Master Business English: Key Phrases #3

Welcome back to our Business English series! Today, in Episode 3, we’re diving deeper into the world of professional communication, focusing on key phrases that can significantly enhance how you express yourself in the workplace. These phrases are not just vocabulary—they are tools for advancing your career by improving clarity, persuasiveness, and effectiveness in your interactions. Let’s explore these phrases and learn how to use them effectively through a variety of examples.


It’s a Long Shot

The phrase “It’s a long shot” refers to something that has a slim chance of success but is worth trying. It’s useful when you want to manage expectations yet signal a willingness to tackle challenging odds.



  • In a strategic meeting: “Proposing this budget increase is a long shot, given our current financial constraints, but I believe the potential benefits justify the attempt.”
  • During a brainstorming session: “Suggesting we expand into the Asian market next quarter is a long shot, but it could pay off significantly if timed right.”


To Sign Off On Something

To sign off on something” means to give formal approval. It’s a critical step in many business processes where final approval is required to move forward with a project, document, or decision.



  • In an email to a supervisor: “Could you sign off on the new marketing proposal? We can’t launch the campaign without your approval.”
  • When delegating to a team member: “Once you sign off on the designs, we can proceed to the production phase.”


To the Drawing Board

When a plan or idea fails to pan out, saying “To the drawing board” indicates it’s time to start over and rethink the approach. This phrase underscores the need for creativity and resilience in problem-solving.



  • After a failed product launch: “The feedback hasn’t been great, so it’s back to the drawing board to revamp our approach.”
  • During project revisions: “Our client didn’t approve the draft. Let’s go back to the drawing board and come up with something that aligns better with their expectations.”


Stay on Top of It

“To stay on top of something” means to maintain control over a situation or to keep informed about something. It’s crucial for managing ongoing projects or when quick responses are needed.



  • Managing a busy schedule: “With so many meetings, it’s important that I stay on top of all the action items.”
  • Overseeing a team project: “Please stay on top of the latest development updates and report any delays immediately.


Keep Your Eye on the Ball

This phrase means to stay focused on the goal or task at hand. It’s particularly useful in fast-paced environments where losing focus can lead to mistakes or missed opportunities.



  • In a sales role: “We need to keep our eye on the ball to meet our quarterly targets. Let’s focus on our lead generation strategies.
  • During a project management meeting: “It’s crucial that we keep our eye on the ball regarding the timeline; any slip-ups could delay the whole launch.


Conclusion: Master Business English for Professional Success

Mastering these Business English phrases will not only boost your ability to communicate effectively but also demonstrate your professional competence and attention to detail. Incorporating accent reduction lessons can further enhance your clarity in communication. Practice integrating these elements into your daily conversations and watch as your professional interactions become more impactful and productive. Join us next as we continue to explore more tools to help you succeed in the business world. Until then, keep practicing and refining your communication skills to excel in your career!

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