Business English Scenarios

Business English involves a number of scenarios and all should be mastered for success.

It is so much more than merely holding a fluent, generic conversation. To be an expert you need to master every area, as they will all be necessary.

Effective Business English speaking requires that you not only be able to hold a conversation with a colleague at the watercooler, at the coffee station or even over lunch in the canteen but you should also be able to:

1 Discuss a topic comprehensively, yet concisely (fully yet briefly)

2 Argue a point decisively, yet politely

3 Persuade others to adopt your standpoint, without causing offense

4 Take a position and be able to accurately explain your reasoning, without being confrontational

5 Hold your audiences’ attention, while speaking to large groups

6 Command and maintain control of a meeting, without alienating fellow attendees

7 Fully explain something, without rambling, in order to correctly share information in a meeting

8 Comfortably talk through graphs, reports and other visuals, without stumbling over your words

9 Confidently give a presentation, whilst reading the room in order to adapt to your audience

10 Ask pertinent (appropriate) questions in a meeting or when holding a job interview to either aid the other person in seeing the error in their perspective or to get more information by digging below the surface to learn the truth

11 Share accepted greetings at special occasions, such as wishing a colleague on their birthday, or wishing your department a restful end of year break

12 How to get through airport customs questions

13 Booking a hotel room, renting a car or even reserving a restaurant table

14 Ordering a meal without embarrassing yourself in front of colleagues travelling with you or with visiting dignitaries whilst hosting them

15 Asking and giving directions or taking a phone message for a colleague

These are areas native English speakers take in their stride, yet for those whom English is a second-language, they can be extremely daunting and they may even offer severe pitfalls to success.

Business English reading requires you not only being able to understand the text but it also involves:

1 Being able to quickly process and repurpose the information (how to re-use it in a different context e.g. taking information from a lengthy Product Specification Word document and condensing it into one PowerPoint presentation slide)

2 Reading between the lines (e.g. Your boss responds to your very specific email question with a ‘half answer’ – know not to push for more as he / she may not wish to provide the entire answer, instead you should then continue on without it)

3 Reading to fully understand the details so that you can deliver what is expected of you (try to always have the 3 W’s and How: What is required, When is it required, Where is it required and How is it required)

Business English listening requires you to not only listen to respond or reply back but to also quickly understand. If your listening skills are too basic you may need to ask them to either speak more slowly or to repeat themselves and in a business setting this may be frowned upon, as it could be considered wasting time. However, not understanding fully and going off to complete a task incorrectly will be even worse as you would be considered incompetent and not good at your job. It may be important to sometimes ask questions to ‘clarify your understanding of what is required’ instead of asking someone to dumbly repeat themselves. Another strategy may be for you to send the person an email after the meeting, in which you briefly outline what was discussed and agreed, if they did not send out a summary themselves. That way, they would correct your misunderstanding, whilst viewing you as being very thorough. You, can then also share that clarity with the other attendees, ensuring that they too then also view you as being helpful and reliable, rather than an irritation.

Business English writing is more than using proper grammar. It is also the correct use of tone and being either formal or informal depending on your audience. For example, when emailing your boss you would not start with ‘Hi Buddie’, as you would with a friend.

Perfect grammar alone may not always ensure that your words are accurately understood, as you also need to be able to communicate clearly. For example, ‘Please send them the previous report, as I require it for analysis.’ That sentence has perfect grammar, however the person reading it would not understand what they need to do. Instead you could write, ‘Please email last weeks project budget report to the project team, by the end of today. I will then include that information in our departmental spending analysis report.’ This written request clearly answers the What, When and the How. There is no Where required in this instance. In business, it is vital to communicate clearly to save time and money, so as to ensure success, for if you’d used the first sentence the confused reader may have guessed at what you required and sent the incorrect report to another ‘them’, only to have to apologise and start again once you were forced to explain yourself better.

