Complied by Ms. Terri Yueh
Focus on Communication
Telephone Etiquette
Prepare well before pick up the phone.
Check the international time differences to know the time of the locale you are
Be sensitive to the customs and ways of the person and culture you are
Send a message or an e-mail before you call, if possible.
The simpler the language, the less chance of misunderstanding.
Keep a positive atmosphere and be efficient.
Be enthusiastic, but slow down the pace while speaking over the phone.
Make your sound and tone work for you --Smile as if you were meeting in
Concentrate when you listen and never interrupt someone on the other line.
Ask for confirming your message and the contact number when dealing with a
message taker.
Try to return message calls in the same business day.
Send a follow-up mail or fax to confirm the things agreed by telephone or to
check that there has been no misunderstanding in the conversation.
Focus on Communication
Tips on handling voice mails and answering machines
Leave a clear, brief, and purposeful message.
Speak confidently and naturally.
An ideal message is less than 30 seconds.
Give the time and date you called.
Give your name and number, country and city code for
an international call, both at the beginning and at the end
of the message.
Some Useful Expressions
The Caller
 To call / ring / phone / someone
 To give someone a ring / a call
 To call someone up
 To make a (phone) call to….
The Receiver
 To receive a call
 To answer a call
 To get a call
 To have a call
Some Useful Expressions
The Calls
 A direct /outside / land line.
 A telephone call
 A local call
 A long distance call
 An international call
 An internet call
 A conference call
 A cold call (selling)
Some Useful Expressions
Getting through
 I’d like to speak to ….
 Is …there, please?
 Could I have the Customer Service Department, please?
 Could you put me through to …?
 Extension 2207, please.
I’ll connect you.
I’ll put you through.
I’m putting you through now.
It’s ringing for you now.
Some Useful Expressions
 I am sorry, she’s on another line. / I’m afraid the line is
 His line’s engaged.
 No, I’m sorry she’s not available (at the moment).
 I’m sorry, she’s out of the office this afternoon.
 Sorry, she’s on vacation / holiday.
 Sorry, she’s away / not in / in a meeting / in Seattle.
 He’ll be back soon. / She won’t be back until this
Call Back
 I’ll call back later.
 I’ll hold.
Some Useful Expressions
Communication Difficulties: Sound
 Can you hear me?
 Sorry, I can’t hear you.
 Can you speak up?
 Can you speak up a little bit, please?
 It’s very noisy here. I can hardly hear you.
 It’s a bad / terrible line.
 I’ll call you on a land line /I’ll use a payphone.
Some Useful Expressions
Communication Difficulties: Mobile phones
 My battery is nearly out / low.
 I’m losing you.
 The signal is too weak. Call me later.
 There is a really bad echo. I’ll call you back.
 There are some problems with the net.
Some Useful Expressions
Communication Difficulties: No Connection
I’m breaking up.
 Do you want to hold?
 The connection was broken.
 I tried to call you but I couldn’t get through.
 I can’t access my voicemail.
 We had problem with our system all day.
Some Useful Expressions
Ask for Repetition
 Sorry, I didn’t catch (your name / your number
/ your company, etc.)
 Sorry, could you repeat that?
 Could you spell (that / your name), please?
 I’m sorry, please speak more slowly.
 Sorry, I didn’t understand.
 Sorry, I didn’t hear you.
 What did you say?
Some Useful Expressions
Leaving a message
 Can I give him a message?
 Can I leave him a message?
 Could you give him a message?
 Could you ask him to ring / call me back?
 Could you tell him I’ll call again after lunch?
 Please tell him ….
 Please ask him to ring me later.
Taking a message
 Can I take a message?
 Would you like to leave a message?
 Shall I ask him to call you back?
 Would you like him to call back? / Does he have your number?
 I’ll call back later.
Study Points
Fill in the gaps using ask, say, and tell.
ask (tell)Peter to call me.
Could you _______
Could you _______
him I’ll be late.
Could you _______
I’m leaving at 4:30pm.
Please _______
I’m very sorry.
tell the good news.
Please _______
ask (tell)
Please _______
her to wait until next Tuesday.
Could you ______
her I’ll call back later?
(tell)him to ring me back?
Could you ask
Could you ______
her for the prices?
Sample Dialogues
Situation 1: A receptionist (operator) answers
and directs telephone calls.
 R: Good morning. Allan Designs. How may I
direct your call?
 J: Can I speak to Mr. Martin Allan, please.
 R: Surely…Just a moment. (the telephone rings
several times but remains unanswered)
 R: I’m sorry. No one is answering. Would you like
to leave a message?
 J: Certainly.
 R: I’ll connect you to Martin Allan’s voicemail.
 J: Thank you.
Sample Dialogues
Situation 2: Asking for information thru a call .
 J: Hello, can I speak to Mr. Marley, please?
 M: Speaking.
 J: Hello, this is Johnny Lin from FJU. I’m calling
about the workshop next month. Is it possible to
send me some information?
 M: Yes, Of course. Could you give me your email
address, please.
 J: It’s
 M: Could you repeat that, please?
Sample Dialogues
Situation 3: A receptionist at Buick China
connects the caller who thinks he has directly
dialed a friend within a company.
 R: Buick China, What can I do for you?
 C: Is this Sandy?
 R: No, This is the receptionist.
 C: Oh! Do you know if Sandy is available?
 R: One moment, please. I’ll check. If Sandy isn’t
in her voicemail, service will come on to this line
automatically so that she may return your call.
Sample Dialogues
Situation 4: A secretary answers but Dan has left for lunch.
Plastic Flowers, Dan Jackson’s office. May I help you?
Is Dan in?
Who should I say is calling?
Julia Frost. This is an international call from Taipei.
Just a moment. I’ll put you through. (I’ll connect you
S: Sorry, He’s just left for lunch. May I take a message?
J.F.: Yes, Can you tell her that Julia Frost from China
Communications called.
S: Okay. Ms. Julia Frost called. I’ll make sure he gets
your message. Goodbye.
Sample Dialogues
Situation 5: Sally returns a call.
 S:
This is Sally Wang. My secretary said you called, so
I’m returning your call. Is this a good time to talk?
 F:
Thanks for getting back to me so soon. What I wanted
to talk about was to check and see if our meeting with new
clients has been arranged.
 S:
Yes, it has been scheduled on Nov. 9.
 F:
Great! I’ll check the detailed information later.
 S:
If you like, I can go over the agreement with you now.
Do you have a few minutes to talk about this now?
 F:
Actually I was just on my way to a meeting. Is it alright
if I call you back in an hour?
 S:
Sure. Talk to you later.
 F:
Thanks. Bye.
Practice the calls…
Choose one of the following situations to make a
telephone conversation with your partner.
Practice and record your dialogue.
Ring a company to ask for product details or
Ring a hotel to book a weekend
Ring a travel agent to ask about travel
information you would like to know.

Telephone Conversation