If someone talks to you over the phone in English, don't be afraid to answer it！ The fear of talking over the phone in a second language will disappear if you practise often. The hardest part about making a phone in the language that is not your own is the fact that you cannot see the other person's eyes, mouth and body movements （body language）。 Although you might not be aware of （意识到） it, in a face-to-face conversation you lip-read （观唇辨意） and watch for smiles, frowns （皱眉） and moving hands. Listening to someone over the telephone is like listening to the recorder in class. The only difference is that you have to talk back！
Here are some typical sentences that you may use in a telephone conversation.
●Answering the phone
Jody speaking. How can I help you？
Hey George. It's Lisa calling. （informal）
Hello, this is Julie Madison calling.
Hi, it's Gerry from the dentist's office here.
●Asking to speak with someone
Is Fred in？ （informal）
Is Jackson there, please？ （informal）
May I speak to Mr. Green, please？
Hang on one second, I'll get him. （informal）
Please hold and I'll put you through to his office.
One moment please.
●Taking a message for someone
I'm afraid he's out. Would you like to leave a message？
He's busy right now. Can you call again later？
I'll make sure she gets the message.
Let me repeat that just to make sure.
Did you say “555 Charles St.”？
You said your name was John, right？
●Finishing a conversation
Thanks for calling. Bye for now.
I have another call coming through. I'd better run.
I'll talk to you again soon. Bye.
●Speak slowly and clearly
Listening to someone speaking in a second language over the telephone can be very challenging because you cannot see the person you are trying to hear. However, it may be even more difficult for the person you are speaking to to understand you. Because when you are speaking over the phone in English, if you're nervous you may speak very fast.
Practise or write down what you are going to say and take deep breath before you make a phone call.
●Make sure you understand the other speaker
Don't pretend to understand everything you hear over the telephone. Even native speakers ask each other to repeat and confirm information from time to time. This is especially important if you are taking a message for someone else. Don't be afraid to remind the person to slow down more than once. Keep your telephone away from the noise such as radio or television.
●Practise with a friend
Ask a friend to practise talking over the phone with you. You might choose one night a week and take turns phoning each other at a certain time. Try to talk for at least ten minutes. If you don't have a telephone, you can practise by setting two chairs back to back. The most important thing when practising telephone English is that you aren't able to see each other's mouth. It is amazing how much people lip-read.
●Learn telephone etiquette （manners）
The way you speak to your best friend over the phone is very different from the way you speak to someone in a business setting. Many speakers make the mistake of being too direct on the telephone. It is possible that the person at the other side think that you are rude on purpose if you don't use formal language in certain situations. Sometimes just one word, such as “could” or “may” is necessary in order to sound polite. You should use the same mood as you use in a formal “face-to-face” situation. Take the time to learn how to answer the phone and say goodbye in a polite manner.