How to Improve Your Business English

I started speaking English much later in life. As late as when I joined University for my undergraduate studies where the medium of instruction was English. It is widely spoken language in Mumbai, the city that I grew up, and English is also an official language of the Indian government.

English is not just a challenge for Indians, but a lot of people born in Asia, Europe, and Russia find that the global usage of English in business requires them to be proficient in English if they have to succeed.

Here are a few tips, that I have learned from experience and also corroborated by scholarly magazines, that may help to improve your business English.

Read the right media — It is important that you read the right kind of newspaper, new websites, magazines, bulletins and newsletter. Read stuff from the Economist, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review. This helps to improve your vocabulary and grammar.

Speak in English — It is very easy to fall back to your native tongue if your colleagues or your work environment does not demand the use of English. Try to stick to speaking in English even if it borders on being ridiculed. Practice makes perfect.

Set Goals and Create Study Habits — It is important that you take to improving your English like an assignment with set outcomes and deadlines. Task yourself to prepare and deliver a speech, create a PowerPoint presentation or even write a 1000 word report. Get it reviewed by a native-English speaker or someone who learned English as a first-language.

Make a Club — find like-minded individuals determined to improve their business English and make it a club that meets regularly to hone their communication skills. Such a club would have a fixed agenda and a year-long event aimed at improving English. You could even start a newsletter that would help to write better English.

Attend Seminars/Lectures — It will be a good idea to go and listen to other business speakers at seminars and conferences. There is a lot to learn without spending a dime and I most strongly advocate this. Take notes and try to imitate the speaker as a practice when home.

I am sure that many of you have used one or more of the tips I have given and I will be very keen to hear from you on what worked the best for you.