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Jun 14 2017

Business English – Phrases for Presentations

English Lessons Houston – Phrases for Presentations

Hi students of Business English!  Here is a lesson on transition words and phrases that you might use in your job, especially for presentations.  These phrases are common in the American business environment.  They will help your English speaking and writing to be more professional. When you use transitional words and phrases, your presentation will flow more smoothly.

To introduce a presentation or outline a structure:

I’ve divided my talk into…..

First of all, I’ll….

After that, I’ll…..

I’ll conclude with…..

Here’s an example of how to use these phrases:

I’ve divided my talk into three sections.  First of all, I will give you a current update on how the project is going so far.  After that, I’ll discuss the changes that the head office has suggested.  I’ll conclude with our timeline and will take questions and answers after that.

Beginning the presentation:

I’d like to start by saying…..

Example:   I’d like to start by saying that the project is running on time and the head office is very happy with the work we’ve done so far.

I’d like to start by saying that our supervisor, Mr. Chu, couldn’t attend the meeting today in person, but he will be joining us by teleconference.

Talking about the future or past in a presentation:

As I said earlier…..

Example:  As I said earlier, we will be adding three employees from our finance department to help us develop the budget.

I’ll return to ……… later

Example:  I’ll return to the discussion about the timeline later.

I’ll say more about ……. in a moment

Example:  I’ll say more about the McDermott  reorganization in a moment.

Just to digress for a moment…..  (digress means to change the subject)

Example:  Just to digress for a moment, I will explain the recent budge changes.

Going on to a new section of the presentation:

Ok, moving on……

Example:  Ok, moving on to the issues of transporting goods to Sudan.

Turning to……

Example:  Turning to the diagram of the well-flow over the past six months, I will explain the situation and how we will solve the issue.

That brings me to……

Example:  That brings me to my next section, which is the change in the deadline for the year-end reports.

Concluding a presentation:

And this is my key point……

Example:  And this is my key point, that the new equipment will increase production and enable us to meet our delivery dates.

To sum up…..

Example:  To sum up, I believe we can finish this project on time if each of you can work until 6:00 p.m. this week.

I’ll be happy to take any questions now.

 

Students, I wish you great success.  If you would like to have SKYPE lessons or if you live in the Houston area and would like to have private lessons, please contact Worldwide English at julie@englishlessons-houston.com or give us a call at 713-993-6511.

 

Jan 22 2017

Business English Lessons in Houston – Idioms and Expressions to Discuss a Difficult Decision

Hi Students,

Here are some examples of idioms and expressions that you will sometimes hear when people are discussing a difficult decision.

  1. Back and forth on this issue – changing one’s mind about an issue, unable to decide

Example:  We are trying to decide if we should move our factory to China.  We’ve been back and forth on this issue for six months!

 

 

 

  1. Of two minds – conflicted, having two different ideas about an issue

Example:  I need to buy a car, but I’m of two minds about it.  Should I buy a new Lexus for more money, or a used Lexus that won’t last as long?

  1. Test the waters – to try something out before making a commitment to it

Example:  HEB is going to start making its own beer in the store.  We are going to test the waters in three of our stores to see if this product is popular.

Test the Waters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  The best of both worlds– a situation that offers two different advantages at the same time

Example:  If our head office moves to New York City from London, we will have the best of both worlds.  We will have the same office hours and will be able to travel there and back in one day!

  1. Weigh the pros and cons– to think about the advantages and disadvantages of a situation

    Weighing the pros and cons

Example:  American Airlines is thinking about changing its health plan.  We are weighing the pros and cons and making a list of the advantages and disadvantages.

  1. Keep our options open – when you wait to make a decision until you know all of the choices you have.

Keep our options open

Example:  So far, four new vendors have given a bid for construction of the new bridge in Amsterdam.  But we are keeping our options open to see who else will make a bid, before we make our final decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. On the fence– not able to decide about something

Example:  My wife needs to learn English.  But she is on the fence about whether to take classes or private English lessons with a tutor.

On the fence

8.Bite the bullet – to deal with a difficult situation

Example:  We don’t want to close our branch in Paris, but sales have fallen and we must bite the bullet and close in March of next year.

  1. Six of one, half a dozen of the other– both actions will have the same results

Example:  Sales will be the same if we stay in Houston or relocate to Los Angeles.  We think it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other.

  1. Tough call – a difficult decision

Example:  Samsung had to make a tough call and stopped making the Galaxy mobile phone because of the battery.

