Training Business

Our blog, since 2012. Enjoy!

The Secret L&D manager: 4 questions for screening potential training providers

This month’s Secret L&D manager is German, and works for a global telecommunications organization. We asked him, “What questions do you ask potential training providers when they first approach you?”

What should I do with my hands during a presentation?

Whether you are presenting, telling a story or just talking, how you use hands (or don’t use them) is important. An analysis of TED talks found that the most popular TED talkers were using 465 hand gestures over 18 minutes – compared to the least popular using just 272.

Getting people to read (and respond to) your emails

Studies have shown that people are more likely to respond to emails written in a simple, straightforward manner than to emails with more complex language. In fact, emails written at a 3rd grade level have been shown to have the highest response rate!

Watch, listen and learn: 3 great TEDx talks on listening

Listening builds trust, strengthens relationships, and resolves conflicts. It’s fundamental in everything we do. In a HBR article "the discipline of listening", Ram Charan shared what many of us already know: Not every manager is a great listener.

Making sure managers understand the importance of their role in developing our staff

This month’s Secret L&D manager is Australian, based in Germany and works for an American corporation which produces machine vision systems and software. He has worked in training and development for over 18 years ...

50 ways to start a conversation in English at work

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Socializing and networking doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Whether it be a language issue or a question of skills and behaviors, many professionals struggle when networking and socializing with new people.

The power of putting yourself in their shoes when influencing people

When we run seminars on influencing skills we typically start off by exploring a couple of fundamental questions – one of them being how do people feel about the idea of influencing others and being influenced?

Your first virtual presentation – practical planning tips for beginners

The move to delivering presentations virtually isn’t natural for most of us. Put simply, it feels weird. So here’s the good news. Most of the core principles behind what makes an effective presentation still apply.
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The importance of asking investigative questions in negotiations – and how to do this in English

There are times in negotiations when we can be too focused on our own position. If we want to get the best outcome then we need to find out why the other side asks what it asks, offers what it offers, and wants what it wants.

6 reasons why silence is golden in presentations

I recently delivered a two-day Presenting with IMPACT course for a group of highly-talented professionals, all of whom came from different countries and had different job functions. Their levels of English varied slightly, as did their age, work experience and confidence.

6 ways to improve your Business English by yourself

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Whether you have English training at your companies or private training out of work, you probably know that to really improve your business English you need to take responsibility and control of your learning.

Does the Peter Principle still hold true? (And what you can do to develop your managers.)

Nearly half a century ago Laurence J. Peter published his seminal work on selection and promotion, "The Peter Principle". In this satirical look at why things go wrong in businesses, he argued that the selection of...

Making a difference in meetings – 6 approaches for introverts to be heard

“You’re too quiet”, “you need to be more involved in our meetings and discussions” and “people who matter are getting the wrong impression of you because you aren’t forward enough “. This is the feedback Sven...
sending emails

Why, statistically speaking, your emails probably aren’t as clear as you think they are

At the time of writing this blog it’s estimated that 269 billion mails are sent a day. Once we’ve cut out all the spam (say 50%) that is still an awful lot of communication. But how effective is email as a communication tool really?
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Negotiations in English - tips and phrases (for beginners)

Working within a central purchasing and logistics business unit, negotiation is a word that one cannot escape. Most of my participants have dealings with suppliers within Germany, though some negotiate with suppliers worldwide.

Losing my mind on a deserted island: My challenges of working virtually

I love the flexibility and autonomy of working virtually. There are a lot of advantages and it fits my lifestyle. This way of working is becoming the norm for many professionals and with it come challenges.

Are language tests really the best way to assess your employees business English skills?

When a department manager asks us to “test their employee’s business English” there are typically 2 reasons – they want to know if somebody is suitable for a specific job, or they are looking for evidence that somebody has improved their business English.

Create a stress-free work environment in (less than) one hour

A lot of people cope with stress by going to the gym, jogging, playing with the dog, reading a book, etc. – these things relax us, tire us, and help us to not think about the stress that we feel/felt.

Linking and building to successfully influence others

In today’s business world of cross-functional initiatives, matrix structures and virtual teams, the ability to influence others is becoming even more essential if you want to succeed. And no matter what your influencing style is, to effectively influence somebody you need to connect with them.

Meetings in English are fine but the coffee breaks are terrifying

Martin, an IT Project Manager, was getting ready for a meeting with his European counterparts to review his bank’s IT security. As ever he was very well prepared so I was a little surprised when he confessed to being nervous.

How great training clients maximize the impact of their training budget

Training, whether it be Business English, soft skill or leadership programs, is most successful when there is buy-in across the board. HR and L&D are important, but it is the buy-in from operational and line managers that makes a real difference.

Key tips and English phrases for your next "lessons learned" meeting

Life is about continuously learning. We sometimes learn from our mistakes, and we can also learn from our successes. This was first brought to my attention early on in my career. After the successful completion of a tough project ...

Surviving and understanding English corporate buzzwords and business lingo

Recently I was working with a software development manager from a major German multinational. He’d just got off a 2 hour webex meeting and was frustrated. “I thought my English was pretty good – but what exactly does We’ve worked through it soup to nuts mean?!”.

How we built the Business English can-do statements: An interview with Chris Slattery

How good is your business English? B1? C2? These terms didn’t mean much to most of us ten years ago or so, but today the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an international standard for describing language ability.