Making a Call and Leaving a Message (Int)


Students will practice making a business telephone call and leaving a message using polite business expressions.
Student Level: 
Unit Group: 
General Business - Telephoning

Warm Up (5 mins)

How often do you make business telephone calls?

Who do you need to call?

What do you usually say at the beginning of a call?

Listening (5 mins)

Watch the following video and fill in the blanks based on what the speaker says.

" need to make a clear introduction that includes __________ and usually __________ I am calling you."

Reading Comprehension (10 mins)

Read the article below.

What does "exchanging pleasantries" mean? Can you give some examples?

Grammar (5 mins)

Third party orders and requests with "tell" and "ask"

When you want someone to do something, the polite way is to use a request.

If the request is to be passed to a third person, we can add "tell" or "ask".

"Tell" is very strong and should only be used in limited situations for ordering subordinates.

Polite Order

Polite Request

Please tell him to come to the meeting right away.

Could you please tell him to come to the meeting right away?

Send me your payment by Friday, please.

Could you please send me your payment by Friday?

Please ask Ms Davies to take a message.

Would you please ask Ms Davies to take a message?

Please turn off your cell phones.

Would you please turn off your cell phones?

Bill pay the invoice today
The accounts team finalize the reports this week
Mr Johnston give us his presentation at the next meeting
Your client call me when he has time
The Marketing Director submit his revised budget
The person sitting next to you speak more quietly

Change the above sentence fragments into polite requests using "could you" and "would you".

e.g. "Could you please ask Bill to pay the invoice today".

Make original requests using "ask" and "tell".

Vocabulary (5 mins)

_______ an email to me as soon as possble.
_______ me back with the monthly sales figures.
_______ the key points of the meeting.
_______ an appointment to discuss the new product range.
_______ the design to include the new features.
_______ the meeting because I will be too busy to attend.

1) Choose the best word to complete the above sentences.

cancel call send update make summarize

2) Change the sentences into a request form.

3) Change the sentences again to make them in 3rd party request form.

Role Play (15 mins)

Luke:[brrrring-brrrring] Hello, ProNext Ltd. This is Luke speaking.
Kazue:Hello. This is Kazue Watabe from Logistic Support Ltd. May I speak to Mr Davidson, please.
Luke:I'm sorry but Mr Davidson is away from his desk at the moment.
Kazue:I see. Do you know when he will be back?
Luke:I'm afraid I don't know. Would you like me to take a message?
Kazue:Yes, please. Could you ask him to call me back? I received his message about the presentation next week and I would like to discuss the format.
Luke:Certainly. Could I have your contact information please?
Kazue:Yes. I'm Kazue Watabe from Logistic Support Ltd and my number is 090 8654 9922.
Luke:OK. And when is the best time to call you?
Kazue:Anytime this afternoon before 5pm should be fine.
Luke:Alright, I'll make sure he gets the message as soon as he returns. Was there anything else?
Kazue:No, that's all. Thank you for your help. Goodbye.

Imagine you have to call a company that you often do business with.

Try the role play again, this time substituting your own information.

Try it a third time but this time imagine your call goes to voicemail. Leave a message.

Extension Activity

When do you think it is better to use the telephone rather than send an email?

What are the pros and cons of having a company mobile phone?

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 !