11 Outstanding Business English Podcasts You Must Listen to in 2024
Do you feel that your current level of English language speaking and comprehension is holding you back?
Already explored all of the best business English apps and looking for more mobile learning?
Listening to these audio programs regularly won’t just accelerate your language learning. They’ll also fill your head with innovative business ideas and concepts.
Read on for 11 top-notch business English podcasts that’ll keep you updated with the business world while teaching you relevant vocabulary! I’ll also show you how to maximize your language learning with these podcasts.
- Best Podcasts for Business English Learners
- Techniques for Learning English from Business Podcasts
- Why Podcasts Are Great for Business English Learners
Best Podcasts for Business English Learners
1. Down to Business English
In this podcast series, hosts Dez Morgan, Skip Montreux and Samantha Vega examine some of the latest business happenings (news) all over the world. As they do so, they introduce a lot of useful words and phrases. They also look at cultural differences in business situations.
Overall, this podcast series is engaging, insightful and easy to listen to. You can check out transcripts on the podcast’s website.
2. British Council’s Podcasts for Professionals
These extracts of interviews, talks and conversations are related to day-to-day work and business scenarios. They’re meant for B2 (upper-intermediate) English learners, with topics like work burnout, conflict management and public relations.
All of them come with transcripts. There are even preparation activities before the podcasts to help you get used to the vocabulary used, followed by post-podcast quizzes that test your listening comprehension.
3. Business English Pod
This is one of the most comprehensive business English podcasts. The insightful and well-thought-out episodes cover just about every business situation that you’re likely to come across. You’ll listen to discussions on everything from travel and socializing to meetings, negotiations and presentations.
Each category features numerous audio lessons with diverse topics. For example, in the negotiations section there are audio lessons on pitching (presenting ideas), overcoming blockage (disagreements) in negotiations and relationship-building.
Every episode has dialogues that are slowed down so you can clearly hear every single syllable.
This weekly Bloomberg podcast is hosted by Stephanie Flanders, who used to be JP Morgan’s Chief Marketing Strategist for Europe. It’s great for learners who not only want to pick up on business and economics vocabulary but learn natural, everyday expressions used in English-speaking offices.
It often features diverse interviews from different sources, so expect to hear a lot of native and non-native English accents, which is great for listening practice.
5. Quick Business English
Looking to impress your bosses? Want to get ahead of the pack in business situations? Quick Business English’s podcast series will help you navigate (figure out) many different business situations.
For example, you’ll learn about starting a meeting, formal versus informal emails, leading groups and facilitating discussion. For many of the podcasts there is one single narrator, and this narrator speaks at about half-normal speed.
Intermediate and advanced English learners should have no problem keeping up. Downloadable PDFs are available to reinforce learning.
6. BBC Business Daily
Listen to the business stories from some of the best journalists in the world and improve your business English at the same time. The BBC has a vast network of reporters and correspondents who provide comprehensive news and analysis on business stories from all over the world.
As the title suggests, this podcast is a daily program covering current business news as it’s happening. Unsurprisingly, the range of topics is always diverse. The podcasts are formatted like a news show. So there’s a main host, interviews with reporters in the field and studio discussions about important business-related matters.
English is spoken at normal speed and so the pace is quite fast. This is an excellent podcast series for the advanced learner and for intermediates who relish (enjoy) a challenge.
7. BBC Business Matters
Here’s another business English podcast by BBC with longer episodes, usually at around 50 minutes or more.
We live in a globalized world, so it’s not surprising that you’ll be doing business and working with people from all over the world. This BBC World Service podcast is the listening tool you need to enable you to talk about the biggest business topics while learning to understand English speakers from different parts of the globe.
8. WSJ What’s News
Learn about world news in English with this Wall Street Journal podcast, which comes in roughly 10-minute episodes for quick listening sessions. It tackles different types of news, including economics, technology and politics. You’ll also get to hear interesting takes from the experienced reporters, who go beyond summarizing events.
All of the episodes have transcripts, so it’s ideal for advanced learners who want to pick up more complex vocabulary.
9. HBR IdeaCast
What better way to learn about business than from the experts? Here, you’ll learn all about business strategies, trends and theories by listening to leading business thinkers, executives and management gurus.
Harvard Business Review has assembled a top lineup of business brains for its weekly podcast show. Each edition features an interview with a key business authority.
HBR IdeaCast isn’t just a great way to tap into the latest ideas, but it’s also awesome for enhancing your overall English comprehension and vocabulary. Some topics covered by previous shows are: the right mindset (way of thinking) to find success, applying design thinking to your business, corporate social responsibility and harnessing (using) creativity.
10. TED Business
If you really want to know what’s going on in the business world and where it’s heading, spend some time with TED Business. This weekly podcast series is suitable for business English learners and features conversations with some of the greatest CEOs, innovators and entrepreneurs in the world.
