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Interactive video lesson plan for: Talking on the phone – 15 – English at Work has the top tips for you

Activity overview:

Anna has been told to improve her telephone manner and has welcomed some friendly and useful advice from Denise. They practice some mock phone conversations but Anna receives a real call with a request of a personal nature. How is Anna going to respond? Will her telephone manner be up to the challenge?

For more English at Work and other great content:: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/english-at-work

TRANSCRIPT
Anna: (answering the phone) Yes?
Denise: Stop! That's all wrong. I'm going to call you again. This time…
Narrator: Hello. Here we are in the middle of a telephone training session with Denise and Anna. What fun!
Denise: …this time, you don't say 'yes' when you answer, it's rude. Call me and I'll show you how it's done.
(sound of 4-digit dialling, then phone rings)
Hello? Tip Top Trading.
Anna: Wow, that’s good.
Denise: And, you can say your name. Hello? Tip Top Trading. Denise speaking. Try it.
(dialling, then ring)
Anna: Hello? Tip Top Trading. Denise speaking.
Denise: No!
Anna: What?
Denise: Say: "Anna speaking!"
Anna: Oh, sorry, I'm so stressed by all this. Hello Anna speaking.
Denise: You sound like you're sitting on a pineapple. Listen to my voice: Hello? Denise speaking.
Anna: Hello? Anna speaking.
Denise: Good. Now, when the person has introduced themself – this is Mrs Smith or whatever, say: Hello Mrs Smith, how can I help you? Or, if you know them already, you might say: Hello Mrs Smith, how are you?
Anna: Okay, what if Mrs Smith wants to speak to Tom but he's not there?
Denise: You say: "I'm really sorry, he's not available at the moment. Can I take a message?" Or: "I'm afraid he's busy, shall I ask him to call you back?"
Anna: Okay.
Denise: And, to end a conversation, you can say: "Thank you for calling, goodbye." Let's do another practice!
(phone rings)
Anna: Hello? Tip Top Trading.
Denise: Hello, this is Mrs Smith.
Anna: Hello Mrs Smith, how can I help you?
Denise: I'd like to speak to Tom please.
Anna: I'm really sorry, he's not available at the moment. Can I take a message?
Denise: That's okay, I'll try again later.
Anna: Okay. Thank you for calling, goodbye.
Denise: Excellent!
(phone rings)
Oh!
Anna: How did you call me without dialling?
Denise: I didn't, that's a real call!
Anna: Oh no, I'm all nervous now. Hello? Tip Top Trading. This is Anna speaking.
Mr Lime: Hello Anna, this is Seb Lime.
Anna: Sublime?
Mr Lime: Mr Lime from Citrus Ventures. But I think we should be on first name terms now, so call me Seb.
Anna: Okay, er, Seb. How can I help you?
Mr Lime: I just wanted to say again that your Imperial Lemon is fantastic... and I was wondering if you'd like to do lunch with me sometime?
Anna: Lunch? Er...
Narrator: I knew it! Mr Lime is interested in more than just your lemons!
Anna: Would you like to discuss the Imperial Lemon?
Mr Lime: Forget the lemons Anna! The reason I want to see you is more of a personal nature.
Anna: Personnel? Er... Can I call you back? I'm afraid I'm a bit busy at the moment...
Mr Lime: …bbbut…
Denise: Well Anna! Mr Lime eh?
Anna: Oh dear Denise, I think I need a bit more help from you. He wants to talk about personnel…people, staffing…
Denise: Are you sure? I think he means a personal nature, not personnel! That Mr Lime!
Anna: Oh!
Narrator: Mr Lime indeed. Anyway, Anna had an excellent phone manner. Let's hear those phrases again:
Hello? Tip Top Trading. This is Anna speaking.
Hello? Anna speaking.
Hello Mrs Smith, how can I help you?
Hello Mrs Smith, how are you?
I'm really sorry, he's not available at the moment. Can I take a message?
I'm afraid he's busy – shall I ask him to call you back?
Thank you for calling, goodbye.
But how is Anna going to handle Mr Lime's request? I can't wait till next time! Bye!

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