Materials for language lessons

Posts tagged ‘business English’

Entertaining Speeches 3


INFORMATIVE SPEECH–give us information that describes something or states how to do something; it does not give your opinion as a main point; it avoids making judgments that the things you are talking about are bad/good, etc.

PERSUASIVE SPEECH–persuade us to change our beliefs or actions; shows us YOUR opinion on a subject–that you think it is good/bad, right/wrong, moral/immoral, justified/unjustified, that we should/should not do something.

AFTER DINNER SPEECH–usually a persuasive speech but sometimes informative focused; key distinguishing feature is that it is focused on entertaining the audience usually with jokes and humor.

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(originally published on

Entertaining Speeches 2


Now, write down supports for your points.  Take time to research your topic thoroughly and get yourself stories, statistics, expert opinion, and more to make your speech standout. Kinds of supports you should use in your speech:

1. Interest supports to increase interest in your speech: stories, examples, personal experiences, interaction (e.g. games or questions you ask of your audience).

2. Evidence supports to increase solid support in your speech: statistics, expert opinions, direct quotations, studies, surveys, and facts.

3. Multimedia aids such as posters with writing and pictures, PowerPoint, music or recordings on a stereo player, videotapes and DVD’s.



Write your introduction.  Give a quick attention getter, state the thesis, tell why it is important to you and your audience.  Typically in forensic competition, it is expected that you “preview” your main points in the introduction by listing out the main points you will present.

Write your conclusion.  Tie the speech together, build to a higher point and give it a sense of conclusion.


Practice and prepare to present your material as effectively as possible.


(originally published on

Entertaining Speeches




After Dinner 



INFORMATIVE-EXPOS: Pick a topic where you will explain something, help people understand, show how to use or do something, etc. Hot topics typically involve scientific or technological breakthroughs that are obviously useful and important to the judges you will have.

PERSUASIVE-ORATORY: Pick a topic that you have a strong opinion on. Hot topics typically involve problems that both the government and the judge can take action on.

AFTER DINNER SPEAKING-SPEECH TO ENTERTAIN: Pick a topic that resonates with your audience in terms of its importance in our society but also pick a topic that is going to lend itself to humor–jokes, good stories, entertainment!



What point do you want to get across?

FOR INFORMATIVE SPEECHES: “I will explain . . .” “I will show how to . . .”

FOR PERSUASIVE SPEECHES: “The government should . . .” “We should stop . . .” “X is a harmful practice.”

FOR AFTER DINNER SPEECHES: Use either of the above kinds of thesis statements although they are usually more persuasive. Just be sure to focus on a humorous subject.



Take a moment and think up what would support your thesis.  Write the points down on a sheet of paper, leaving room after each one so that you can add supports for them.


How to speech: 4 key steps to doing the thing you are talking about.

Example: Step One: Reformat the hard drive. Step Two: Place the CD into the computer and begin installation. Step Three: Fine tune your operating system.

History/what happened speech: Points listing out from the beginning to the latest thing you want to discuss in your speech.

Example: First, the people inhabited the territory. Second, there were great conflicts. Third, there were good and sad after-effects.

What is it speech: 2 to 4 main points that discuss the key elements of your subject.

Example: First, there must be small numbers; Second, a focus on general rather than specialized education; Third, a focus on more intellectual rather than practical or technical knowledge.

Explain it speech: 2 or 4 main points that go through the key elements of something to explain it.

Example: A plane flies by first, its wing design; second, engine forward movement; third, direction of wing flaps.

Typical organizations for an


Problem-solution: First point shows there is a harmful problem; Second point shows a proposal and proof that it would solve the problem; it is good to get the judge/audience involved in taking their own actions to help solve the problem.

Demonstration that something is wrong/right: First, list out an agreeable standard for judging (things that kill should be rejected; things that intrude on our civil liberties should be rejected); Second, show that the thing you are talking about does indeed violate the standard you set.

Main reasons approach: Just list out the reasons why your thesis is true. First, because of x; Second, because of y; Third, because of z.


