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"How to Master Advanced English Vocabulary" by Prof. Kev Nair.

Tips on English Usage from Prof. Kev Nair.

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Fluentzy.com > English > Book S3: Fluency in Telephone English and Sectoral English
Book S3: Fluency in Telephone English
and Sectoral English

Fluency in Telephone English

Fluency in Telephone English
and Sectoral English

By Prof. Kev Nair

"Fluency in Telephone English and Sectoral English teaches you how to be fluent over the phone."
The New Indian Express.

Please note: This book is not sold separately. It is available for sale only as part of Fluentzy: The English Fluency Encyclopedia.

Sample pages from this book
Sample Pages
from the
Fluentzy Book Set
B1: Idea units & Fluency
B2: Speech Generation & Flow Production
B3: Teaching your Tongue & Speech Rhythm
B4: Key Speech-initiators & Speech-unit Patterns
S1: Fluency in Functional English (Vol.1)
S2: Fluency in Functional English (Vol.2)
S3: Fluency in Telephone English and Sectoral English
B5: How to Deal with Hesitation
B6: Oral Training in Fluency Vocabulary (Vol.1)
B7: Packing of Information in Speech
B8: Impromptu Speech-flow Techniques.
S4: Fluency Building and Mouth Gymnastics
S5: Fluency in speaking about people
B9: Fluency in Asking Questions
B10: Oral Training in Fluency Vocabulary (Vol.2)
B11: Fluency & Moment-to-Moment Speech-production
B12: Oral Training in Fluency Vocabulary (Vol.3)
S6: Fluency in Topicwise English (Vol.1)
S7: Fluency & Pronunciation
S8: Fluency in Topicwise English (Vol.2)

English Fluency Lexicons by
Prof. Kev Nair
The Complete Fluency Words
A Dictionary of
Fluency Word Clusters

A Dictionary of
Essential Fluency Phrases

A Dictionary of
Active Fluency Combinations

Comprehensive Adjectival Fluency Dictionary
Prof. Kev Nair's Narrative Fluency Dictionary Narrative Fluency Dictionary
Core Fluency Thesaurus
of Phrasal Verbs

of Descriptive English


Fluency in Telephone English

Thereís an important point you must remember when you have a telephone conversation. When you have a conversation with someone on the telephone, youíre not face-to-face with them. You and the person youíre having the conversation with are not within each otherís presence or sight. On the other hand, when you have a face-to-face conversation with someone, youíre near them, and you can see them. And you can listen to them and speak to them ?by actually looking at them (and their facial expressions and gestures) and at the surroundings.

You see, when you have a face-to-face conversation with someone, you communicate not only through the actual words you use, but also through a number of extra-linguistic factors ?such as facial expressions, gestures, etc. But when you have a telephone conversation, many of the extra-linguistic factors are absent ?and youíve got to rely mainly on the actual words you use in order to convey your meaning. The person at the other end canít watch your facial expressions or gestures. And you canít watch his. And so, neither of you can take advantage of extra-linguistic factors like facial expressions or gestures to add meaning to the actual words used.

In the same way, when you have a face-to-face conversation with somebody, you donít need to spell out everything in words. Many of the things you want to communicate to them would be clear to them from the situational context. But when you have a telephone conversation, a number of aspects of the situational context are absent. So when you have a telephone conversation, youíll have to spell out all these things clearly in words. Or the person at the other end of the line wonít be able to understand what you mean. For example, when you have a telephone conversation, you wonít be able to speak about something or someone by pointing them out to your addressee ?because the addressee is not near you, and the addressee canít see them. So on the phone, youíll have to speak about them by mentioning their actual names (if your addressee knows them by those names) ?or by actually describing them in such a way that the addressee understands what youíre referring to or who youíre referring to. Similarly, the addressee (the person at the other end of the line) wonít be able to see the surroundings at your end or what is going on around you at your end at the time youíre speaking. And so the addresseeís eyes give him no help in understanding what youíre saying, and heíll have to depend solely on his ears.

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All this means that when you speak to somebody on the phone, youíll have to assume less and spell out more. Yes. When you have a phone conversation, youíll have to explain almost everything in the clearest or the most detailed way. What Iím trying to tell you is this: When you speak to somebody face to face, you can take a number of things for granted. That is, you can assume one thing: Even if you donít spell out many of the things clearly in words, your addressee would be able to understand them from your facial expressions, gestures and the situational context. And so, when you speak to somebody face to face, you neednít spell out these things clearly. In other words, when you speak to somebody face to face, you can assume a lot, and you need only spell out the important things. But when you speak to somebody on the telephone, youíll have to do the opposite: Youíll have to assume less and spell out more. And thatís not all. When you have a telephone conversation, you must be careful to do one other thing: Youíll have to spell out what you want your addressee to understand in a way thatís clearer than you wouldíve done if you had been speaking to him face to face. That is, when you have a telephone conversation, itís not enough that you spell out a lot. You must also spell them out far more clearly and in a far more detailed way.

