Figure Out English Podcast: How to showcase your skills in English

Figure Out English Podcast: How to showcase your skills in English


Hello, and we are here again for a new
episode of the ‘Figure Out English’ podcast for English learners. The
transcript will be available as usual on figureoutenglish.com as well as the learning
notes and practice exercises. And let’s start! Hello guys, and welcome to a new
vocabulary episode of the ‘Figure Out English’ podcast. You can find us on
iTunes, on Spotify, on Google podcasts and practically in every podcast app which
you are using. And we are also on Patreon and if you would like to support our
work, that’s a great chance go to patreon.com/stordar and there you can
find all the latest episodes, extra materials, video lessons and everything
which you need to improve your English vocabulary skills basically because
these days I’m talking more and more about vocabulary, about collocations, about
phrasal verbs because this is really what you find useful and thank you very
much for watching. Thank you very much for your trust and I hope you enjoy the
today’s episode too because it’s a very handy thing. I will be talking about
the ways to showcase your skills: how to say that you can do something well, at
your job interview, in your resume, when talking about other people, when giving
references to other people and so on. Well, we need this vocabulary all the
time but it’s not easy to find all these phrases – let’s learn them. The first thing,
and I’ve already talked about it before, how to use the phrase ‘to be good at’. You can say: ‘I’m good at doing something’,
so ‘I’m good at singing’, ‘I’m good at learning languages’ and so on and so on.
And you can play with this phrase – I told you before, right? You can say: ‘I’m
excellent at doing something’, ‘I am perfect at…’, ‘I am
a genius at…’ but you always follow this structure, you always say ‘I’m good AT
doing something’. You can also use the adjective ‘good’ without this structure
but in this case, you will change the preposition into ‘with’. So you will say:
‘I’m good with people’, ‘I’m good with numbers’. Me, personally, you know one big
talent I have – I’m good with languages. What are you good with? or What are you
good at doing? Answer these questions in the comments! Let’s talk about you a
little bit… But we are going on and what are the phrases you can use to describe
your talents? For example, you will say: ‘to have … skills’, ‘to have SOME skills’.
For example: ‘I have good people skills’, ‘My friend has good communication skills (‘about explaining things to people). ‘To be a teacher, you need to have good
communication skills’. And I hope you understand the difference between
communication skills and interaction skills because they are basically two
different things. ‘To communicate’ means to give your idea to somebody, to explain
your idea to somebody so that they understand. That’s why I say that
teachers should have communication skills because for us the most important
thing is that you understand what I am talking about. But if you mean people
interacting, if you mean that you are in good contact, always positive, have very
good relationships with everybody, it’s better to say ‘interaction skills’.
I can’t say I have very good interaction skills because I am an
introvert but, of course, interaction skills also very important for a
teaching job. In this case, you know now how to use it: ‘to have
… skills’ – ‘to have people skills’, ‘to have interaction skills’, ‘to have
financial skills’ and so on. I would like to warn you guys here against the
use of the word ‘to have an ability’, especially in your writing. If you listened
to my course about email writing, I told you in one of the lessons that when you
write emails, resume, it doesn’t matter, you try to avoid the verbs ‘be’ and ‘have’ –
you don’t use them too much because it decreases the dynamics of your text. ‘Have’
and ‘be’ are called weak verbs which means that if you have too many have in your
sentences, it will be more difficult for people to read it. For example, ‘How are
your communication abilities?’, ‘How are your language abilities?’ but when you
want to say ‘I have the ability of doing something’ I recommend you to replace
this phrase with ‘I am good at doing something’. It’s more dynamic, it’s more
natural for English language and the difference between skills and abilities
this is also a very interesting question. Because people don’t always
understand and in some languages these words are translated
similarly. ‘Skills’ – it is what you learn and it’s more technical things so
something that you do. And ‘abilities’ – it is usually natural stuff. We often say
about natural abilities: ‘I have a very high language ability’ – I
can say… Well, I don’t believe that because it’s all the result of my work
and I believe that I have very strong language learning skills but different
people believe differently and of course… So try not to mix them up: when you
talk about your job, it’s better to use ‘skills’ because ‘ability’ will be
something more inborn, something more that you have in your character and in
your skillset, so to say. Okay, let’s go on and I’ve already mentioned that if you
are writing a resume, a CV whatever, you want to use the action verbs, you want to
use the strong verbs that’s why if you want to say, for example, ‘I have very good
conflict skills’, I would recommend you to replace it with ‘I manage conflicts
well’. ‘Manage’, ‘deal with’, ‘handle’ – this is very good action verbs for your CV. I
think I will record the episode about that because I would like to talk more
about these verbs of actions because they really showcase your
vocabulary when you use a lot of them but not ‘have’ and ‘be’ all the time but in
general, when we talk about skills use these verbs: ‘to manage something’ or
‘to manage to do something’. ‘I managed to organise the project, for example, very
quickly’, something like that. ‘Handle’, ‘deal with’ this will give a very good
impression both about your skills and about your
English. How else you can describe brilliant skills which you have… We can
say: ‘to have a flair for’: ‘I have a flair for languages’, ‘My friend has a
flair for numbers’ (=she’s so good with numbers).
You can say, for example, ‘to do something in your sleep’: ‘I can do
math in my sleep’ (=it’s not a problem). ‘I can speak English… only I think ‘I can
speak English in my sleep’, for example. You can say: ‘to have a magic
touch’- ‘She has a magic touch in design’, for example – she’s so good at design,
she has amazing design skills, for example. Okay. You also can say ‘to
ace something’: ‘He aces negotiations’ – it means he closes all the deals at the
negotiations, so he’s so so good at it, for example, yeah. And we often say ‘to
have an eye for…’: ‘He has an eye for investment’ (=he feels the good
investment beforehand and it’s his talent, it’s his natural gift, it’s his
natural ability). ‘He has an eye for doing that’ or ‘… for that’. That’s a lot of
phrases, please practice: write your own examples. I will be very happy to comment on
your examples. And remember that you only learn vocabulary when you try to
use it in your own speaking and writing. That’s why maybe you will add a couple
of phrases into your resume. Well, tell me about it, tell me how it goes and I’m
really interested. And finishing this episode, I would like to give you some
more words about the talented person. How can you say that somebody is very
good at something? You can say: ‘He’s a master’: ‘He’s a singing master’ –
he sings so well. You can say ‘a king’ or ‘a queen’. So, ‘She is a queen in
design’ or ‘She’s a design queen’, for example. ‘He is a negotiation kin’g’ – he’s so
good at negotiations. If the person is talented or gifted, we often say a ‘prodigy’:
‘He’s a real prodigy’, ‘He’s a prodigy in meetings’, I don’t know, in planning, in
budgeting. If you want to talk about the business skills and we also often
say: ‘You are a natural’, ‘She’s a natural’, ‘He is a natural’. It means
that the person has so strong abilities for something. ‘She’s a real natural’=
she’s so good at it naturally. I hope it helps and, of course, improve your
business vocabulary, read as much as possible, listen to the podcasts and when
you notice these words, then try to use them in your own speaking and writing
and I’m sure it will help. I will see you in the next episode. And if you like our
podcast, please go to patreon.com/stordar and make a small donation. We
will really appreciate that. We are really working for you. Thank you very
much! Thanks for listening. Please visit figureoutenglish.com for a free
download of the transcript and learning notes. Don’t forget to share and comment.
Cheers!

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