The telephones people use came about
from a device invented by Alexander Graham
Bell in 1876 .Telephone is devices for
communicating sound, especially speech.
Tele- means long distances and -phono
means sound, voice or speech.
What is a Telephone Conversation?
It is the transmission of a message through
•It can be informal - when you call to a friend or
•It can be formal - When you call to an office, to
your boss, etc.
Example of an informal phone
• Speaker 1: Hi Rosi, how is going on?
• Speaker 2: Hey man! Cool. You?
• Speaker 1: Good!... What about your husband?
• Speaker 2: He’s working now… something to tell’im?
• Speaker 1: Yep, if he can call me back please.
• Speaker 2: Sure!. I’ll tell’im.
• Speaker 1: Thanxs Rosi. Take care!
• Speaker 2: No problem, you too!
• Speaker 1: Bye!
• Speaker 2: Bye!
Example of a formal phone conversation:
•Speaker 1: Good morning. I’d like to talk to Mr. Dan Brown
•Speaker 2: Good morning. I’m sorry but Mr. Dan Brown is not
here at the moment. Would you like to leave him a message?
•Speaker 1: Yes please. Tell him that Ms. Sumathi needs to
•Speaker 2: Sure, I’ll tell him. Does he has your phone number?
•Speaker 1: Yes he has it. Thank you.
•Speaker 2: You’re welcome. Something else?
•Speaker 1: No, that’s all. Good bye
•Speaker 2: Good bye Ms. Sumathi.
The simplest communication
process always involves 4 parts:
• A sender is the person who has information to
convey to another person.
• The message is the information to be
• A channel is the means or medium of
communication. The channel might be the
telephone wires, a printed page of a letter or
even data transmission over wires from
computer to computer.
• A receiver is the person who takes in the
information that is sent.
Problems related to the Sender
The Sender speaks too softly. You have to ask
the Sender to speak up.
The Sender talks a mile a minute. You have to
ask the Sender to slow down.
The Sender mumbles.
The Sender talks so loudly you have to hold
the telephone handset away from your ear.
Problems related to the Message
The Speaker uses slang vocabulary/technical
language that you do not understand.
The Speaker repeats the Message too many
The information is disorganized or the
Message is confusing.
The Message is in a foreign language that you
do not understand.
The Speaker assumes you already know the
information or have background related to it.
Problems related to the Channel
There is static or buzzing on the line.
There is background noise coming from the
Sender’s location (radio, TV, cell phone keeps
breaking up, etc.)
The connection breaks, leaving you with a dial
There is an echo on the line.
Problems related to the Receiver
The Receiver doesn’t acknowledge that the
Message is being understood.
The Receiver doesn’t engage in a conversation.
The Receiver is distracted and stops paying
attention to the Sender.
The Receiver is conducting another conversation
at the same time.
The Receiver is not listening.
The Receiver cannot understand or decipher the
Top tips for Telephone Conversation
• Every phone call should begin with a polite greeting
such as, Hi, how've you been? or Nice to hear from
Getting to the point
• There always comes the point, however, where you
want to move on from friendly banter and get down
to business. E.g.. I'm just calling to ...
For example, I'm just calling to see if you'd
like to set up a meeting. If the situation is reversed,
however, and you are waiting to find out why
someone called you, you can guide the conversation
by saying, So what can I do for you?
Interrupting without insult
• For example, begin with I would like to say
something here, if I may or Allow me to make
a point. Or, you could just ask: May I interrupt
you for a second?
• Please let me confirm... and So, let me make
sure I've got things straight...
Closing the call
• Well John, it's been a pleasure talking to you.
Introducing yourself. Phrases to use when you
place the call.
When calling a general number:
--Hello, this is John Block calling for Marina Smith.
- May I speak with Marina Smith?
- Is Marina Smith in? (informal)
When the person answers the call directly:
- Hi Marina, it’s John calling.
- Good afternoon, Marina. This is John Block from ABC
Answering the phone. There are many different For calls to your direct line:
ways to answer your phone.
- Good morning, this is Marina.
- Good afternoon, XYZ firm. How may I help you?
- Marina speaking.
- XYZ firm, Marina speaking.
For calls to your direct line, when the person asks for you by
- Speaking (caller says: “Is Marina there?” and Marina
- This is she / this is he (caller says: “Is Marina in?” and
Connecting someone. When you answer the
phone and it is for somebody else.