In short, when you have a telephone conversation, youíre handicapped in several ways. And itís not always as easy to get your meaning across over the telephone as it is when you have a face-to-face conversation. But all this does not mean that when you speak on the telephone, youíll have to be as explicit as you are when you communicate the same thing in writing. No. Thatís not so. First of all, you can never be as explicit during a telephone conversation as when you write something ?because even during a telephone conversation, you communicate through the spoken medium (and not through the medium of writing). So, even during a telephone conversation, you speak under pressure of time, and you can only express yourself by composing and speaking at the same time, just as you do when you have a face-to-face conversation. Secondly, when you have a telephone conversation, you keep getting feedback and reactions to what you say from your addressee ?in words, exclamations and other sounds that he produces over the phone as he listens to what you say. And so, depending on the addresseeís reaction, you can keep modifying, improving and adding to what you say from moment-to-moment, and thus make your meaning clear to him. And his moment-to-moment reactions would let you know the points on which he shares knowledge with you and the points that he has understood without your having specifically mentioned them. This saves you from having to spell out those points in words, and you can safely speak on by taking those points for granted.

Because of all these reasons, if you want your telephone conversation to be effective, you must never forget to do the following things:

Guidelines for making a call
1). Whenever you dial a number and someone picks up the phone at the other end, you should do these things:

i) Ask the person who picks up the phone at the other end if the number of the phone he has picked up is really the number you dialled.

Eg: ?Are you 3467983? ?Is that 3467983?

ii) If he says it is the right number, itíd be a good idea to go ahead and ask him if itís really the place (office, house, etc.) that you want.

Eg: ?Is that the XYZ Co.? ?Is that the Fire Station?

iii) Then you should announce your identity. (You should do this ?if the person who picked up the phone at the other end has not already recognized your voice). Tell him who you are and where youíre calling from ?that is, the place, office etc. youíre calling from.

iv) After announcing your identity, you can straightaway ask him if you could speak to such and such a person ?without asking him who he is. Of course, if you recognize his voice, and if heís the person you want to speak to, you can straight away launch into a conversation.

v) If the person who picks up the phone at the other end voluntarily announces his identity, and if heís not the person you want to speak to, tell him youíd like to speak to such and such a person ?or ask him if you could speak to that person.

vi) Suppose that the person who picks up the telephone at the other end tells you that the person you want is not available or that, for some reason, you canít speak to him at that point of time. Then if you want, you can ask the person who has picked up the phone who he is ?before you start telling him anything else.

Eg: ?Whoís this speaking? ?May I know who this is speaking, please?

But remember one thing: In general, nobody likes to tell you who they are if you donít tell them who you are first. So the best policy is to announce your identity first, before asking for the identity of the person at the other end.

vii) Suppose that the person who picks up the phone at the other end is not the person you want, and suppose that he puts you through to the right person. Then, announce your identity once again, and ask this second person if he is really the person you want to talk to.

Eg: Is that Mr. Sridhar?

2). Once you get the person you want on the phone, and once youíre sure that heís the person you want, you can state the purpose of your call. But donít just rush into explaining the purpose all of a sudden. Instead, start by preparing the ground ?by telling him that youíre now going to state the purpose. For example, if youíre calling him to tell him something about a meeting, you can begin by saying something like this:

?Iím calling you about tomorrowís meeting. Or,
?Itís about tomorrowís meeting.

Tell him what you want to tell him about the meeting only after you get him ready to listen to it by preparing the ground in this way. On the one hand, this step gives a sense of direction to what you want to say. And on the other hand, it directs your addresseeís attention to what youíre going to say.

3). In the same way, before you speak to him about anything important, start by telling him that youíre going to speak to him about such and such a thing or such and such a person or such and such a topic. In this way, you must always build an expectation in him about what youíre going to say ?before you actually say it. This step is very important if your telephone communication is to be really effective.

4). Before you actually ring off, say something appropriate thatíd indicate to the person at the other end that youíre going to ring off. Depending on the context, word groups like the following would help you do this:

?Bye, then. ?Iíll get back to you soon. ?Well, thatís settled, then. ?Thanks a lot. Goodbye. ? Until tomorrow, then. Goodbye.

Guidelines for answering a call
So far, Iíve been telling you about making a phone call. Let me now tell you a few things about answering a call.

When you answer a call, points 3 and 4 given above are as important as when you make a call. But the preliminary things that you must do (when you answer a call) are not the same.

And here are the preliminary things you must do when you answer a call:

1). As soon as you pick up the phone to answer a call, let the caller know that youíve picked up the phone and that he has your attention. You can do this by saying ďHello?

2). If you want to be more helpful, you can voluntarily announce the number of your phone or announce your identity while saying ďHello?(or instead of saying ďHello?.

Eg: ?Hello, 3468953. ?Hello, Ashok Kumar here. ?XYZ company. Good morning.

3). If the caller starts stating the purpose of his call without announcing his identity, you can ask him who he is before telling him anything or helping him ?if you find it necessary to do so.


End of sample content




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