How would you like to be treated and helped when you are in a foreign country?
How important is the language itself when you interact with foreigners?
Research studies show...
The impact of a face-to-face communication is broken down as follows:
Body language – 60%
Para-linguistics – 30%
Words – 10%
So, what we need to remember is...
Action speaks louder than words!
How we say something is much more important than what we say.
Always put yourself in others' shoes.
I. How to be a professional receptionist?
II. What kind of English should we speak?
III. How to communicate with foreign guests?
IV. Verbal communication when receiving foreign
V. Important reminders
VI. Role play time!
Part I. How to be a professional receptionist?
A receptionist is also a ...
A flight attendant
A personal assistant
A tour guide
A shopping guide
A customer service representative
A PR representative
A cultural ambassador
Guidelines: 5 Ps’
Part II. What kind of English should we speak?
Approximately 2 billion people in the world can communicate in English (The world population is estimated to be 6.97 billion ).
Of them, about 400 million are native speakers, while the other 1,600 million are speakers of English as a second / foreign language.
Use Good “International English”
Communicate in an English that can be understood by both native and nonnative speakers of English . Avoid using jargons, abbreviations, idioms and slang expressions.
Speak at the speed you want to be spoken to.
Keep your words and sentences short and simple .
Pronounce words clearly . It’s ok to speak with an accent.
Part III. How to communicate with foreign guests?
Interpersonal communication consists of three parts:
1) what we say,
2) how we say it,
3) how we act.
SOFTEN Our Communication Approach
O: Open gestures.
E: Eye contact.
Be a good listener!
1) Maintain a comfortable body position.
2) Be attentive.
3) Show interest.
4) Show empathy.
5) Ask questions to check understanding.
6) Listen between the lines.
7) Avoid jumping to conclusions.
Take good control of the conversation
Don’t be afraid to interrupt immediately if you are not sure you have understood something.
Use appropriate phrases to slow people down , to clarify understanding and to say what you think .
Avoid being egocentric . The word “I” is often a distancing word that separates the speaker from those he/she wants to connect with.
Keep a conversation going back and forth . Don’t just ask questions or wait for the guest to ask questions. Don’t just give short replies . Exchange and share information with the guest when needed.
Make short summaries at regular intervals in order to confirm understanding and agreement.
Part IV. Verbal communication when receiving foreign guests / visitors
A. Forms of address
Sir / Madam (Ma’am)
title + first name + last name (i.e., family name or surname)
title + last name
first name only
last name only
title + first name (Thai culture)
B. Greetings & Replies
It’s an honor to meet you. /
Thank you. It’s an honor to meet you too.
It’s a pleasure to meet you. /
It’s a pleasure to meet you too.
How do you do? / How do you do?
Nice to meet you. / Nice to meet you too.
Nice to see you. / Nice to see you too.
How are you (doing)? / Fine, thanks. And you?
How’re things? / Great. And how’re things with you?
Hi there. / Hi.
C. Introducing yourself
My name is (first name + last name) , (position + institution / organization) .
I’m __________. I work for ______________.
You can call me ______________.
This is my business card. .......
I’m here to (purpose) .
D. Making small talk (1)
(journey) How was your flight / journey?
Did you have any trouble finding us?
(visit experience) Is this your first visit / time here?
Have you been here before?
When were you here last time?
(visitor’s home) Which part of the U.S. do you come from?
Where do you live in the U.S.?
(visitor’s plan) How long are you staying here?
What things would you like to do during your visit?
What places would you like to visit / see / go to?
D. Making small talk (2)
(culture) In your culture, how do people greet each other?
I’ve heard that ... Is it true?
In our culture we.... Do you do the same thing?
(language) How do you say “thank you” in your native language?
(food) What kind of food do you like?
Do you like _______ food?
Is there anything you don’t eat?
(traffic) The traffic is pretty bad in the rush hours.
How’s the traffic in your hometown / country?
(free time activities)
What do you like doing in your free time?
Are you interested in __________?
E. Offering help
Can I help you with your bags?
Do you need a hand with that?
Let me get this for you.
F. Freshening up
Do you need to wash hands before we get going?
Do you need to use a restroom / bathroom?
Would you like to get something to drink / eat?
Would you care for coffee or tea?
Can I get you some water / something?
G. Taking the visitor to his/her hotel or the company
I’ll take you to your hotel / the company.
Would you please come this way...
My / The car is parked over here.
We can get a taxi over there.
Would you like to check into your hotel first or go straight to the office?
The hotel / company is 30 minutes away from the airport.
It’s probably about a 30-minute drive.
