Tips for handling conference calls in English

Speak English Article 7

It’s at 8.30 am.

The first of a series of video conference calls are scheduled. You press that ‘join’ button with anticipation. You’re determined to get your points over in a clear and concise way, modelling confidence, assurance and mastery of the topic you’re discussing. Clear, confident English is the key to success. But it’s more challenging when you have a video screen between you.

For those who haven’t grown up with English as their first language, the challenges are magnified. Here are some tips to keep you feeling confident, help you get over your points and make sure the video meeting is a success.

1.Prepare!

Preparation is the key to success. Make sure you know who is attending, establish their roles and responsibilities and understand the key outcomes. Familiarize yourself with the agenda and practice useful phrases and expressions in advance, using the mirror mouth shape technology on veebsy. Prepare some key phrases and expressions for use in the meeting.

2.“Owning the room”

The desire to want to nail the video conference by ‘owning the room’, is high. Everyone wants to look and sound good online, though in a survey by The Financial Times only 3 people out of 500 felt they had achieved this. The concept of ‘owning the online room is even more daunting to non-native speaker. But there is a body of evidence that shows with the correct preparation, strategic interventions and following the rules, online meetings can lead to a democratisation of input. The key is knowing what to say at the right time, using clear, confident English for powerful communication.. veebsy can help you do just that.

3.Watch out for non-verbal cues

Interpreting non-verbal clues is one of the top challenges of video conferencing, particularly in global, virtual teams. Watch out for the body language: nods, puzzled expressions, eye contact, lack of it, hunched shoulders are all important. Get used to watching out for these clues, interpret what they mean and step in as appropriate with pre-prepared phrases such as: “Do we need to take a break here for our energy levels?”

4. . Be confident!

It’s simple: if you don’t understand something, ask politely for the person to speak more slowly and clearly. Have some phrases pre-prepared:

“I’m afraid I didn’t catch that”

“Can I just come in here please?”

When you want to make a point, be clear and confident:

“I’d like to add something to what you’re saying please.”

You’ll find lots more phrases and expressions on veebsy and can practise them so you sound clear and confident.

5. Lobby to get your voice heard

Companies tend to take English language skills for granted. There is little allowance for non-native speakers and minimal acknowledgement of the extra effort needed. Make sure that meetings start with a clear set of rules communicated by the leader; aim for tolerant and generous listening. Build an understanding that non-native speakers may need extra effort to be brought into the room.

Finally, we should all realistically self-assess. We may think we speak a language well, but honest assessment of our own pronunciation is key to improvement. Ask for feedback and listen to your own voice through a recording.

Smart AI at veebsy will help you with this, benchmarking your accent against native speakers with an opportunity to practice using your own content. Huge good luck. Veebsy is here to help you speak clear, confident English.


veebsy is a startup established in London. Our vision is to helps learners communicate to the very best of their potential in English. The app implements eight key features to enable learners to speak English.

  1. Pronunciation Exercises – Pre-prepared English exercises combine pronunciation improvement with real-world contextual expressions.
  2. Speech Recognition AI – Artificial Intelligence speech recognition technology gives real-time feedback to know how you are doing and improve via mouth-shape videos of every word.
  3. Mouth-shape videos – Videos accurately model the correct mouth shape so learners can work on specific areas for improvement.
  4. Speech Duet – Practice pronunciation of each word using mouth-shape videos and mirror technology.
  5. Live Pronunciation workshops – exclusive live sessions with British tutors, delivering tailored and bespoke content.
  6. Expressions – Useful expressions are introduced and explained by British coaches.
  7. Your Content – Users can choose to work on their material: a presentation, preparation for a meeting, speech or call.
  8. Dictionary – An in-built dictionary, powered by Oxford English Dictionary content, references every word in the English language, with audio modelling of pronunciation and intonation.

Please download Veebsy App from Apple App Store or Google Play Store.