Don’t be afraid of native speakers in conference calls

Schauen Sie auch immer ganz unbeteiligt in den Raum, wenn es darum geht, wer die nächste internationale Konferenz moderiert? Lassen Sie sich diese Chance nicht entgehen, nur weil Sie Angst haben, dass Ihre Englischkenntnisse nicht ausreichen.

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Conference calls are a great way of saving time and resources, especially for international team meetings. But one problem in many conference calls is that native speakers often dominate the proceedings.

Two complaints Jean Lennox often hears from non-native speakers is that they can’t find the right words to interrupt people who just won’t stop talking, or they can’t understand native-speakers because they’re speaking too quickly or not clearly enough. Here are some phrases that will help you make the situation easier for everyone if you are the facilitator of a conference call.

  • Can everyone hear me properly?
  • I’ll start by asking everyone to introduce themselves.
  • Please state your name and location clearly.
  • I’ll tell you some of the ground rules.
  • I’d like to ask you to please refrain from doing other tasks during the call.
  • The line is very bad. I’m going to hang up and dial in again.
  • Could I ask the last speaker to identify himself? I’m not sure who was speaking there.
  • I’m sorry to interrupt, but could you speak a little more slowly, please? It will make it easier for everyone in the group to understand.

These phrases will help you get through even the most difficult call with native and non-native speakers. So study them carefully. You will also find them useful in many other situations, on the phone and face to face.

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English / Deutsch

to dial: wählen
to dominate: dominieren
facilitator: Moderator(in)
ground rules: Grundregeln
to hang up: auflegen
the proceedings: das Verfahren
to refrain from: Abstand halten