Use any of the above organizations especially the ones for the persuasive speech. Just be sure to be humorous/entertaining.

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(originally published on



I’d like to pay (in) cash.

I’ll put it on my credit card.

Can I charge it?

Could you put that on my bill?

Could I put that on my account?

Could you send me an invoice?

Could you bill me (for that)?

Can I put it on lay-away?

May I  . . .

pay in cash

pay by check

pay by credit card

pay with a credit card

pay in installments

pay in one lump sum

Could you deliver it to my office?

Do you charge for shipping?

Do I need to pay for postage and handling?

How long will it take?


(originally published on

Describing projects

Describing Projects

What are your current projects?

What are you working on (at present)?

What are your major initiatives in this area?

We are currently working on . . .

We are in the process of . . .

We are developing . . .

We are designing . . .

We are building . . .

We are marketing . . .

(originally published on


Business letters – helpful hints

Helpful Hints for Business Letters

Before writing a business letter, consider the following:


Why am I writing this letter?

What do I hope to accomplish?

What action do I want from my reader?

Your Audience

Who will read this letter?

How can I appeal to the reader’s interest?

What attitude might the reader have toward this information?

Will the reader consider this good news or bad news?


What information should be included first/last?

What details does the reader need to know?

Does my conclusion motivate the reader to do something?

Do I end the letter in a positive and polite manner?


Do I use a professional business letter format?

Do my language and style show a positive attitude toward the reader/the company/the product/the information.

Will my reader be offended by anything in the letter?


Are there any spelling errors, typos, etc.?

Is the format of the letter appropriate?

Have I signed my name?

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Charts and graphs

Types of Charts

Pie chart

Bar chart/graph

Line graph

Describing Movement




Go upGo down







Reach (a point)


Types of Movement

SlightSlightly GradualGradually SharpSharply DramaticDramatically MajorMinor

Movement over Time

There was a gradual decline in sales.Sales declined gradually (noun usage)(verb usage)

Enrollment increased by 4% in 1997.

There was a 4% increase in enrollment in 1997.

Immigration rose to 800,000 in 1999.Immigration rose by 20,000 in 1999. (to a point/number)(by increment)

There was a 20% rise in immigration. (percentage)

Taxes remained the same from 2000 to 2001.

Taxes continued at 15% for two years.

Static (non-movement) Description

Sales stood at $1,400,000 in 1998.

Profits were $27,000 in 1999.

There was a loss of $21,000 in 2001.

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Company description

Company Description

What company do you work for?

Which company are you with?

Who do you represent?

I work for ABC Company.

I’m with ABC.

I represent (the) XYZ (company).

What is the name of your company?

Where are you located?

The name of our company is . . . .

Our company is located in . . . .

Our headquarters is in . . .

What (type of business) do you do?

What business are you in?

We are in the computer business.

We’re in computers

We sell . . .

We produce . . .

We manufacture . . .

Our major products are . . .

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Business English – stock market

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Investments – Stock Market



Bid The price a buyer is willing to offer for shares in a company.
Blue Chip Stocks Stocks of leading companies with a reputation for stable growth and earnings.
Bond Certificate issued by companies and governments to their lenders.
Capital Money and other property of companies used in transacting the business.
Capital stock All shares representing ownership of a company.
Commodities Products such as agricultural products and natural resources (wood, oil and metals) that are traded on a separate, authorized commodities exchange.
Dividend A portion of a  company’s earnings which is paid to the shareholders/stockholders on a quarterly or annual basis.
Equity The value of stocks and shares;  the net value of mortgaged property.
Equities Stocks and shares which represent a portion of the capital of a company.
Futures Contracts to buy or sell securities at a future date.
Insider All those who have access to inside information concerning the company.
Insider dealing / trading Buying or selling with the help of information known only to those connected with the business.
IPO Initial Public Offering – selling part of a company on the stock market.
Issue Put into circulation a number of a company’s shares for sale.
Liabilities The debts and obligations of a company or an individual.
Mortgage Agreement by which a bank or building society lends money for the purchase of property, such as a  house or apartment.  The property is the security for the loan.
Mutual fund Savings fund that uses cash from a pool of savers to buy securities such as stock, bonds or real estate.
Option The right to buy and sell certain securities at a specified price and period of time.
Par value Nominal face value.
Penny stock Shares selling at less than $1 a share.
Portfolio Various types of securities held by an individual or institution.
Securities Transferable certificates showing ownership of stocks, bonds, shares, options, etc.
Share The capital of a company is divided into shares which entitle the owner, or shareholder, to a proportion of the profits.
Share certificate Certificate representing the number of shares owned by an investor.
Shareholder Owner of shares.
Speculator Someone who buys and sells stocks and shares in the hope of making a profit through changes in their value.
Stock Shares (portion of the capital of a business company) held by an investor.
Stockbroker A licensed professional who buys and sells stocks and shares for clients in exchange for a fee called a ‘commission’.
Stockholder Person who owns stocks and shares.
Trader Investor who holds stocks and securities for a short time (minutes, hours or days) with the objective of making profit from short-term gains in the market.
Investment is generally based on stock price rather than on an evaluation of the company.
Trading session Period during which the Stock Exchange is open for trading.
Venture capital Money raised by companies to finance new ventures in exchange for percentage ownership.
Yield Return on investment shown as a percentage.(from

Business English – marketing

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Marketing  –  Sales



after sales service Service that continues after the sale of a product (maintenance, etc.)
agent Person or company that acts for another and provides a specified service.
B2B e-commerce Business to business e-commerce : use of commercial networks, online product catalogues and other online resources to obtain better prices and reach new customers.
B2C e-commerce Business to consumer e-commerce :
online sale of goods and services directly to consumers.
benchmarking Comparing one’s products to those of  competitors in order to improve quality and performance.
buyer 1) Any person who makes a purchase.
2) A person employed to choose and buy stock for a company.
cash refund offer Offer to pay back part of the purchase price of a product to customers who send a “proof of purchase” to the manufacturer.
chain store Two or more shops or outlets that have the same owner and sell similar lines of merchandise.
client A person who buys services or advice from a lawyer, an accountant or other professional.
close Finalize a sale or deal.
convenience store Small shop located near a residential area that opens long hours, seven days a week.
coupon Certificate that gives customers a saving when they purchase a specific product.
deal A business transaction.
department store A large shop or store that carries a wide variety of product lines.
direct investment Entering a foreign market by setting up assembly or manufacturing facilities in that country.
discount A reduction in price.
e-commerce Buying and selling by electronic means, primarily on the internet.
e-marketing Promotion of products and services over the internet.
extranet Network that connects a company with its suppliers and distributors
follow-up Maintain contact after the sale to ensure customer satisfaction.
franchise Association between a manufacturer or wholesaler (franchiser) and an independent business person (franchisee) who buys the right to own and operate a unit in the franchise system.
guarantee A promise that product will be repaired or replaced if faulty.
intranet A network that connects people to each other within a company.
joint venture A way of entering a foreign market by joining with a foreign company to manufacture or market a product or service.
market leader The company with the largest market share in an industry.
mark up Percentage of the price added to the cost to reach a selling price.
opinion leader Person with a reference, who, because of competence, knowledge, or other characteristics, exerts influence on others.
packaging Designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product.
product line A group of products that are closely related.
prospect A potential customer.
representative A person who represents and sells for a company.
retail To sell in small quantities, as in a shop, directly to customers.
shopping centre Group of shops developed and managed as a unit.
telephone marketing Using the telephone to sell directly to customers.
trade fair An exhibition at which companies in a specific industry can show or demonstrate their products.
viral marketing The internet version of word-of-mouth marketing – email messages that customers pass on to friends.
wholesale To sell goods and services to those buying for resale (e.g. a shop) or for business use.(published on

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