If you work in a big company, especially where workers are scattered all across different locations, you are going to be on conference calls all the time to solve important issues, as to connect employees with their clients, discuss strategies with people or receive feedback from clients, this post is for you.
The goal of the call may change, but we will try to provide some examples of useful statements to master a conference in English.
Tip 1: Try to get a copy of the agenda in order to be familiar with the items or topics beforehand.
Before the call officially begins, you will hear questions like:
- Is everyone on here?
- Can you hear me?
- Can everybody hear me?
- Are we all on?
- Can I ask that we all state our names, please?
- Could you all, when speaking, state your name clearly?
Tip 2: It is always advisable to be in attendance (present in the room) a few minutes before the conference call starts.
The chairperson will usually start the meeting with the following common expressions:
Thanks for attending.
I would like to welcome everybody here today.
Then he gives a brief summary as to why you’re meeting, and what you hope to accomplish during the call.
Hearing people clearly and understand what they are talking about is essential, but sometimes, because of noise or poor connection you might simply not get what they are saying.
Here are some common English phrases you can use for clarification during your conference calls:
Could you speak more slowly, please?
Could you repeat the last part, please?
Could you please speak a little louder?
Could you explain that again?
I didn’t get that. I am sorry. Could you say it again?
I didn’t quite hear that, sorry, can you say that again?
I didn’t catch that last part. Can you say it again please?
Usually people try to respect the order that each person will speak in, that way you can avoid talking over each other.
Tip 3: Try to address everyone by their first or second names. This will make you sound confident and well informed.
The chairperson may say things like:
Paul, would you like to kick off?
Shall we start with Anna?
So, Andrew, would you like to introduce the first item?
Okay. So we want to come up with a strategy for…
Today we need to …
Let’s get started with our coordinator, Susan Smith. She’s been working on…
I’m going to say a few words about…
Next, we need to consider…
Sometimes it is impossible to control the conversation as it unfolds. However, people can shape the flow of the conversation in a polite way:
Susan, can you hold off on that for just a minute? Brian is going to bring that up soon.
That’s a valid point, but let’s discuss it offline, after the meeting.
These are all good ideas, but we need to focus on the main goal today.
We can save that for the next call we’ll have next week.
When the conference call ends, the chairperson will usually clarify some points and advise that minutes of the business meeting will be circulated later. Action points will be identified and persons responsible to follow up will be notified. The next meeting will take place: time and date to be agreed on.
We’ll meet again when the contract gets finalized. Thanks, guys.
Alright, nice call everyone…
Right, we’ve covered the main items.
If there are no other comments, let’s close the meeting.
We’re running out of time, let’s wrap it up for today.
Time’s up, let’s close the meeting.
Let’s bring this meeting to a close for today.
If there isn’t anything else, let’s conclude.
Is there anything else anyone would like to raise before we finish?
I think we’ve achieved what we want for today.
Are we all clear what we need to do for the next meeting?
Last tip: It can be easy to seem pushy if you don’t add the all-important 'please' and 'thank you' to your phrases. Never forget to be polite in Business English.
Now, have a look at this hilarious video below of how a conference shouldn’t be.
Always remember, the better your English gets, the more in demand you will be as an employee. Keep listening and keep talking!