I’ll take you back to your hotel and you can relax for a while.
I’ll meet you back here in 10 minutes.
I’ll pick you up in the lobby at 7 for dinner.
H. Giving directions
The restroom is just down the hall / around the corner on the left/right.
The office is the first/second/third door on the left/right.
It’s next to / across from the kitchen.
Just go out of the door and turn left to get to the elevator/lift.
Go straight for 2 blocks and turn left. You’ll find a 7-11 store on the corner.
Come with me and I’ll show you where it is.
I. Making suggestions and invitations
I can show you / take you to ..., if you like.
Would you like to go to ...?
How about meeting for a coffee tomorrow afternoon?
Would you like to watch a movie with us?
Let’s have breakfast together tomorrow morning.
Why don’t we have breakfast together tomorrow morning?
My friends and I are having a party next Saturday. We were hoping you could come.
I was wondering if you might like to join us for dinner tonight?
J. Responding to suggestions and invitations
That’s a great idea.
Yes, I’d love to ...
Sure. Let’s do that.
Oh, I’m afraid I can’t.
Well, I’d prefer not.
If you don’t mind, I’d rather not.
I wish I could, but ...
K. Asking for clarification
I’m sorry. I didn’t quite catch that.
I don’t quite follow you.
Sorry, could you say that again? / could you repeat that?
I’m not very sure what you mean.
Could you let me know what exactly the problem is?
Could you explain the problem in more detail?
Could you explain what you’ve done so far?
Let me just talk you through the steps.
Is everything clear up to now?
This is what I’m going to do: ...
That means you/we need to ....
M. Showing empathy
I understand how you feel.
I would feel the same way.
I can understand the reason for your complaint.
This is really a difficult situation here.
N. Taking responsibility
There seems to be a misunderstanding.
I’m afraid there has been some sort of mix-up.
It looks like an oversight on our part.
It appears a mistake has been made.
It’s our fault.
O. Saying how the problem will be solved
I’ll take care of this for you at once.
I’ll get back to you right away.
You’ll get a refund / replacement by tomorrow noon.
I’m sure we can find a solution.
This will be solved by the end of today.
I’d be glad to make up for this inconvenience.
P. Taking action
I’ll contact you / phone you ...
I’ll get in touch with you / get back to you ...
I’d be glad to help out.
I / We would be delighted / pleases to assist you.
If you have any further questions / requests, please do not hesitate to let me know / please contact me.
Let me know if you need anything else / any other help.
Q: Making requests
Could you let me know ... / come a bit earlier?
Would it be possible for you to ...?
It’d be great if you could ...
I / We would appreciate it if you could ...
I / We would be grateful if you could ...
I was wondering if you could ...
R. Closing a conversation
(mention the next meeting)
See you .... / I hope to see you ... /
I look forward to seeing you ...
(thank the person for help / a meal etc.)
Thank you for all your help.
That you for a wonderful meal / time.
It was great seeing you / talking with you.
(give the guests good wishes)
Have a nice day / Have a good weekend / holiday.
Enjoy the rest of your stay.
Part V. Important Reminders
Be careful with ...
modals ( 助動詞 & 語氣詞 )
response to a negative question
Examples of confusing or inappropriate sentences
I fly to Japan this February . (tense & time phrase)
I wish we could see each other again. (verb use)
I hope we can see each other again.
I shouldn’t say that to him. (tense)
I shouldn’t have said that to him.
You should know we meet in the lobby. (modal)
The train may be late for half an hour. (modal)
The train will probably be late for half an hour.
We’ll meet on eleven twenty-five again. (number)
Don’t you know we are waiting for you?
Yes. I don’t know. (response to a negative Q)
Part VI. Role play time!
You were assigned to pick up a guest flying from Paris at the airport . It’s 7 pm now. You need to get a taxi for your guest and then ride with him/her to the hotel . On the ride, you need to have small talk with your guest.
You were assigned to pick up a guest coming from Thailand at the hotel . It’s 8 am now. You need to bring your guest to the conference where s/he will give a talk. The institution has sent a car with a driver waiting outside the hotel to take both of you to the conference. On the ride, you need to have small talk with your guest.
You were assigned to take your guest to tour around Kaohsiung for one day . It’s 9 am now. You need to find out what s/he would like to see, to do, and to eat in Kaohsiung. You decide to take the MRT for this tour. On the ride, you need to have small talk with your guest.
Why are we here to learn to be a good receptionist?
We want to provide the best help we can to meet our guests’ needs .
We want to make our guests have a good impression of Taiwan and the institution you represent.
We want to make friend with people of different cultures . We want to see more of the world !