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Vocabulary For Your Meetings & Presentations

Learn English lingo to sound like an American at the office.

You’ve heard of Chinese and Japanese, and maybe you can even speak a bit of those wonderful languages. But have you heard of corporatese?

Corporatese is the language of the corporate world. It is also known as corporate speak, business lingo, and workplace jargon.

It is spoken inside companies around the world, and in our opinion the English variety of corporate speak is something that Thailand’s non-native English speakers should know.

English business lingo includes the phrases underlined in the following dialogue between two coworkers:

Alex: Hey Sarah, have you had a chance to review the Q4 performance metrics? We need to align our strategies for the upcoming fiscal year.

Sarah: Absolutely, Alex. I've conducted a thorough analysis, and our revenue stream is robust. But we need to leverage synergies across departments and streamline our processes.

Alex: Great point, Sarah. Let’s implement a cross-functional task force to help us achieve operational efficiencies. Also, we should consider a paradigm shift in our market positioning.

Sarah: Agreed, Alex. I've been thinking about how to foster stronger brand loyalty and enhance customer engagement. Let’s brainstorm some out-of-the-box initiatives!

As you can see, most of this short discussion is words you would use in the workplace, but probably nowhere else. For example, I’m quite sure I’ve spoken the phrase “have you had a chance to review…?” many times to a coworker, but I’ve probably never said it to my spouse. To her I would just say “have you checked…?”

Phrases For The Workplace

This dialogue shows us that corporatese is a way to say some things in a more “buttoned up” professional manner. Another way to think about corporatese is that it is multi-word vocabulary for the office.

Now picture this: You’re a non-native English speaker in Thailand (maybe you’re a Thai speaker, or even a Chinese speaker or Japanese speaker) and you’re working for an American company in Bangkok.

You’re about to give a presentation or lead a meeting amongst coworkers who come from several different countries, so you cannot speak Thai. You are confident about the contents of your Powerpoint or Slides presentation, but you are not confident about the right English to use to present it.

The point of this article is to share some multi-word corporatese vocabulary to help you feel more confident leading meetings and giving presentations.

Introducing a Presentation

Do you know the first thing you should do when giving a presentation? The first thing you should do when giving a presentation is take a deep breath!

Once you’ve exhaled, it’s time to do the second thing, which is to make it clear to everyone that you are now starting your presentation.

And even though we’ve said that corporatese is a way to say things in a professional manner, it is not always formal. So it is perfectly fine to start your presentation by simply saying “Good morning/afternoon/evening, everyone” and something like “Let’s dive right in” to get things going.

Another important step when starting a meeting or presentation is to clearly outline the agenda. You can do this with multi-words like “Our agenda for today covers A, B and C” or “The main points today will be X, Y and Z.”

Almost every meeting or presentation includes some kind of digital visual aids. Most common would be Powerpoints or Slides, which in corporatese are often referred to as decks. You could say, “Let’s check out this deck” after you share your screen with everyone.

In English conversation, a smooth transition from one topic to another is called a segue (pronounced “seg·way”). We also use segues in English business presentations when we want to move between topics. A clear and simple way to do this is to say “Now, let’s move on to…

If you segue to a particularly important topic – in other words, a highlight of your presentation – you should let your audience know. You can do this with another straightforward multi-word like “I’d like to highlight…

And when it is time to end your presentation, you should let everyone know that, too. My favorite way to do this is to use the phrasal verb wrap up, so you could say something like “To wrap things up…

Which reminds me: It’s time to wrap up this article!

As you can see, there are some very simple phrases to help you lead meetings and give presentations in English. And remember, it’s not just about the words: It is about the confidence you show when saying them.

Key vocabulary in this article:

  1. Segue
  2. Let’s dive right in.
  3. Now, let’s move on to…
  4. Wrap up / To wrap things up…
  5. Highlight / I’d like to highlight…
  6. The main points today will be…
  7. Deck / Let’s check out this deck…
  8. Agenda / Our agenda for today covers…
  9. Good morning/afternoon/evening, everyone!

To learn more about multi-words and how they can help you speak English more clearly and confidently, contact ECSC today. You can reach us on Line or at 064-934-5284.

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