Students, practice using these idioms and expressions so that you will become more fluent in American English.  Good luck!

 

If you’re interested in online or in-person classes, give us a call at Worldwide English (713) 953-6511 or visit us online at http://www.englishlessons-houston.com.    We are based in Houston, Texas teaching English worldwide.

Dec 05 2016

Business English Expressions and Idioms – Talking about Business Success: English Lessons Houston

Business English Lessons Houston

Business Expressions and Idioms – Talking about Business Success

Hi Students,

Here are some examples of idioms and expressions that you will sometimes hear when people are talking about success in business.

  1. Recording breaking

    – to do better than one has done before

Examples:  Verizon Wireless had a record-breaking first quarter.  The sales were the highest in the company’s history.

Business Success 1

  1. Pan out – to have a good result

Example:  Wells Fargo encouraged its employees to open new accounts and it panned out.  Four hundred new accounts were opened last month!

 

 

 

  1. A pat on the back – words of gratitude or encouragement

Example:  The boss gave Rodrigo a pat on the back for his hard work last month.

Business Success 2

  1. Kudos

    – compliments for a job well done

Example:  Kudos to the employees of Bank of China for bringing in a lot of new customers.

 

  1. Through the roof

    – very high amounts

 

Example:   The number of sales of the new Apple IPhones are through the roof!  The number of phone bought is much higher than we expected.

 

  1. Share the credit

    – to mention that you had help from colleagues

Example:  Thank you for the pat on the back!  But I want to share the credit with my colleagues who worked with me on this project.

Business Success 4

  1. Make a killing

    – making a lot of money

 

Example:  I bought stock in AT&T when the price was low, and I made a killing.  The price is very high now.

 

  1. Break even

    – when expenses are equal to profits

Example:  We had a lot of expenses in our first year in business, so we just broke even.  Next year, we will make a profit.

Business Success 3

  1. To have the lion’s share

    – to have the largest share in the market

Example:  Chevron Corporation has the lion’s share of service contracts in the oil and gas industry.

  1. Hit pay dirt – make money

Example:  After breaking even for three years in a row, we finally hit pay dirt in 2016 and made very high profits.

 

 

Students, practice using these idioms and expressions so that you will become more fluent in American English.  Good luck!

 

If you’re interested in online or in-person classes, give us a call at Worldwide English (713) 953-6511 or visit us online at Worldwide English.   We are based in Houston, Texas teaching English worldwide.

Nov 28 2016

Business English Expressions and Idioms – Talking about Scheduling

Business English Lessons in Houston
Business Expressions and Idioms – Talking about Scheduling.

Hi Students,
Here are some examples of idioms and expressions that you will sometimes hear when your colleagues are talking about scheduling.

schedules-3
1. Ahead of schedule– doing something faster than expected
Example: The engineering department is ahead of schedule on the drawings for the new bridge. They will probably finish earlier than we expected.

2. Behind schedule – doing something slower than expected.
Example: FedEx is rarely behind schedule on its deliveries. They are almost always on time.
3. Crunch time – When there is not very much time left to get something done.
Example: It’s crunch time! The financial analysis for the project in the Permian Basin is due tomorrow. We should hurry!

 

4. Down to the wire – To complete work just before something is due
Example: In order to finish the model on time, we will need to work down to the wire. We will all work late tonight. The project is due tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.  schedules-2

5. Fast track – to try and finish something quickly

Example: The client wants this completed by next Friday. We will have to fast track the project to get it done on time.

6. Mess around – waste time
Example: We are behind schedule on the Janus project. We need to quit messing around and get back to work!

schedules-4

7. Get up to speed – to learn the latest information about something

Example: Mr. Chu, please bring us up to speed on the project for Berkshire-Hathaway.

8. Working against the clock – to try to do something in a short amount of time
Example: In order to fill these orders for Walmart by December 1st, we will be working against the clock to get it done.

9. 24/7 – to do something 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Example: In order to complete the project, everyone is working 24/7 to get it done on time.

schedules-1
10. Cutting it close– to complete something with not enough time
Example: Jerry has to deliver the contract to before 5:00 p.m. today. He will be cutting it close and I’m not sure he can do it.

 

Students, practice using these idioms and expressions so that you will become more fluent in American English. Good luck!

 

If you’re interested in online or in-person classes, give us a call at Worldwide English (713) 953-6511 or visit us online at http://www.englishlessons-houston.com. We are based in Houston, Texas teaching English worldwide.

