Author Archives: Ian

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Small words, big impact

Category : Business English

You don’t need big words to impress people.

In fact, the opposite is true when it comes to business communication.

Face to Face“I love you,” for example.

You can’t get much simpler than that. If used at the right time, in the right circumstances, these three little words can mean the world.

Of course you’re not going to say “I love you” to a customer, or maybe you are? It all depends on who you are talking to and how you want them to feel.

This is what makes some business communication work much better than others. The words you use must be the right ones for your target audience. It doesn’t matter if you want to communicate face to face, online or in print, the same rules apply.

It’s about selection. You need to choose words that work well together and suit the audience.

That’s where I come in. I help you say what you want in a way that engages the people that matter to you. Whether you are a native or non-native English speaker, an individual or a global business, I can help you use words more effectively.

Do I love you? I just might


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Why choose English Cup of Tea?

Category : Business English

Here are five reasons:

mini

  1. I’m trusted by business professionals and international organisations around the world.
  2. I take time to understand my clients’ needs.
  3. I pay attention to detail.
  4. I have a very high client retention rate.
  5. I am 100% reliable.

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Avoid bad English in global communications

Category : Editing

There’s a problem with global business. 

It’s English.

Companies increasingly need to translate corporate communications into English for a global audience.

The problem is making sure nothing gets lost in translation, internally and externally.

Even the best bi-lingual translators make mistakes. And if they don’t understand the business, its employees and its customers, they won’t understand the message, tone and brand consistency required.  This risks alienating the very people you need to engage.

There are three key factors to consider:

1. The quality of the original text.

2. The quality of the translation

3. The quality of the proofreading.

proofreadingIf corporate communications are written badly in the first place, the translation will be even worse. They key is to keep things simple when the text is originally written. Encourage the writer to use short sentences and break up the copy into small, “bite-size” chunks of information.

The translation itself needs to be of the highest quality. Use experts who know your industry and the culture of your organisation. If they don’t, make sure the translation is checked by someone who does. This is where most international corporate communications fall short. It’s not simply a question of checking for spelling mistakes and badly worded phrases, it’s about brand consistency and flow.

To avoid embarrassing and potentially costly errors, corporate communications translated into English should be checked by a native English-speaker and content specialist. You need someone who takes time to understand what you want to say and to whom; someone who understands your organisation and ensures brand consistency and tone of voice, and someone with experience of editing global communications on a daily basis.

Yes please


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Is content king? Only if it grabs you.

Category : Content

What does the phrase ‘content is king’ mean?

Many companies think it means writing as much as possible and pinging it to anyone who might be interested.

This is a recipe for disaster.

Do a quick google search, open a few web pages, check out your latest twitter feed. It won’t be long before you’re impatiently looking for something pertinent and concise.

content pencilThe majority of content is written by people who don’t understand what they are writing about or who they are targeting. And many “writers” forget that less is more. They lose sight of the reader.

So I’ll keep this short. When you want to write about your business, products, services or people, remember to ask yourself:

1. Who am I writing for?

2. What do I want the reader to do?

3. Do I understand the subject?

4. How do I make it clear and compelling?

5. What tone should I use?

If you don’t have the time or resources to do it yourself, employ a proven content writer, or at the very least get a specialist to proofread what you’ve written. You may find it will not only save you money, it will help you engage your target audience and lift your brand.


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London calling

Category : Training

London Calling is is an easy, fast and effective way to improve your English skills using Skype or Google Hangouts.

It means you can learn English in your office, at home or wherever you have a phone connection.

This is how it works:

1. We have a phone call or video call once a week.

2. We speak about the topics that are important to you.

3. I help you find the correct words and phrases, and I help you with pronunciation.

4. I email you ideas, corrections and suggestions to improve your English.

I provide service for a wide range of clients, including a lawyer, univesity lecturer, airline pilot, teacher, and the following global companies:

VitualExpo, the world expert in online exhibitions, based in Marseille, France.

HomeAway, the holiday rentals company with offices around the world.

Randstad, the global recruitment company.


English language and the EU. What next?

Category : Content

Could the English language be dropped as the official language of the EU?

“If we don’t have the UK, we don’t have English,” according to Danuta Hübner, chairwoman of the European Parliament’s constitutional affairs committee. (source: Daily Telegraph)

brexitIs this really likely? I can’t see everyone reaching for their French or German dictionaries just yet. The UK may be exiting the EU but Ireland and Malta are still flying the flag for English speakers even if they registered their official languages as Gaelic and Maltese respectively.

English is the global language of business and the main working tongue of European Union institutions. The use of English as an everyday language of business communication is increasing, not just in Europe but worldwide.

More and more business professionals in Europe are asking me to help them improve their English to get a job and do business more effectively with their international contacts.

If the EU drops English, it could be seen as an “isolationist” move, just like the Brexit move which triggered it. The UK maybe be exiting but I think the English language will be with the EU and its institutions for quite some time.

Read more here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/28/english-language-could-be-dropped-from-european-union-after-brex/