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BBC 6 minute English-Business English: Arranging meetings

BBC 6 minute English-Business English: Arranging meetings

BBC 6 minute English-Business English: Arranging meetings

   

Transcript of the podcast

NB: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Feifei: Hello, I’m Feifei and this is 6 Minute English

Neil: And I’m Neil

Feifei: How are you Neil and what have you been up to

Neil: I’m very well, thank you. I’ve been listening to the news a lot this week

Feifei: Oh yeah

Neil: Yes, there are all kinds of things going on, lots of important people getting together, discussing important things… and it got me thinking about meetings and what it’s like trying to arrange a time and place to suit everyone

Feifei: Oh it’s such a pain trying to get people together: if it’s only a couple of people it’s not too bad but when you need four or five people there’s always someone who wants a different time or a different place or a different date

Neil: And you’re not the only one who feels that way Feifei – let’s hear from some of our friends and colleagues talking about arranging meetings. How easy is it to find a time and place that everyone’s happy with

Voice 1: In Brazil it’s very easy to arrange a meeting because Brazilian people aren’t very formal, we can have a meeting anywhere: on the corridor or in a room or around a desk, so it’s very easy to arrange a meeting in Brazil

Voice 2: In China if you have a meeting, you would usually call people to say we have a meeting by phone, or if you see them in the office you would say we have a meeting, that’s about it. It’s normally quite easy to fit in a meeting

Voice 3: In Indonesia the manager would normally arrange a meeting, he or she will have to check if everyone can attend. It’s quite tricky to set up a time that suits everyone due to different schedules, so sometimes not everyone can attend

Feifei: Ooh you’re right Neil. I’m not the only one who thinks it’s a pain

Neil: Well, like it or hate it, arranging meetings effectively is a really important business skill

Feifei: I guess so

Neil: I think I feel a role-play coming on

Feifei: We’re going to practise setting up meetings, aren’t we

Neil: We are! We’re talking on the phone and we need to set up a meeting. And I think I should be the boss this time

Feifei: We don’t need a boss Neil: we can just be colleagues

Neil: Grrrr

Feifei: Are you ready

Neil: I’m ready

Role-play

Neil: Feifei, we need to set up a meeting. Are you available this afternoon

Feifei: Er, sorry no… I’m in a meeting all afternoon

Neil: OK, no problem. What about tomorrow morning? Shall we say 10 o’clock

Feifei:Tomorrow morning at 10. Let me check my diary… No, sorry I can’t do 10. How does 2 o’clock suit

Neil: 2 o’clock’s good

Feifei: Do we need to be face to face for this one

Neil: No, I don’t think so. Let’s do this one on the phone

Feifei: Great

Neil: I’ll call you at 2

Feifei: Speak to you soon

Feifei: How did we do

Neil: I think we were pretty good! But we need to hear from the lady who knows all about business language

Neil / FF: It’s Business Betty

BB: Hello you two

Neil: How are you Betty

BB: Fine, thank you Neil

Neil: So what did you think of our role-play Betty

BB: I thought it was rather good! And here’s why: First, you used lots of direct questions – and in British business culture, when you’re arranging a meeting, it’s OK to ask direct questions about people’s availability. Neil, you asked: Are you available

Neil: Are you available this afternoon

BB: And you said What about

Neil: What about tomorrow morning

BB: Neil, you also said Shall we say

Neil: Shall we say 10 o’clock

BB: And finally, Feifei, you said How does 2 o’clock suit

Feifei: How does 2 o’clock suit

BB: So I liked that a lot: you both used simple, direct questions to agree the time. That was very good. And, as well as agreeing the time, I liked that you discussed and agreed the type of meeting. Feifei, you asked Neil if she wanted to meet in person. You said Do we need to be face to face for this one

Feifei: Do we need to be face to face for this one

BB: And Neil’s answer was I don’t think so. Let’s do this one on the phone

Neil: I don’t think so. Let’s do this one on the phone

BB: So, you both asked nice, simple, direct questions, and you agreed the type of meeting. I’d say that was a job well done! Now, I must be off, I’ve got a meeting to go to. Bye

Neil / FF: Thanks Betty, bye

Neil: Ahhh, she’s so good that Betty, a real top-notch professional

Feifei: She does know her stuff – and she really liked our role-play

Neil: She did! I’m feeling quite proud right now

Feifei: Shall we go over it again

Neil: I think we should! Are you ready

Feifei: I am! Role-play

Neil: Feifei, we need to set up a meeting. Are you available this afternoon

Feifei: Er, sorry no… I’m in a meeting all afternoon

Neil: OK, no problem. What about tomorrow morning? Shall we say 10 o’clock

Feifei: Tomorrow morning at 10. Let me check my diary… No, sorry I can’t do 10. How does 2 o’clock suit

Neil: 2 o’clock’s good

Feifei: Great! Do we need to be face to face for this one

Neil: No, I don’t think so. Let’s do this one on the phone

Feifei: OK, speak to you later

Neil: I’ll call you at 2

Feifei: Bye

Neil: And that’s the end of today’s role-play… and it’s also the end of today’s programme

Feifei: So it’s goodbye from both of us – and please make sure you arrange to meet us again for another episode of 6 Minute English

Neil / FF: Bye

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