Telephone English : Psychological Tricks

Telephone English is, possibly, the most difficult challenge for English students.
Here are some of the reasons:
  • People speak too quickly
  • People don't pronounce the words well
  • They think you understand
  • There are technical problems with the telephones
  • You can't see the person who is speaking
  • People don't usually repeat what they say

          Use these tips and people will slow down!

Immediately ask the person to speak slowly.
When noting a name or important information, repeat the information when the person speaks.
This is very effective. When the speaker must repeat the information or each number or letter or say a telephone number, you automatically slow the speaker.

Do not say you understood, if it's not true. Ask the speaker to repeat or to explain.
People do not always understand your difficulty because they do not see you on the telephone and do not always have experience with non-native speakers. Help the speaker to help you.

This is a funny tip, if the person does not slow down, start to speak in your language!
A short fast sentence in your language will remind the other person that they are lucky because THEY do not need to speak a different language to communicate. This can be very effective, but be careful to use with colleagues and not with a BOSS!

Original tips @

More options
  • To see all the telephone lessons, click here.