Effective Telephoning (Part I

1. Preparing to make a telephone call (1) Background preparation (Reading) Desk preparation Relevant documentation Notes Correspondence received Computer files on screen Pen and paper Diary 2. Preparing to make a telephone call (2) How much time do you need? How much time do you have? What are your objectives? Find out information? Give information? Who do you want to speak to? Do you have an alternative strategy if the person is not available? Call back, be called back, when? Leave a message? Speak to someone else? Write or fax or email information? 3. Preparing to make a telephone call (3) Introduction: Do you need to refer to: A previous call? A letter, order, invoice, fax, email? Someone else? (Who?) An event? (What? When?)

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Robinson there. my name is Yasmine Alcide. Language Focus: Explaining the purpose of your call I’m phoning about… The reason I’m calling is… I need some information about… It’s in connection with… I’d like to… I’m ringing to…. this is Yasmine Alcide from Spike British School. informal) 6. please? Could I have extension 234. 8. Please ask him/her to get back to me. please? Could I speak to someone in the Accounting Department? Is Mr. it’s Yasmine from Melbourne. Could I have the Accounting Department. (caller. (caller.4. informal) Hi. Checklist – opening a call • • • • • • Introduce self Ask for connection Check name of person you are calling (Small talk) Introduce subject of call Listen actively to responses 5. Language Focus: Saying who you want to speak to I’d like to speak to Mr. Language Focus: Leaving a message Could you give him/her a message? Can I leave him/her a message? Please ask him/her to call me back. Yasmine here. Language Focus: Identifying yourself Good morning. I’m calling from Spike British School. (caller) Hi. please? 7. (caller) Hello. My number is… Please ask him/her to ring me back. Weaver. Jones. please? Could you put me through to Mrs. please. Yasmine speaking (person receiving call) Hello. Page 2 of 6 .

So. Could I speak to Joshua Reynolds? Receptionist: I’m sorry. and you? Leslie: Not too bad. Sample Phone Dialogue 1: Formal Receptionist: Howard Engineering. Leslie: Leslie Taylor here. Pretty busy actually. How are you? Max: Fine. I didn’t catch your name. Max: I know what you mean. what can I do for you? Leslie: The reason I’m calling is to try and fix a meeting early next month. 11. How can I help you? Caller: This is James Harvey. I’ll put you through. Receptionist: Just a moment. Caller: James Harvey. 10. Receptionist: Could you tell me what it’s about? Caller: It’s in connection with a new order. Sample Phone Dialogue 2: Informal Max: Max speaking.9. Preparing for incoming calls • If you are expecting a call: Try to think of what the person will be talking about Try to predict what the person might say Try to anticipate what the person might ask Think about what you need to ask Check possibly relevant information before the call • If you are not expecting the call: Say you will call back Prepare for the call Call back when you are ready Page 3 of 6 .

I see. Language Focus: Asking for repetition Sorry. Language Focus: Acknowledging repetition Ok. I didn’t catch your name / your number… Sorry. (Ms. international code Extension Direct line Home number.12. I’ve got that.) I understand. Ventura. Page 4 of 6 . Could you spell that? 14. Sorry. Sorry. I didn’t hear that. office/work number Calls: Long distance Local International Collect (USA) / Reverse charge (UK) Problems: Bad line Engaged (busy) Cut off Off the hook • Actions: Pick up Put down Hold on Hang up Dial / redial • • 13. could you repeat your name / number / etc. national. thank you. Telephone terminology (1) • People: Caller Switchboard operator Operator Numbers: Local. I didn’t understand/get that.

*shall they would not be possible. Language Focus: Taking messages Can I take a message? Would you like to leave a message? If you give me your number I’ll ask him/her to call you later.15. 16. he/she is not available (right now). Language Focus: Saying someone is not available I’m sorry. he/she’s away for the week. Spelling Be careful of the pronunciation of the letters A. Language Focus: Offering to help in other ways Can anyone else help you? Can I help you perhaps? Would you like to speak to his/her assistant? 18. *shall you. I’m afraid he/she’s in a meeting (at the moment). E and I How do you spell your name and address? How do you give your phone number? 19. He/she’s in Paris. He/she won’t be back until Monday. Sorry. then? Shall we set up another appointment? Note that we can only use Shall I …? and Shall we …? in this way. Shall I ask him/her to call you back? 17.) Page 5 of 6 . he/she’s not in. Grammar Focus: Modals Verbs (1) We can use shall + infinitive to offer help and to make suggestions Offering help: Shall I take a message? Shall I ask him to call you back? Making suggestions: Shall we meet next week. Sorry. (*Shall he.

20. Grammar Focus: Modals Verbs (2) We use can. Grammar Focus: Modals Verbs (3) We use can. Grammar Focus: Other ways of offering help or making suggestions There are other phrases we can use in English to make suggestions: Would you like me to ask him/her to call you back? Why don’t I ask him/her to call you back? What if I ask him/her to call you back? Can I get him/her to call you back? What can I do for you? Can I put you through to his/her assistant? 21. could and may to ask for permission: Can I leave a message? (= ‘is it possible’) Could I leave a message? (= ‘would it be possible’) May I leave a message? (= ‘do you give me permission’) Page 6 of 6 . and would to ask people to do things: Can you give him a message for me? Could you give him a message for me? Will you give him a message for me? Would you give him a message for me? Note that can and will are more direct than could and would. will. 22. could.

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