Business English Lessons

Oct 09 2016

Private English Lessons in Houston – Business Idioms and Expressions for Financial Issues

 

Hi Students,

Here are some examples of idioms and expressions that you will sometimes hear when people are talking about financial issues.

  1. Ballpark figure – a guess about how much something will cost that could be more or less, but will be close.

Examples:  Anadarko Petroleum Company is asking its financial department for a ballpark figure of what it would cost to build a new refinery in Algeria.

A Ballpark Figure

A Ballpark Figure

  1. Crunch the numbers – to perform financial calculations

Example:  Devon Energy is planning to invest in new equipment for off-shore drilling.  The Vice-President has asked the Financial Department to crunch the numbers so that they can include the equipment in their 2017 budget.

 

 

 

 

  1. In the red – when expenses are higher than company revenues

Example:  For the past six months, our expenses have been higher than our income and now the company is in the red.

 

  1. In the black – when revenues are higher than expenses

 

Example:  Our first quarter sales were great!  We will be in the black for all of 2016.

In the Black

In the Black

 

  1. Break-even – when revenue equals expenses; a company doesn’t lose money and doesn’t make money.

 

Example:   When Ben and Jerry first began their ice cream company, they broke even for the first two years.

 

  1. A Pretty penny – a high price

Example:  The new warehouse purchased last year close to the ship channel cost the Hess Corporation a pretty penny.

Nickel and dime

Nickel and dime

  1. Nickel and dime someone – making a company pay for small expenses

 

Example:  I don’t think we should sign the contract to do business with our client.  They are nickel and diming us over every small detail.  We won’t make any money from this deal.

 

  1. Break one’s budget – to cost more than one can afford to pay

Example:  The cost of investing in Peru at this time will break our budget.  We will have to wait until 2018.

 

  1. To get more bang for the buck – more return on one’s money, more value for an investment

Example:  If we use the vendor from Norway, we will get more bang for our buck.

  1. Back -of-the-envelope calculations – approximate calculations done quickly
    Back of the envelope calculations

    Back of the envelope calculations

Example:  Based on back-of-the-envelope calculations, Royal Dutch Shell should be able to build four new off-shore drilling rigs in 2018.

 

Students, practice using these idioms and expressions so that you will become more fluent in American English.  Good luck!

 

If you’re interested in online or in-person classes, give us a call at Worldwide English (713) 953-6511 or visit us online at http://www.englishlessons-houston.com.    We are based in Houston, Texas teaching English worldwide.

Business English Lessons

Copyright©2012 by The Worldwide English Company.  All rights reserved.

Feb 18 2016

American Idioms from Weather Lesson 4

English Lessons Houston-American Idioms

Idioms from Weather – Lesson 4

Hello Students!

In today’s lesson, we will learn more about idioms. Americans use lots of idioms, especially in movies and at the office.  The more you use and understand them, the greater your English speaking skills will be.  You will “fit right in”!

 “snowed under” – to be very busy, to have many things to do

At Brown & Root, we have so many projects, we are snowed under!


“weather the storm” – to go through a difficult times; to wait until conditions improve

Our sales at Nordstrom were down last year, but we weathered the storm and sales are much better this year.

Weather idioms 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 “the calm before the storm” – the peaceful, calm time before you become very busy

All the visitors from Hong Kong are arriving on Friday.  This is the calm before the storm and we are trying to make sure everything is ready for them when they visit our office.

 

get wind of”to hear about something or learn about something

My boss got wind of the news that the company was going to be sold.

Weather idioms 5

 

a fair-weather friend”– someone who is your friend when you are doing well

John was always friendly to me until I was laid off from Atlas Oil.  Now he won’t return my calls.  I guess he was just a fair-weather friend.

 

to rain cats and dogs” – to experience very heavy rain  Weather idioms 2

The weather was terrible as I was driving to work in Chicago.  It was raining cats and dogs!

 

 

 

a breeze” – something that is very easy to do

I promised my team at Medallion Oil that this project would be a breeze because we have done this type of work many times before.

 

Weather idioms 4to feel under the weather” – to feel ill or sick

I was feeling under the weather this morning, so I decided to stay home in bed today.

 

 

 

 

 

throw caution to the wind” – to be careless, to not worry about the consequences  Weather idioms 6

My wife said that we did not have the money to buy a DeLorean, but I threw caution to the wind and bought the car anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

take a rain check”– to do something at a later time

My colleagues asked me to lunch today, but I was busy so I told them that I would take a raincheck and eat with them next week.