Writing an essay in an email, providing every possible detail with perfect grammar, is also not perfect Business English writing, if you could have said what was required in just two sentences. Or using perfect grammar, whilst giving an emotional plea for help, is also not perfect Business English writing because emotion has no place in business and only facts should be politely stated. Take responsibility but do not blame, beg or give excuses, simply get the job done and you will succeed.

Business English requires the correct use of language in any given or specific situation. It is as far from a Shakespearean play writing style as one can get, yet the language is still elegant and eloquent.

Links to other related content:

  1. Business Emails
  2. Business Meetings
  3. Business Presentations
  4. Business English Tests
  5. Business Lessons Learned
  6. Videos

Want to see more? View our other Business English articles by clicking on this link

Subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking on this link

If you would like to receive an email every time we publish a new article…please complete the below form and click ‘Submit Form’:

Email me each time Optimum Business English publishes a new post

Posted by optimumbusines

Lyn has worked in various business areas of large, internationally-recognised, multinational telecommunication corporate organisations since 2004, gaining significant expertise in the business language of each. Her role regularly combined the functions of internal communications, training and change management on large projects and other strategic initiatives. She also has specific experience in: – Creating HR policies and procedures – Talent recruitment lead creation procedures – Process creation, optimisation and re-engineering in AP, sourcing and HR – Migrating and managing SOX and EWC compliance, and implementations – Global and regional Shared Service Centre management and implementations – Bid Management – EcoMetric assessment training and certification procedures – Internship creation and management – Full SAP, IFRS15, Concur and S4 Hana implementations QUALIFICATIONS She has a four-year Higher Diploma in Education from the University of Natal, in secondary (high school) second language teaching. She also has a Bachelor of Arts degree, from the University of South Africa (UNISA), majoring in Psychology. She is a certified EcoMetrist and has an Advanced 120 Hour TEFL certificate. Her combination of international business experience provides practical, professional know-how, combined with excellent qualifications, ensures an effective all-round, expert approach to training.

Reader interactions

95 Replies to “Business English Scenarios”

  1. Your article helped me a lot, is there any more related content? Thanks!

    Reply

  2. Howdy! I simply would like to give you a big thumbs up for the
    great information you’ve got right here on this post. I am coming back
    to your blog for more soon.

    Reply

  3. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much.

    I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.

    Reply

  4. Very quickly this web site will be famous amid all blogging and site-building viewers, due to
    it’s pleasant posts

    Reply

  5. Your article helped me a lot, is there any more related content? Thanks!

    Reply

  6. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to
    come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?
    Great work!

    Reply

  7. Hey! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project
    in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!

    Reply

  8. It’s really a nice and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you just
    shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  9. Everything is very open with a very clear clarification of the
    issues. It was really informative. Your site is useful.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

    1. Thank you for your support.
      It is much appreciated.

      Reply

  10. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
    It is the little changes that make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  11. Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and
    I’m impressed! Extremely helpful information particularly
    the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

    Reply

    1. I’m glad you found what you were seeking Heather and thank you for your support.

      Reply

  12. Very good blog article. Awesome.

    Reply

  13. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to
    say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I
    hope you write again very soon!

    Reply

    1. I’m grateful for your support Patrice.

      Reply

  14. hi!,I really like your writing so so much! proportion we keep
    in touch more about your post on AOL? I require an expert in this space to resolve my problem.
    May be that’s you! Taking a look forward to look you.

    Reply

  15. Thank you for any other magnificent article.
    Where else may just anyone get that kind of info in such an ideal way of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such info.

    Reply

  16. Nice post. I was checking continuously this weblog
    and I am inspired! Extremely useful information particularly the ultimate section :
    ) I deal with such info much. I was seeking this certain info
    for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

    Reply

  17. After looking at a number of the articles on your web page, I truly like your way of
    writing a blog. I book-marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the
    near future.

