“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”
If you work in a corporate environment, you know this quote from Steve Jobs is true.
A corporation’s success depends on strong leadership, committed team members and above all, clear communication across all levels of the company.
And since English is often the common language for global business, English competence at your company is crucial.
Whether you’re an employee, a team leader or project manager, a job seeker or anyone else looking to succeed in the corporate world, the corporate English training solutions in this article will help prepare you.
Important Elements of Corporate English
Corporate communication encompasses a lot of things, but the goals below are a great starting point when you begin corporate English training:
- Use diplomatic speech: You’ll be dealing with a lot of high-profile people, so you must always choose your words carefully and tactfully. Think before you speak.
This isn’t the place for slang or informalities. Always remember to speak in business English and use the “official” terms and phrases instead of everyday English.
- Be a team player: Maybe you’ve heard the common English phrase team player, which refers to people who collaborate and communicate well with others to accomplish shared goals. You may work better in isolation, but you must learn how to work and speak effectively with your corporate team.
- Improve business writing skills: In a corporate office, you’ll be emailing, writing memos and dealing with contracts and other types of business writing, so it’s important to focus on written business English as well as the spoken language.
- Look the part: Pay attention to non-verbal cues such as your clothes and body language. You must always maintain a formal appearance.
Corporate English Training: 7 Top Resources Curated for You or Your Team
I’ve divided the list of resources below into two parts. The first part covers courses that’ll provide all-around training in corporate English while the second part covers specific aspects of corporate communication such as speaking in a diplomatic fashion, doing well in group meetings and presentations, etc.
Comprehensive Corporate English Training
This is a wonderful educational resource that provides corporate training content in the form of instant MP3 downloads. Their carefully-crafted audio files cover different aspects of corporate communication, including resolving conflicts, miscommunications in the workplace, managing difficult people, handling virtual or remote teams and strategies to maximize the team’s output.
They also have a section on leadership, which covers issues of mentoring and coaching employees, common public speaking mistakes, efficient PowerPoint presentations and the like.
Individual downloads cost $175—click on any file to read about the presenter and what you’ll learn before buying. You can also opt for an all-access pass to all of their content.
To make the most of this resource, I suggest you take a few minutes to figure out which aspects of corporate English you’d like to focus on, and then pick an MP3 file accordingly and learn at your own pace. While you’re listening, pay attention to accents and pronunciation and take notes on a piece of paper if you have to.
If you’re doing this as part of a study group or alongside other colleagues, that’s even better as you get to work on your team-building skills.
Cactus is a well-established and trustworthy name when it comes to language learning. Their business English training courses are extremely flexible and can be customized to your needs. They’re even able to work with international companies to improve communication across teams, departments or branches—making them a great option for English training in a corporate environment.
You’ll have full control over the timetable and locations. The classes can happen face-to-face or via Skype, and the language training can be tailored to a specific purpose or industry.
You can call them for a free consultation with your needs in mind to get an idea of the prices from their language experts.
FluentU is the most unique training resource on this list, providing an immersive yet personalized solution for corporate language skills.
It takes real-world videos—like business dialogues, inspiring speeches, news and more—and turns them into personalized English lessons.
FluentU has a huge collection of English videos that people in the English-speaking world actually watch.
More to the point, FluentU has an entire business category filled with authentic business-related videos covering six language levels.
To show the variety of videos even inside this single category, real-world business videos on FluentU include “Introducing Business Colleagues,” “Business Buzzwords,” “Control Your Inbox!” and “What Warren Buffet Thinks About Cash.”
An added bonus is that if you want to work on other topics later, simply use the same, familiar FluentU platform to learn with videos from other categories, such as “Science and Tech,” “Politics and Society” or mix it up with “Arts and Entertainment” or “Health and Lifestyle.”
Every spoken word is subtitled, complete with an in-context definition, image and multiple example sentences.
All you have to do is tap or click on one of the words in those subtitles to get more information. For example, if you tap on the word “brought,” you will see this:
Plus, these great videos are all accompanied by interactive features and active learning tools, like multimedia flashcards and fun games like “fill in the blank.”
If you are interested in watching fun, relevant videos and practicing language actively in the process, be sure to create a FluentU account and try it out on your computer, iOS or Android device!
Eucom’s corporate English course is pretty extensive, covering everything from networking to debating in English to phone conversations as well as drafting reports and presentations. In short, they’ll pay attention to both your speaking and writing skills while coaching you on how to best behave in a corporate environment.
They also have a free online English test to give you an idea of what your present skills and weaknesses are.
Targeted Corporate Communication Skills
As a key player in a corporate office, you’ll have to learn to speak diplomatically when dealing with coworkers or clients.
This Udemy course will help you master polite English by teaching you six principles of polite speaking with just two and a half hours of video content. You’ll pick up lots of polite English expressions that you can use in the workplace.
Learners who are already at an intermediate level will get the most out of this course. You can find many other interesting business English training options on Udemy, a popular online educational platform. The great thing about Udemy is that they offer discounts all the time, so you can give your professional English a serious boost without cutting into your paycheck.
Creating a positive impression at meetings in your corporate office is crucial to success.
This course, another one from Udemy, will guide you on how to smoothly start, conduct and conclude a meeting. It’ll help you with problem solving and small talk and give you tips on how to ask the right questions.
If you feel intimidated by the corporate environment or aren’t sure how to communicate best as a team player and/or leader, this is a great class to check out.
In addition to group discussions and other team activities, you’ll also need to work on your business writing skills to make a lasting impact at the office. This course is primarily focused on written communication skills in an Asian work environment, but the strategies and tips outlined here will be useful to all corporate English learners.
You’ll learn about cross-cultural communication and how to effectively research and write for a specific target audience. The course is only seven weeks long, with just three to four hours of effort put in each week.
It’s also completely free, though you can purchase the certificate to put on your resume for a small fee if you like.
If you’re planning to work for a large company, you have to focus on your communication, leadership and teamwork skills. You’ll be interacting with a wide variety of people on a regular basis and working with them for a common goal. As a result you have to speak in business English not just fluently, but also diplomatically. Be confident, optimistic and willing to learn from past mistakes, and you’ll climb the corporate ladder 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.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.