Now that more professionals are WFH (Working From Home) than ever before, logging on to conference calls is the most popular way to conduct work meetings. Whether you use Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams, the English we use for conference calls is generally the same. Let’s take a look at some useful expressions you can use to impress your colleagues on a call!
First things first, before you get chatting on a conference call, you need to get into the meeting (which can be tricky). Each platform has its own way of setting up calls, but here are some nice expressions to help you communicate clearly and effectively using your platform of choice:
So, you made it onto the Teams call, now how do you introduce yourself? It’s always good to keep your introductions “short and sweet” (brief):
Here are some good expressions to get the meeting started on your conference call:
We all struggle to understand other people sometimes – accents, background noise and fast speech can cause us problems. When this happens, it’s always better to check for understanding before moving on. Here are some expressions to clarify meaning on a conference call:
As we all know, sometimes things just don’t go to plan. You might have got to the meeting without any issues, but then experience a problem with the sound, camera or even a faulty internet connection. Here are some useful phrases to help you resolve any tech issues ASAP:
If you are chairing a meeting, here are some excellent expressions to help it go smoothly:
Here are a few essential phrases for when you are participating in a meeting:
At the end of a call, it’s a good idea to do a quick recap (summary) of the meeting. It’s also a nice gesture to thank everyone for their efforts. Let’s have a look at some key phrases:
Take a look at these dialogues to see how we use the above vocabulary in live conference calls:
Steven: Hello everyone, glad to see some familiar faces here today.
As we are still missing a few people, how about we start with a quick recap of last week? Would anyone like to remind us what was discussed at our previous meeting? I can see Roberto has a hand raised.
Roberto, I can see you’re talking, but can’t hear you. Have you unmuted?
Roberto: Sorry about that! Last week we looked at company performance and possible areas for improvement.
Steven: That’s correct, thanks Roberto. As a warm-up I’m going to post a few questions in the chat box. I’d like you all to reply as quickly as possible.
I can see Maria has her hand raised?
Maria: I just wanted to ask if it’s possible to record this session so that I can watch it again later?
Steven: I’ll put that to the rest of the class, if anyone is against me recording the lesson, please say so now in the chat box.
Bill: Let’s kick off with a quick run-down of today’s agenda. I believe Gerry is going to do this for us.
Gerry: Yes, thank you. I can take over from here. The agenda for the meeting is as follows: first off, we’ll hear Sam give us the numbers for last week, then we’ll move onto Beth who’s going to tell us about an exciting new client, and lastly, we’ll have an open chat about the upcoming conference in Glasgow. If you have any questions, please select the ‘raised hand’ button. Is there anything I’ve missed, Carla?
Carla: I have nothing to add to that at the moment, thanks.
Bill: Sorry to interrupt but may I ask a quick question? Are we going to hear from Sam regarding the new cycle-to-work scheme?
Sam: Not today, I’m afraid, as we are still waiting on some government advice, but we should have it by next week.
Bill: Thanks, that’s all.
Gerry: Okay, I’ll hand over to Sam who’ll fill us in on the numbers…
Chair: Thank you for your contribution, Rachel. I particularly enjoyed your thoughts on the new hiring procedure. Moving on to our next item on the agenda: Finance. I’d like to say a special thanks to Mrs. Patel for joining us today. We’re looking forward to learning more about the Gateway Initiative
Mrs Patel: (frozen video)
Chair: I’m sorry I think we missed something there, the video was stuck/frozen for a minute or two. Could you repeat what you said, please?
Mrs Patel: Can you all see and hear me now?
Chair: Yes, the video’s fine now. However, as we seem to be experiencing a poor internet connection today, could I ask everyone turn off their video so that we can hear each other better? That’s great, I’ll hand over to Mrs Patel now.
Mrs Patel: Great, thank you for that, Adrian. I’m going to share my screen with you all, can you all see my screen?
Exercise A: Connect the expression on the left with the correct meaning on the right.
Exercise B: Fill in the blanks with the correct word below.
Exercise C: Select the most appropriate sentence a-c.
Exercise A = 1 e, 2 b, 3 c, 4 d, 5 a
Exercise B = 1 a, 2 b, 3 c, 4 d, 5 e, 6 f, 7 g, 8 h, 9 i, 10 j
Exercise C = 1 c, 2 a, 3 c, 4 b, 5 c
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