Previous podcasts have featured James B. Glattfelder, complex systems theorist, talking about who controls the world, and Harish Manmwani, the chief operating officer of Unilever, discussing why profit isn’t always the purpose of a business. Some topics are quite intricate (complicated), but one of the boons (benefits) of a TED Talk is that it’s always given by an engaging speaker. The speaker will make great use of the English language, using good word imagery, metaphors and analogies.
11. This Morning with Gordon Deal
This is a welcome and refreshing digest of the day’s biggest business stories that are making the headlines. The analysis is laser-sharp and discussions are always lively and thought-provoking.
One of the reasons why this is such a good show is the fun conversations between host Gordon Deal and news anchor (co-host) Jennifer Kushinka. Expect the occasional laugh along the way!
The podcast is published daily and is a rewarding listen for intermediate and advanced business English language learners. Each program lasts for approximately 30 minutes.
Techniques for Learning English from Business Podcasts
- On-the-go listening — Simply download the podcasts on your phone and play them when you’re in the car, on the train or while you’re making dinner. Try doing this every day if you can!
Consistent listening trains your ear to English sounds and intonation, and is great for subconsciously building vocabulary. With this method, your goal is to achieve more general understanding and familiarity with English.
- Intensive listening — This is when you really sit down and focus on understanding everything. You’ll need to pay close attention to all the vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. If you don’t understand something, rewind the audio and try again. Look up any unknown words and grammar patterns along the way.
- Focus on what’s relevant for you — Focus on information that’s very relevant to your personal interests and professional growth. If you work with technology, choose topics that focus on new technological innovations.
Spend a few minutes after you listen just thinking about the content and asking yourself what you understood (and what you didn’t understand). Write down 4-5 questions you have about the topic, and see if you can answer them based on what you heard. If not, do extra research online.
- Language matching — This means finding the equivalent expression in your native language that best expresses the English phrase.
Say you learned a new phrase, “I’ll keep you posted.” Instead of translating each one of the words, accept it as one unit and match it to how you express the same message in your native language. This helps you to remember the entire phrase instead of trying to reconstruct it grammatically.
- Get some company — Grab some friends and do a business English listening activity together!
Spend a lunch break or a coffee break with your English learning coworkers, and listen to a podcast together. After listening, discuss what you’ve heard and debate the topic with one another. You can do role-playing activities like simulating the business meeting scenario you just listened to using expressions you’ve just learned.
- Make it fun — As you’re listening, try imitating the speaker. First, try to talk exactly like they do. Then, make it silly, exaggerate it—you’ll be cracking up with laughter and learning intonation and pronunciation at the same time!
For short audio clips with transcripts, you can also try pausing the audio and talking back to the hosts and guests. Make jokes and propose ridiculous ideas if you feel so inclined.
- Share it — Teaching someone is proven to reinforce new knowledge, so teach a coworker something really interesting or useful you learned. They’ll probably be happy you’re giving them a nice break from work, and you might give them valuable information.
- Put it into practice — Use what you’ve been learning in the real world, at meetings, conferences and negotiations. Whenever the opportunity arises, do some preparation. Try connecting what you’re listening to to an actual situation.
For example, you’re attending a conference next month and you want to be able to discuss current affairs with people you meet. Think about this when you’re listening to an episode of WSJ’s What’s News. Take notes on all the useful ideas and language you can use at that conference.
Why Podcasts Are Great for Business English Learners
To motivate you even more, here’s why it’s well worth checking out these podcasts.
- You get great access to business ideas, news and information. These podcasts are full of great information that will take you farther in your career.
- You can listen whenever you have free time. Podcasts can go with you wherever you want to go!
- They’ll introduce you to common business English idioms. These idioms show you how business spirit has influenced English culture and language.
- They’ll help you to overcome disadvantages caused by the language barrier. You’ll be on the same page as your future coworkers and supervisors after listening to these popular perspectives on modern business practices.
- They cover a full range of business topics. This includes emails, video meetings, job interviews, contracts, negotiations and presentations.
- You’ll get exposed to new, cutting-edge (modern) business ideas. You’ll be listening to the thoughts and ideas of some of the most prominent business leaders on the planet.
So continue your learning by taking notes, making vocabulary flashcards and using more English content to keep learning more about a podcast topic.
You can use a program like FluentU to make podcast learning even more effective. FluentU curates native videos for English learners, including videos on business topics, so you can look up related videos to a podcast episode.
Each video has interactive subtitles and a post-video quiz, giving you a chance to learn the meaning of any word as you watch:
Save new words as flashcards, or add words you heard in a podcast to your own vocabulary lists. You can study these later through personalized exercises.
Podcasts are one of the most exciting ways to learn business English because there are always new developments happening globally and you get to hear about them from experts.
So put all of the business English podcasts on your list of essential audio resources, and see how well they can advance your learning!