- One minute, I’ll transfer you now.
- Please hold and I’ll put you through.
- Let me see if Jim is available.
- One moment, please.
- Hang on a minute. (informal)
When you need to put somebody on hold
- Jim is on another line at the moment. Would you like to
- I’m sorry, I have a call on my other line. Can you please
For customer service calls
- All of our operators are currently busy. Please stand by
for the next available operator.
When you don’t understand the caller
- Could you please repeat that?
- I’m sorry, I didn’t catch what you just said.
- Can you please speak a little more slowly?
- Can you please speak a little louder?
Clarifying what your caller says
- Can you please spell that for me?
- How do you spell your last name?
- Let me repeat your information to make sure I got it right.
Taking a message for someone
- I'm sorry, John’s not here at the moment. Can I take a
- John is in a meeting at the moment. May I ask who’s
- John is at lunch. Would you like to leave a message?
- John has left for the day. Would you like to be put through
to his voice mail?
Leaving a message for someone
- Please tell him that Susan called and ask him to call me
back. My number is 999-343-3423.
- Please ask him to call Susan when he gets in.
- He already has my number.
- He’s not in? Please put me through to his voice mail.
- I need to speak with him on an urgent matter. Please have
him call me as soon as he gets in.
Leaving a voice mail
- Hello, this is Marina Smith calling to follow-up
regarding your order with XYZ company. Can you
please call me back at 999-344-3344.
- Hello, this is John Block from ABC. I’m calling
regarding the upcoming conference in Miami. I’ll try
you again later today.
- Hi, it’s Marina. Please call me back when you get a
Recording a voice mail message on your machine
- Hello, you’ve reached Marina Smith at XYZ
company. I’m sorry I’m not available to take your call.
Please leave a message and I’ll call you back as soon
as I can. Thank you.
- Hello, you’ve reached John Block at ABC. It’s
Monday, May 22, and I will be out of the office all day.
I will be checking my voice mail from time to time and
will return all urgent calls. Thank you.
Phrases for cell phone calls
The fading signal
- I’m sorry, I’m losing you. Can you call me back?
- I can barely hear you. Let me call you back on my
- We’re breaking up. I’m having trouble hearing you.
Let me call you back later.
The lost call
- Hi, it’s Marina again. Apparently we got cut off.
- Hi, it’s John again. Sorry I lost you. My cell phone
dropped the signal.
SPELLING OUT NAMES OVER THE PHONE.
Often you will need to spell something out over the
telephone, such as a last name. It will help your
listener is you offer words for each letter. Give words
or names that are very common for each letter.
- My last name is Czarnek. C as in cat, Z as in zebra, A
as in apple, R as in Robert, N as in Nancy, e as in egg,
K as in king.
- My registration number is 459N4AF. That’s 459, N
as in Nancy, 4 A as in Apple, F as in Frank.
Hi Ricardo. How are you?
Hey, let’s go to baseball game this afternoon.
Yes, it’s ok. I will call him soon. See you friend
Yes, that sounds nice. Let’s invite Guillermo too.
Hi Guillermo. Ricardo and I will go to the
baseball game this afternoon and we want
to invite you to go with us. Please tell me if
you can go. Bye
Hello, I can’t take to the phone right now,
please leave a short message with your name
and telephone number and I will call you back
as soon as possible.
Hi Miguel, I can’t go with you this afternoon,
because I will busy, but we could go
tomorrow, what do you think about it?
See you tomorrow.
Yes, of course, don’t worry, we
will come you in the Stadium
Good Morning.English Home,
Smirthi is speaking.How can I help
Good morning.This is
John Smith.Can I speak
to Mr.Rahul,please ?
Certainly,hold on a minute.I’ll put
Mr. Rahul’s office.Hatice is
Hello! This is John Smith from
Cambridge University Press.I would
like to speak to Mr.Rahul,please?
I’m afraid Mr.Rahul isn’t in at the
moment .Can I take a message?
Yes, Could you please ask him to
call me later?
All Right. I’ll ask him to call you.
For some reason, phone calls in English
are much more difficult than talking to people
face to face. Maybe it's because you can't read
the person's expressions or get cues about their
meaning from their gestures. Or maybe it's
because you're already nervous before the call
starts. Preparing in advance for a phone call in
English is one of the best ways to overcome