 

That’s our lesson on Idioms from Weather!  If you come to Houston, Texas in the USA and you need private English lessons, contact Worldwide English at http://englishlessons-houston.com  or call 713-993-6511.

We also give SKYPE lessons!

Business English Lessons

Nov 01 2015

Idioms From Colors – English Lessons Houston

English Lessons Houston – Idioms from Colors

 

Hi Students! This is the 2nd lesson on American Idioms. These idioms have “colors”. Try to use as many as you can when you are practicing English.

 

Gray area – When something isn’t clearly right or wrong, no clear rules or guidelines

Example:   We are not sure if we can wear blue jeans to the office on Fridays. There is no rule, so it’s a gray area.

Blue collar– When someone works doing manual labor  Idioms from Colors 5

Example: My uncle is a blue collar worker. He works for a Brown & Root construction company.

 

 

Red flag– A sign that there is a problem

Example – When we didn’t receive our paycheck last week, it was a red flag that the company might be in financial trouble.

  Idioms from Colors 3To feel blue–   To feel sad

Example: I have been away from my family for two weeks working in New Orleans. When I think of them, I feel blue.

The green light – to receive permission to start something

Example: The manager at Odebrecht Houston gave us the green light to start the project.

In black and white – Something that is written and that is clear.

Example: At first I didn’t believe that the store was closing; then I saw it in black and white in a company e-mail to all the employees.

Out of the blue –   Something that happens as a surprise

Example: My manager said that I would be moving to Chicago to work for Conoco Phillips. This news came out of the blue!

A white lie – a small lie that doesn’t harm anyone  Idioms from Colors 2

My secretary asked if I liked her new haircut. I didn’t like it but I told a white lie and said I thought she looked very nice.

 Idioms from Colors 4Red tape– a lot of bureaucratic procedures; many steps to get something done.

Example:  When I went to the Chinese Embassy, we had to go through a lot of red tape to get our visa.

 

That’s our lesson on Idioms from Colors! If you come to Houston, Texas in the USA and you need private English lessons, contact Worldwide English at http://englishlessons-houston.com or call 713-993-6511.

Apr 05 2015

Describing Charts and Graphs Lesson 3/ Business English Lessons Houston

Business English

Describing Graphs and Charts   Lesson Three

 

Sometimes you need to give a presentation and use a graph or chart.   It’s good to know which terms to use if you need to talk about a graph or chart.

In this business English lesson, we will look at vocabulary that can be used in presentations to describe activities on a chart or graph that are “the same”.

Business English Houston

When Activities on a Chart or Graph are the same.

 

Used as a noun: reach a plateau

The number of new patients at MD Anderson Hospital has reached a plateau. The number hasn’t changed.

 

 

Used as a verb: plateau

The number of new patients at St. Luke’s Hospital plateaued in 2014.

Used as a verb: level off

 

Qatar Petroleum new research and development patents leveled off at the end of last year.

Used as a verb: maintain

As you can see on this graph, Sonatrach has maintained steady crude oil production over the last three months.

Lesson 3 2

Used as a verb: remain stable

This chart shows that Total natural gas production has remained stable for three months in a row.

Used as a noun: Stability

For the last eight months, you can see the stability in the number of new accounts at FMC Technologies.

Used as a verb: Stabilize

After the big increases in 2013, I would like to show you how production costs have stabilized since January of this year.

Used as an adverb: no change

I would like to point out that, since last June, there has been no change in the cost of drilling equipment at Conoco Phillips.

Used as an adverb: uniform

The number of new applications for offshore drilling rigs has been uniform for the past six years in the Gulf of Mexico.

Let’s look at a chart and describe it using the vocabulary from Lessons 1, 2 and 3.

English lessons Houston

As you can see from this chart, our expenses have been greater than our revenue since December.  Revenues and expenses experienced a period of growth from December to the first week in January, followed by a sharp decline until March. After that, revenue and expenses recovered through June.  Looking at the chart, it can be seen that, in the middle of June, expenses fell below revenue.  We want to maintain this trend through the end of this year.

 

Would you like to study business English with a private tutor?  Give us a call here in Houston, TX at Worldwide English at (713) 993-6511.  Our tutors come to your home or office to teach you or your spouse.  We also offer SKYPE lessons in general and business English.  http://englishlessons-houston.com

Business English Lessons

Apr 02 2015

Describing Graphs and Charts Lesson 2 /English Lessons Houston

Business English Houston

Describing Graphs and Charts   Lesson Two

 

Sometimes you need to give a presentation and use a graph or chart.   It’s good to know which terms to use if you need to talk about a graph or chart.

