- Slides: 23
5. MAKING REQUESTS BUSINESS ENGLISH CONVERSATION & LISTENING Instructor: Hsin-Hsin Cindy Lee, Ph. D
CONTENTS Basic Rules and Concepts Conversation and Listening Practices - Check Answers and Further Practice Writing Practice Checkpoint
BASIC RULES AND CONCEPTS Introduction
BASIC CONCEPTS Making requests is common in the work place. Every company is an organization, which means people work together and need each other. Sometimes people give orders to their subordinates. But not everyone is the ‘top’ manager. Most of time, people need others’ assistance to do their jobs or get things done by their counterparts. Whenever you request people to render their service, provide information or get things done, you don’t want to offend them or ruin your relationships. After all, if people who can help you are upset with you, they may never get ‘your’ things done properly in time! So, the basic rule here is – Don’t be offensive! Be polite!
BASIC CONCEPTS – CULTURAL DIFFERENCES Direct Culture In some cultures, it is possible to be very direct without being impolite while asking people to do things. People in direct cultures tend to use the imperative sentences and simple statements. They may also use ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ less often. Indirect Culture In indirect cultures, if people are direct while making requests, they are considered rude and aggressive. People in indirect cultures prefer to use question forms and wordy expressions to make a request. They also use ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ more often.
USEFUL EXPRESSIONS Direct VS Indirect Get me those figures. Can you get me those figures? Could you please get me those figures? Do you think you could possibly get me those figures, please? I am so sorry to trouble you. I wonder if you would mind getting me those figures? What would you say? Read aloud the expressions again. What kind of expression do you often use while asking people to do things? Can you use a polite form of language to request people to do things?
CONVERSATION AND LISTENING Listening to the conversation and filling in the blanks.
COMMON BUSINESS SITUATIONS When do you need to request people to do things for you? You ask your co-worker for help You request a colleague in the same department to help you with your work. You request a colleague in other department to help you with your work. You ask an executive, supervisor, manager for help or further information in order to do your job well. You need someone outside the company to help you get things done. No matter whom you talk to, Suppliers you can’t afford offending Clients/customers them! Business partners
LISTEN TO CONVERSATION 5 -A Theme: Requesting Situation: Sunny a colleague and her colleague talk to each other in the office. Tips: If you need to refuse someone’s request, make it polite and friendly. When you need to refuse a quest, it’s better to suggest who else can offer the help or service.
LISTENING AND FILLING IN THE BLANKS A: May I use your (1)_____, Sunny? I need one to prepare my travel (2) ______report. B: (3)______, I need it for myself right now. Brenda has one, and I (4) _____that she’s using it. A: She’s not at her desk, and I’d (5) _______to take it without her (6)______. I’ll ask Sam for his.
LISTEN TO CONVERSATION 5 -B Theme: Requesting a subordinate politely Situation: Bonnie is requested by her boss to work overtime. They talk to each other in a polite way. Tips: You can give an order to your subordinate, but you can also choose to be polite and friendly so that you show your respect. What kind of leader would you like to follow? What kid of leader would you like to become?
LISTENING AND FILLING IN BLANKS A: Bonnie, the firm is (1)_____. Could you please (2) _____work (3)______ tonight? B: I’d be (4) ______to. I’m not very busy, and I could use the (5) _____ money. A: Great! It seems that, at this (6)______, your and our (7) ______ are in (8) _____.
PRACTICES Check your answers and practice the dialogues.
CONVERSATION 5 -A SOURCE: ESSENTIAL WORDS FOR THE NEW TOEIC TEST (P. 63) A: May I use your (1) calculator, Sunny? I need one to prepare my travel (2) expense report. B: (3) Actually, I need it for myself right now. Brenda has one, and I (4) doubt that she’s using it. A: She’s not at her desk, and I’d (5) hate to take it without her (6) permission. I’ll ask Sam for his.
CONVERSATION 5 -B SOURCE: ESSENTIAL WORDS FOR THE NEW TOEIC TEST (P. 71) A: Bonnie, the firm is (1) swamped. Could you please (2) possibly work (3) overtime tonight? B: I’d be (4) delighted to. I’m not very busy, and I could use the (5) extra money. A: Great! It seems that, at this (6) moment, your and our (7) needs are in (8) sync.
FURTHER PRACTICE Replace you and your partner’s names with the ones provided in the script. Read the script again by using your own names. Practice the different situations for socializing and small talk with your own names without reading the script.
PRACTICE AND READ ALOUD THE FOLLOWING PHRASES TO MAKE POLITE REQUESTS Is there any way you can…? I don’t suppose you could …? Would you do me a favor and…? I wonder if you could… Would you mind…(+V-ing)? Do you think you could possibly …? Would it be possible for you to …? I’d really appreciate it if you could…?
WRITING PRACTICE Writing your own expressions.
HOW CAN YOU REQUEST PEOPLE TO GET THINGS DONE BY A DEADLINE IN A POLITE WAY? Examples (You are calling a hotel’s bookings manager. ) Is there any way you can book a conference room for our HR meeting by tomorrow morning? (The hotel manager also needs your help. ) I wonder if you could confirm the number of your guests for me by 5: 00 pm. Write your own sentences. Use the phrases to write your own requests. You wish something to be done by a deadline. Add the deadline to your request. Write at least 5 sentences.
YOU CAN SAY THIS…. Useful phrases for making requests politely Is there any way you can…? I don’t suppose you could …? Would you do me a favor and…? I wonder if you could… Would you mind…(+V-ing)? Do you think you could possibly …? Would it be possible for you to …? I’d really appreciate it if you could…? Adding a deadline Example: 1. I don’t suppose you could show me the latest sales figures before this weekend? In an hour By next Monday Before the end of the month As soon as possible
HOW TO MAKE A REQUEST POLITELY? Use a polite or question form of statement to make a request. Add a deadline to your request to make sure thing can be done efficiently. If you need to refuse a request, make it polite and try to offer some other solutions. A request may be made face-to-face, in emails/letters or on the phone. The concepts and rules apply to all.
CHECKPOINT Why should people make requests politely in the workplace? How can people make a polite request? Can you provide at least three useful phrases for making requests politely? How can you help people to get your things done in time? What should you say to them? How should you refuse a request?
END Do you have any questions?