Business English isn’t just about documents and presentations.
It’s the everyday workplace talk that makes a difference.
Most of us are decent (good) conversationalists. To be a great conversationalist takes skill and practice. However, all of us can drastically improve our conversation skills and confidence in business English if we take a few simple steps.
In this post, I’ll show you how by carefully watching business English conversation videos on YouTube, so you too can learn to speak effectively and confidently at work every day.
Simple Ways to Improve Your Conversation Skills at Work Every Day
While watching the videos mentioned below, make sure you pay attention to “how” a person is saying something, in addition to “what” they’re saying. These tips are used by all great conversationalists, and you can learn a lot by focusing on how different speakers use them as needed.
- Be extroverted, pleasant and polite: If you can come across as a friendly and approachable person, you’ve already won half the battle, as people will be more likely to come up and speak to you.
- Be helpful: Master valuable skills for the office, think quickly on your feet and be of use to others. Extend a helping hand in small ways whenever you can. Your co-workers will trust you and that’ll also boost your confidence.
- Smile often and make eye contact: A smile on your face won’t just make your listener feel at ease, but will also make you feel more comfortable and confident.
Similarly, maintaining eye contact while talking will make the other person feel important and acknowledged and keep you from being distracted.
- Consider body language: Body language (such as nodding their head or looking away from you) can tell you whether someone’s interested in the conversation or not. Pay attention to your own posture as well—try to appear attentive.
- Keep anecdotes in mind: Always be prepared with some personal or funny stories, or be updated with the latest business news, in case you run out of conversation topics or need to diffuse the “formal” air.
Learn to Speak with Confidence at Work! 7 Business English Conversation Videos That Show You How
Below are some YouTube channels I’ve cherry-picked that are sure to help you in your everyday business English conversations. I’ve highlighted specific videos from each channel to make your learning process much easier.
This channel is particularly helpful for intermediate business English learners, as well as anyone preparing to take the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) exam. Their videos will help you expand your vocabulary for office use and pick up some key phrases for conversations.
They have a series of five videos devoted just to workplace conversations, which are roughly five minutes long each.
They first highlight certain key terms relevant to the topic, and explain their meanings with a sample sentence or two. Then they show how to have a proper conversation using those words.
To make your everyday conversations more natural and varied, you can also watch the videos where they break down common business English expressions such as “learn the ropes.”
FluentU is the most unique resource on this list, because it comes with more than just YouTube videos. FluentU takes the best authentic English videos on YouTube and transforms them into personalized language lessons.
That means you’ll get real workplace dialogues, interviews and conversation clips, all supercharged with interactive subtitles, flashcards, fun quizzes, full transcripts and more. You can click on any word in a video’s subtitles for an instant definition and pronunciation. You’ll also see other videos that have the word so you can understand how to use it in any type of conversation.
For example, check out this interview with a CEO or this demonstration of how to transition from casual chat to business talk. The videos are organized by genre and level so it’s easy to find ones that matter to you.
Plus, since you’re watching videos that native speakers actually watch on the regular, you’ll have more to talk about with them!
This is an amazing YouTube channel for those who want to get their grammar just right in casual speech. You can’t speak fluent English if you keep making elementary grammar mistakes. These videos will help you master the art of grammatically-correct conversations in English.
In fact, most of their latest videos cover grammar and vocabulary topics, including differences between words that even native speakers mix up like “affect” and “effect.”
You might also want to check out their playlist called “Funny Learn English Conversation,” which has very short (usually under three minutes), entertaining and informative videos. You’ll understand how the “flow” of a conversation works, and what to say in response to certain things. Conversation is, after all, a two-way process.
They also have another playlist “Learn Business English” where they explain the meanings of two to three business words that you can use in your workplace conversations.
This YouTube channel makes premium quality English video lessons covering a wide variety of topics. They even have specific playlists devoted to vocabulary, pronunciation, spoken English and English language exams.
Their “Spoken English” playlist is sure to be of great use to the average business English learner. You’ll learn how to talk about personal topics such as your hobbies and your family, as well as formal topics such as your job or interviews. They even cover how to start or leave a conversation.
Once you’re through with these education videos and have a good idea of “what” to talk about, you can focus on the “how” of speaking.
Their “English Pronunciation” playlist will coach you in this by guiding you on syllables and word stress, silent letters, difficult words and more. Pay attention to the speakers’ accents and body language, and try to replicate the same when you’re practicing on your own.
Most of the videos on this channel are extremely short and specific, so if you’re looking to improve particular conversation skills, this channel is the best choice.
Take a look at the playlist “Confusing Words and Common Errors,” which will help you avoid mistakes in everyday conversations—such as the differences between “in time” and “on time” or the exact meanings of common similar words like “job,” “work” and “career.”
The “Pronunciation” playlist will also make you a better speaker, including fine-tuning your British or American English.
In short, you’ll learn how to speak with a native accent and this channel is sure to clear up many questions and doubts you didn’t even know you had!
This is your go-to channel for improving your communication and speaking skills. However, most of the videos are pretty long, some even going beyond three hours, so make sure you have enough uninterrupted time before you start on them.
Also, keep a pen and notebook in hand so that you can take notes if required.
I’d recommend you try the playlist “Speaking and Communication,” which has seven important videos. There’s one on cultural differences that’s extremely informative, especially for non-native speakers and those who’ve migrated elsewhere for a job.
There are also two short videos (under 10 minutes) in the series that you must check out to improve your office conversations. For example, the video on icebreakers and small talk is perfect if you’ll be starting work in a new English-speaking environment.
This channel can help you out with dialogues to get an idea of how business English conversations differ from standard English conversations.
All of their videos are devoted to workplace conversations. Whether it’s cold calling, a sales presentation, describing your past work or just introducing yourself, this channel provides some ready conversation templates that you can adapt or build upon.
You’ll get an idea of the right words and phrases to use in a variety of workplace situations and how to deliver them most effectively.
The best way to learn is to speak as much as you can, as often as possible. So, after watching a video, practice in front of a mirror or with a friend or an English language coach. Make it a point to speak with someone new, whether it’s a colleague in the office or a stranger you’ve met in the bus, everyday. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or asking for help. Be sincere in your studies and believe in yourself and you’ll learn to speak with confidence in no time.
Archita Mittra is a freelance writer, journalist, editor and educator. Feel free to check out her blog or contact her for freelancing/educational inquiries.
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