In this business English lesson, we will look at vocabulary that can be used in presentations to describe activities on a chart or graph that are “going down”.

In Lesson 3, we’ll look at vocabulary to use when something is “the same”.

Going down 2

When Activities on a Chart or Graph are going down

Used as a noun: Collapse

BP has experienced a serious collapse in production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Used as a verb: Collapse

Marathon natural gas production collapsed in December of 2003.

Used as a noun: Contraction

 

Sinopec is experiencing a contraction in overseas negotiations.

Used as a verb: Contract

As production contracts this year, gas prices will also fall.

Used as a noun: Decline

Saudi Aramco saw a decline in the last quarter of 2014 in Venezuelan production.

Used as a verb: Decline

The price per barrel declined at the end of 2013.

Used as a noun: Decrease

The price of medical supplies has decreased over the last nine months.

Used as a verb: Decrease

Gazprom will decrease the number of employees working in Houston, Texas.

Used as a noun: Downward trend

going down 3

Oil and gas revenues have experienced a downward trend because of falling gas prices.

Used as a verb: deteriorate

Oil and gas revenues will deteriorate through the end of this year.

Used as a noun: Drop

Schlumberger has recorded a drop in service contracts since January.

Used as a verb: Drop

The number of fatalities in Houston dropped from 3,500 to 3,470 in 2011.

Used as a noun: Fall  Going down 1

There has been a fall in the sales of the new Apple IPhone.

Used as a verb: Fall (fell, fallen)

The number of complaints received at Target Stores fell last month.

Other verbs:

Nosedive  New SUV car sales nosedived when the price of gas went up.

Plummet  Blackberry sales have plummeted since 2010.

Plunge     The price of crude oil plunged in the month February.

Weaken   Sales of new homes in Beijing weakened in the first three months of 2015.

 

Would you like to study business English with a private tutor?  Give us a call here in Houston, TX at Worldwide English at (713) 993-6511.  Our tutors come to your home or office to teach you or your spouse.  We also offer SKYPE lessons in general and business English.  http://englishlessons-houston.com

Business English Lessons

Mar 19 2015

Business English Houston

Business English

Describing Graphs and Charts   Lesson One

 

Charts and Graphs

Sometimes you need to give a presentation which includes a graph or chart.   It’s good to know which terms to use.  There is vocabulary to talk about activities that are going up, going down and staying the same.

In this business English lesson, we will look at vocabulary that can be used in presentations to describe activities on a chart or graph that are “going up”.

In Lesson 2, we’ll study vocabulary to describe something that is “going down” and in Lesson 3, we’ll look at vocabulary to use when something is “the same”.

When Activities on a Chart or Graph are going up

Used as a noun: Expansion

We’ve experienced significant expansion in sales since January.

Used as a verb: Expand

Sales have expanded significantly since January.

Used as a noun: Growth

You can see on this chart that growth has been slow since 2011.

Used as a verb: Grow

Between September and October, sales grew by 10%.

Used as a noun: Improvement

There has been a small improvement in revenue so far this year.

Used as a verb: Improve

Charts and Graphs 2

Revenue from local orders has improved over the last three months.

Used as a noun: Increase

There has been a big increase in our production costs.

Used as a verb: Increase

Production costs increased by 13% last year.

Used as a noun: Recovery (increases following decreases)

Marathon Oil had a big recovery after the difficult year in 2014..

Used as a verb: Recover (an increase that comes after a decrease)

Sales recovered at the end of December.

Used as a noun: Rise 

President Chu is glad to see a rise in new customers in the first quarter of this year.

Used as a verb: Rise

The number of new customers has risen in the first quarter of this year.

Other nouns: Upward trend  (a slow increase)

This chart indicates an upward trend in the number of barrels produced in Angola last month.

business graphs and charts

Other verbs:

Soar  (a big increase)

Prices of crude oil soared in the first half of 2012.

Strengthen

The rate of production of natural gas strengthened last month.

 

Would you like to study business English with a private tutor?  Give us a call here in Houston, TX at Worldwide English at (713) 993-6511.  Our tutors come to your home or office to teach you or your spouse.  We also offer SKYPE lessons in general and business English.  http://englishlessons-houston.com

English Lessons Houston