Answering a Call and Taking a Message (Beg)


Students will learn the correct way to answer a telephone and take a message.
Student Level: 
Unit Group: 
General Business - Telephoning

Warm Up (5 mins)

How many times per day do you answer your phone at work?

Do you sometimes take messages for your boss or co-workers?

Listening (5 mins)

Listen to the audio and choose the correct answer.

1. Who was the caller?

a) Debbie Smith

b) Debbie Fisher

c) Mr Young

2. What was the message?

a) She will be late for the meeting

b) He wants to reschedule the meeting

c) She wants to cancel the meeting

3. When was the message taken?

a) 11:00 am

b) 11:30 pm

c) 11:30 am


Reading Comprehension (10 mins)

Read the following article.

Summarize in your own words how to take telephone messages.

Grammar (5 mins)

Ending Conversations

How we end a conversation depends on a few factors.

  • Is it formal or informal?
  • Is the conversation face to face or over the telephone?
  • Was this the first time to meet?
  • Are there any plans to meet again?



Casual - Face to face meeting

It was great to see you again. Take care.

Casual - Telephone

Good to hear from you. Take care.

Formal - Face to face meeing - First time

It was a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for making the time.

Formal - Face to face meeting - NOT first time

It was a pleasure to meet you again.

Formal - Telephone

Thank you so much for calling. Goodbye.

Casual - We have plans to meet very soon.

See you soon.

Casual - We have plans to meet (but not soon)

See you then.

Formal - We have plans to meet (but not soon)

I look forward to meeting you then.

Practice ending a conversation in the following situations:

1) You are on the telephone, planning to meet your friend at the train station in 5 minutes.

2) You are on the telephone, planning to meet your friend at Starbucks next week.

3) You are on the telephone, planning to meet a customer at his office next week.

4) You have just finished a meeting with a customer for the first time at her office.

5) You have just finished having lunch with your friend.

Vocabulary (5 mins)

Column AColumn B
call backdemonstration

Match the words in column A with the words in column B. More than one answer may be possible.

e.g. "resend an email"

Role Play (15 mins)

Keiko:Good afternoon, Wintech Industries. This is Keiko speaking.
Barnaby:Hello. This is Barnaby Jackson from One Connect. May I speak to Mr Lee?
Keiko:I'm sorry but Mr Lee isn't available right now. Could I take a message?
Barnaby:Yes, please. I'd like to discuss the contract he sent to me. Could you ask him to call me back?
Keiko:Yes, Mr Jackson. How do you spell your given name?
Barnaby:It's B-A-R-N-A-B-Y.
Keiko:OK. So please let me confirm the message. Mr Barnaby Jackson from One Connect called. You would like Mr Lee to call you back to discuss the contract which he sent.
Barnaby:That's correct.
Keiko:Thank you. Can I have your phone number Mr Jackson?
Barnaby:It's 03-2402-8977.
Keiko:OK. I will make sure he gets your message as soon as possible.
Barnaby:I appreciate your help.
Keiko:My pleasure Mr Jackson. Thank you for calling.

Try the role play again.

This time take a message from your instructor, then imagine you are reporting that message back to a co-worker or your boss.

Extension Activity

Do you have a personalized voice mail greeting?

What do you think a voice mail greeting should say?

Review and Quiz (5 mins)

Do you have any questions about this lesson?

What did you learn today?

Did you learn any new vocabulary or expressions?

Ask your instructor for tips on how you can improve your English.

Finally, don't forget to take the quiz after all your lessons are finished today.

Thank you !