    Reply

  18. Thank you very much for sharing, I learned a lot from your article. Very cool. Thanks.nimabi

    Reply

  19. Hi to all, the contents present at this site are genuinely awesome for people experience, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

    Reply

  20. I feel that is one of the so much important information for me.
    And i am glad studying your article. But want to statement on some general issues, The site style is wonderful, the articles is actually excellent :
    D. Just right job, cheers

    Reply

  21. It’s remarkable to pay a visit this web site and reading the views of
    all friends on the topic of this paragraph, while I am also eager of getting experience.

    Reply

  22. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to “return the favor”.I’m trying
    to find things to improve my site!I suppose its ok to use
    a few of your ideas!!

    Reply

  23. I am really glad to read this weblog posts which
    carries lots of useful information, thanks for providing
    these kinds of data.

    Reply

    1. Thank you for your support Kristeen.

      Reply

  24. You’re so interesting! I don’t believe I have read through a single
    thing like this before. So great to find another person with some genuine thoughts on this subject.
    Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that
    is required on the internet, someone with a bit of
    originality!

    Reply

    1. Much appreciated Arturo. Thank you.

      Reply

  25. Hi outstanding blog! Does running a blog like this take a massive amount work?
    I’ve virtually no expertise in computer programming but I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, if you have any suggestions or tips for new blog owners
    please share. I know this is off subject however I simply needed to ask.
    Thanks a lot!

    Reply

    1. Hi Cliff
      If you use a good platform you will need common sense and practical knowledge, rather than programming skills to work it.
      I use a paid WP site, which isn’t cheap but works really well.
      Best of luck on your journey.

      Reply

  26. I will immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can not in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly let me recognize so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

    Reply

  27. Im thankful for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.

    Reply

    1. Thank you Koran.
      Please also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  28. Valuable info. Lucky me I found your website by accident, and I am shocked why this accident did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

    Reply

    1. I’m happy you found me and will return Bornstein.
      Please also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  29. Thank you for your sharing. I am worried that I lack creative ideas. It is your article that makes me full of hope. Thank you.

    Reply

    1. Thanks so much.
      Please also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  30. You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

    Reply

    1. Will do. Thank you Jagoe.
      Please also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  31. I got this site from my pal who informed me about this website and at the moment this time I am visiting
    this web site and reading very informative articles
    or reviews at this place.

    Reply

    1. It is great that you found the articles informative.
      Please also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  32. What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious
    experience on the topic of unexpected emotions.

    Reply

    1. I’m glad you found it unambiguous Maggie.
      I’m intrigued to hear more about the ‘expected emotions’ it led to however?
      Please also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  33. Superb blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring
    writers? I’m planning to start my own blog
    soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting
    with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are
    so many choices out there that I’m completely confused ..
    Any recommendations? Kudos!

    Reply

    1. Hi Vincente
      For myself I find the WP paid options best because you have more control and you can check each comment before approving it, otherwise your readers would be bombed with spam comments, that I manage to remove.
      All the best.

      Reply

  34. Incredible points. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the amazing effort.

    Reply

    1. Most kind of you to comment Tegangil.
      Please also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  35. My partner and I stumbled over here different page and thought I might check things out.

    I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking over your web page yet again.

    Reply

    1. I’m so happy to hear you found my site Seymour.
      Please also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  36. We are a bunch of volunteers and opening a
    new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable information to
    work on. You have done an impressive job and our whole neighborhood might be thankful
    to you.

    Reply

    1. I’ll glad you enjoyed them and may find them helpful Nolan.
      Please also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  37. Hey there! This is my 1st comment here so I just
    wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really
    enjoy reading your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects?
    Many thanks!

    Reply

    1. Hi Freeman
      Thank you for your comment and I’m glad you enjoyed it.
      Sadly, I’m unable to refer you to others, perhaps another reader can assist?
      Please also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  38. Your point of view caught my eye and was very interesting. Thanks.

    Reply

    1. Thank you for your comment. Please also remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  39. Your article helped me a lot.

    Reply

    1. Thank you for your comment.
      Please also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  40. I have read your article carefully and I agree with you very much. This has provided a great help for my thesis writing, and I will seriously improve it. However, I don’t know much about a certain place. Can you help me?

