Smart Business Talk by Manhattan English

Business professionals who were raised outside of English-speaking countries and who are not native English speakers can be at a disadvantage compared to their native-born colleagues. Assimilating into a foreign culture is a challenging task that requires substantial effort. Many international businessmen and businesswomen mistakenly assume that fluency in standard English is enough to realize their full professional potential. The truth is that language competence is a necessary but not sufficient state of affairs, and thorough integration into corporate culture begins but does not end with the ability to communicate in standard English. Manhattan English's instructional volume Smart Business Talk was created to help business professionals make greater contributions to their organizations by learning all of the subtleties associated with business communication, including idiomatic expressions, business slang, and presentation skills.

Part of the Turbocharge Your Career series, Smart Business Talk is now in its third edition. Smart Business Talk is brought to you by Manhattan English, a language instruction firm that teaches business communication in a variety of formats. We offer group courses (the Manhattan English Workshop for Business Professionals) and individual language coaching designed to help international employees of firms in English-speaking countries become fully acculturated leaders and team members.

The first chapter of Smart Business Talk is entitled "Useful Common Idioms." In this chapter, readers will find an extensive list of common colloquial sayings, with definitions and examples. To someone unfamiliar with these expressions, the phrase "bang-up job," for example, may have a negative or destructive connotation, but this is actually high praise. Do you know what a "bean counter" is? Technically, this is merely an individual who keeps track of a company's finances, but the phrase is often used in pejorative way to refer to someone who is obsessed with trivial costs. What does it mean to "see the handwriting on the wall"? This is the act of predicting a likely future event. If you need to learn these types of expressions, Manhattan English's Smart Business Talk is the right book for you.

The subject of Smart Business Talk's second chapter is "Useful Euphemisms." This chapter includes a large set of words and phrases, alphabetized and classified by type, that function as abbreviations for complicated concepts. You'll learn adjectives, nouns, verbs, adverbs, and related expressions that precisely describe complex situations. One might think that "doctoring" something, for instance, is an attempt to bring about improvements, but this expression actually refers to covering up the truth with misleading information. The literal meaning of the term "adjustment" is simply change, but in business contexts this word is usually a euphemism for reductions in payment (a salary "adjustment" is almost always a pay cut). Words and phrases of this nature often mean the opposite of what a literal interpretation might suggest. Manhattan English's Smart Business Talk will help ensure that you don't have to worry about highly unfavorable misunderstandings.

"Workplace Slang and Idioms" (chapter 3 of Smart Business Talk) covers expressions that are used every day in the business world. Your company will assume that you understand the meanings of these sayings, and it will probably not even occur to colleagues and supervisors that you might not know what they are talking about. If you hear the phrase "fly-by-night operation," should you trust the organization described in this manner? You definitely should not. If you are asked to do something "by the book," what are you being told? This is an indication that you should follow the rules as closely as possible. What does it mean to put your "nose to the grindstone"? This is the act of working as hard as you can on a given task. Smart Business Talk from Manhattan English will "get you up to speed" and "show you the ropes" on common business slang (you can probably figure those expressions out for yourself).

Smart Business Talk also includes chapters on expressions by keyword, sports metaphors, use of grammar in business contexts, presentational skills, accent reduction, and cultural sensitivity and etiquette. Keyword expressions are classified by subject, and sports metaphors are divided into sayings for each individual sport. Grammar-oriented chapters allow students to review conventions and practice the use of articles and prepositions. The presentational skills chapter emphasizes verbal and non-verbal aspects of business communication, including delivery, body language, and audio-visual aids. A chapter on accent reduction covers pronunciation of vowels and consonants, how to use rising and falling tones of voice for rhetorical effect, and the mechanics of how speech is produced. The final chapter of Smart Business Talk features tips on how to improve communication in cross-cultural contexts and an overview of cultural sensitivity.

International business professionals will find Manhattan English's Smart Business Talk to be an indispensable learning aid and highly useful reference work. As a businessman or businesswoman who is seamlessly integrated into the culture of your company, you'll become more confident in all of your business interactions. Your professionalism will shine through, and your opportunities for advancement will increase. Best of all, you can get started right now.

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