Speaking business English when all eyes are on you

(How to become a confident professional in English)

Photo by wes lewis on Unsplash

You’re a successful manager with a promising career. But working in English fills you with dread. You feel like your colleagues are judging you as you present or lead a meeting in English. Their perceived criticism eats away at your confidence. You doubt yourself, criticise your accent or lament the mistakes you’re making. Be careful! You may be on a downward spiral.

Prepare for your business English presentation or meeting with basic questions

When you’re spiralling downwards, your emotions can blind you from seeing where you actually are. You need to calm yourself and ask some basic questions like:

 “What’s the purpose of this presentation or meeting?” 

“Who am I talking to?”

 “What impact do I want to have on them?”

Decide what language (including business English phrases) to use

When you know who you’re speaking to and what you want to achieve, you can move on to the language. Ask yourself some more simple questions:

“What style of language will best resonate with my audience?”

“What vocabulary and business English phrases will they connect with most?”

“How should I structure my points to give a professional business English presentation?”

Give yourself feedback and work on next steps

After your meeting or business English presentation, give yourself some balanced feedback using questions like:

What went well?

What could go better the next time? 

Improving your business English may be a longer term, gradual process.  Language is a part of it. And a bigger part is learning to be comfortable standing in the spotlight, speaking English with ease in front of your colleagues.