    Reply

    1. I’m happy to hear it.
      Please provide me with more information on what you require?

      Reply

  41. The point of view of your article has taught me a lot, and I already know how to improve the paper on gate.oi, thank you.

    Reply

    1. It is fantastic that you found it of value.
      Please also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  42. I am a student of BAK College. The recent paper competition gave me a lot of headaches, and I checked a lot of information. Finally, after reading your article, it suddenly dawned on me that I can still have such an idea. grateful. But I still have some questions, hope you can help me.

    Reply

    1. Please share your question.

      Reply

  43. Your article helped me a lot, is there any more related content? Thanks!

    Reply

    1. My entire site has related content. Please continue reading and also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  44. Your point of view caught my eye and was very interesting. Thanks. I have a question for you.

    Reply

    1. Thank you.
      Please share your question.

      Reply

  45. Thanks for sharing. I read many of your blog posts, cool, your blog is very good.

    Reply

    1. Thank you so much for your comment.
      Please also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  46. At the beginning, I was still puzzled. Since I read your article, I have been very impressed. It has provided a lot of innovative ideas for my thesis related to gate.io. Thank u. But I still have some doubts, can you help me? Thanks.

    Reply

    1. I’ve responded to your identical comment on my other article and will thus not be responding further here, so that I do not drown your inbox.

      Reply

  47. Your article made me suddenly realize that I am writing a thesis on gate.io. After reading your article, I have a different way of thinking, thank you. However, I still have some doubts, can you help me? Thanks.

    Reply

    1. I’ve responded to your identical comment on my other article and will thus not be responding further here, so that I do not drown your inbox.

      Reply

  48. I am an investor of gate io, I have consulted a lot of information, I hope to upgrade my investment strategy with a new model. Your article creation ideas have given me a lot of inspiration, but I still have some doubts. I wonder if you can help me? Thanks.

    Reply

    1. I’m not sure how I could assist you with your ‘investment strategy with a new model’ via my ‘article creation ideas’ but please share your question and I will see how I am able to assist.

      Reply

  49. I was very pleased to uncover this web site. I want to to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every bit of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new things on your website.

    Reply

    1. So lovely to hear. Thank you.
      Please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  50. Can you be more specific about the content of your article? After reading it, I still have some doubts. Hope you can help me.

    Reply

    1. Thank you for your comment.
      I’d be happy to help if you could provide me with more information on what you have doubts about.
      Are you perhaps unfamiliar (do not know / understand) with the list of Business English scenarios I listed?
      Or you you believe I’ve missed some?

      Reply

  51. Thank you for your sharing. I am worried that I lack creative ideas. It is your article that makes me full of hope. Thank you. But, I have a question, can you help me?

    Reply

    1. Sure. Please share your question.

      Reply

  52. Your article helped me a lot, is there any more related content? Thanks!

    Reply

    1. Hi my entire site has related content 🙂

      Reply

  53. Wһat’s ᥙp, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this post.
    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

    Reply

    1. Much appreciated. Thanks so much and please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, where I go into even more detail on the different areas: https://www.youtube.com/@optimumbusinessenglish

      Reply

  54. I have read your article carefully and I agree with you very much. So, do you allow me to do this? I want to share your article link to my website: gate.io

    Reply

    1. No problem at all for you to share my article link to your website, especially as by linking to my site you are helping to spread the word.
      Thank you so much for your support.

      Reply

  55. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long asI provide credit and sources back to your website?My blog site is in the very same niche as yours and my users would certainly benefit from some of the information you present here.Please let me know if this okay with you. Thanks!

    Reply

    1. Hi
      I don’t mind at all if you quote my articles, as you’ve committed to giving me credit and a link source back to my site.
      Thanks.

      Reply

  56. Reading your article helped me a lot and I agree with you. But I still have some doubts, can you clarify for me? I’ll keep an eye out for your answers.

    Reply

    1. Dear Moeda
      I’d be happy to clear up any doubts, if you could be more specific as to what it is that you have doubts about?

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *