How to Improve Business English - Detailed ExplanationOct 09, 2021
In this blog article, I’m going to share with you different ways you can improve your business English both alone and with a teacher.
I’m also going to share with you why it’s important to improve your business English skills and how it can change both your personal and professional life for the better.
Be sure to write down the points and areas that are new to you. By the end of the article, you should have a clear understanding of ways you can improve your business English skills quickly and easily, and without any help from a teacher or paid course (although these methods have been proven to work extremely well).
Why is Important to Improve Business English
There are many reasons why it’s important to improve your business English skills. The main reason most people want to improve is for financial purposes. Studies have shown that improving your English yields an average 18% improvement in expected salary, across all geographies, sectors, levels of experience, and degrees of linguistic improvement. Better English means a better salary.
Second, being able to express yourself and articulate your thoughts and ideas clearly means you’re able to do your job to a higher more professional standard, thus giving you more respect and recognition from colleagues and clients.
Third, English is the language of global business, meaning professionals have to learn English if they want to be able to communicate well with their foreign colleagues and clients. One of the many questions you’ll be asked in any interviews you have for international companies will be about your level of English and how confident you are conversing in a foreign language.
Finally, there’s nothing more embarrassing than your colleagues or boss reprimanding you for grammar errors or spelling mistakes in that very important proposal. It’s important to improve your business English skills because, without these essential soft skills, your hard skills become completely redundant. Your five-year degree becomes meaningless if you can’t demonstrate what you’ve learned.
Where We Can Use Business English?
We can use business English in, well, business (duh!) But a lot of the same concepts and frameworks you learn in business English can also be used in other settings too, for example when meeting new people abroad or speaking to a foreign friend about business, politics or current affairs.
Business English is versatile, meaning it can be used in many different ways. But mostly, you’ll be using business English at work when speaking or communicating with your foreign colleagues and clients.
Some of the more specific functions you might find yourself using this style of English are:
Emails or other written communications
Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty - how to actually improve your business English skills.
Tips and Tricks for Improving Business English Skills
Set Specific Goals
Without goals, we have no endpoint. We don’t know what we’re trying to achieve nor do we know if we’re making any progress or not. Setting specific goals is vital to improving business English skills.
My first recommendation is to make sure you’ve set yourself goals that are both achievable and realistic. At the very beginning, we want to stay away from setting ourselves overly ambitious goals that we won’t likely meet as this will damage morale and motivation to continue learning.
After you have a few realistic goals, you need to make sure that they’re also specific. Give yourself clear deadlines. A goal like “I want to be able to give a presentation in English,” is too vague. Instead, say, “I want to be able to comfortably deliver a ten-minute presentation in English about sales goals, without using a PowerPoint, by the end of May.”
Make sure your goals are written down and that they’re somewhere you can always see. I always recommend sticking your goals up at your desk or on your kitchen fridge.
Create Hardwired Habits
Goals and habits go hand-in-hand like beer and salted nuts. Without habits, our goals become irrelevant. This is because if we spend all of our time focusing on the end result as opposed to the actions we take to get there, the boat isn’t going to go very far.
Find different ways to practice business English every day or every week. Consistent effort builds momentum and creates habits of learning. For example, try reading one industry article per day, deliver a public speech in English once a week, or write your upcoming proposal in English as a way to practice.
One of the best tips I give to my students is that shorter, more regular studying trumps longer, less regular studying. That means it’s more effective to study for 30 minutes every day rather than studying for 5 hours on Monday and nothing else for the rest of the week.
Be Confident in Your Own Abilities
One of the biggest reasons why people fail at learning business English (or any language) is because they simply give up. And they usually give up because they don’t believe in themselves or their own abilities. They think being good at a language is a gift or a talent that some people are born with. I always make a point of telling my students that this twisted mindset is exactly what is killing their confidence and motivation!
People are not naturally good at things. There’s no such thing as ‘talent’ or being naturally gifted. What there is, is effort, hard work, and patience. These three things will always overcome natural talent.
Reflect on whether you truly believe you can accomplish your goals. If not, then revise your goals and make them smaller or more manageable until you trust that you can achieve them.
Fall in Love With The Game
Recently I watched a great documentary about the world-famous basketball player Michael Jordan. In the documentary, he was asked what it takes to become the best basketball player in the world. His response was - “The key to becoming the best basketball player in the world is easy - you just have to fall in love with the game”.
This mindset is exactly what business English learners need to adopt. In order for you really learn, and by learn I mean to learn a lot, you need to fall in the love with the learning experience. A lot of people are who are not motivated to learn and improve are usually the ones who have fallen out of love with the process of learning the language and skill.
If this is you, then a little bit of soul searching might be needed. Imagine the things you could accomplish and how your life would be different if you were able to speak and use English at work in a way that others understand. What would it mean to you and your career? What would it mean to your family? Would your wife or husband see you as more competent and professional? Would your kids see you as a bigger role model?
Constantly reminding yourself why you started learning business English in the first place is a great way to both improve and enjoy the learning experience.
Use Authentic and Relevant Learning Materials
If you want to improve your business English skills you’ll need materials and resources that are both relevant and trustworthy. Whether that be textbooks, audio files, articles, newspapers, or an online course, any material you choose should be geared towards your needs and interests.
I want to point out that no course or program will cater to your specific needs 100% of the time, and that is fine! What you want are learning materials that help you solve some of the problems you face when speaking or using English at work.
Another area that’s definitely worth exploring is real-life materials, like TED talks, TV shows, and podcasts. These use real-life English and they\re often more enjoyable than strictly educational materials like textbooks. Exposure to authentic materials not only helps with language proficiency but can also enhance your knowledge of a particular field.
Join a Community With Like-Minded Learners
They say in order to be successful you need to surround yourself with successful people, so what better way to do that than joining a community of learners who have the same objectives as you.
In these communities, you can share ideas as well as learn from others about new ways to master business English. Communities are great places to motivate yourself and share your wins. They’re also good places to ask for feedback and help from others who might have had the same problems as you.
With the internet and social media, it’s never been easier to join business English communities. With that being said, we have our very own community that you can join for free where we publish weekly video and written content on how to improve your business English skills. You can join our community here: https://www.facebook.com/wespeakbusiness
What is We-Speak-Business and How it Works
We Speak Business is an English course with live speaking lessons for English learners who want speaking practice with native speakers, professional teachers, and students from around the world.
You have live speaking lessons where you can join and start speaking business English every day. There's a lesson every day and also, you can review all record lessons. There is a lot of conversation practice for each level of English (A2, B1-B2, C1). There is a calendar of scheduled lessons so you can see when lessons are and at what time you can join and start speaking.
In We Speak Business program, you have 24/7 support and also you have student chat where you can speak with other students from all around the world. Before you join our program and start speaking business English, we strongly recommend you sign up for our free seminar with Andrew Smith, where you can learn:
- What goals you need to have to get better results
- How to master business English quickly
- What are the strategies that will help you advance to a higher level
- How you can speak business English more fluently and confidently
- Free resources to help you learn business English
- Exclusive resource to improve your speech
If you are looking to improve your speaking skills at work, then we have an exclusive free seminar where I teach you how to speak better business in 30 days. Sign up by clicking the button below!