremely popular streaming services that have a plethora of business related documentaries for you individuals to enjoy and get lost in.
Suits is a personal favourite which takes place in the busy setting of a New York law firm, focusing on the journey of Mike Ross, an extraordinarily gifted individual who’s never set foot in a law firm, yet is able to persuade experienced lawyer Harvey Specter into becoming a lawyer associate.
7 seasons of ups, downs, a focus on workplace culture and how to handle a high profiled and hectic work environment. Suits showcases a strong work ethic and an unwavering amount of self belief and confidence.
Ask for Feedback & Practice Makes a Pro!
To put it simply, you will not achieve your goals without practising. This isn’t strictly related to business but life in general.
To improve your English speaking and writing skills, set specific, realistic and time-based goals that you can stick to and manage accordingly.
Create good habits to achieve your goals by setting time for yourself every week to practise your writing and use phrases you’ve picked up on throughout the week.
Ask a colleague for 10 minutes of their time to practise as well. Whether it’s a sales presentation or asking to check your report work. Feedback is important for improving your business English skills.
Most of all, believe in yourself. You can achieve anything you set out to do. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you won’t learn without it!